There are certain stories that are simply too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep hidden. That’s why we go through the archives and bring some of our favorites back for you to enjoy. They may make you laugh or cry, but they’re always supposed to make your day a bit happier.
Story of young man Chris Salvatore and her neighbor Norma Cook
It’s incredible how one simple act of kindness can transform someone’s life, and even the most improbable partners may establish the most powerful ties. That was the situation for Young man Chris Salvatore, then 26 years old, and his 84-year-old neighbor, Norma Cook.
Chris Salvatore had no idea that the interesting old woman looking at him from her kitchen window in the complex’s courtyard would become one of his dearest friends when he moved into his new apartment in West Hollywood, CA in 2012. He asked if he might come inside and say hello after a quick welcome via the screened opening. The rest, as they say, is history.
I just came in and she offered me a glass of champagne and we sat and chatted and we hit it off right away.Chris Salvatore to CTV
Cook lived alone with her adored cat, Hermes, whom she introduced to Salvatore right away. And the two immediately became friends over her favorite champagne and gossip from the neighborhood. They would share many beautiful memories over the course of their nearly five-year friendship. From pizza parties to lunches on the town, birthday parties, holidays, and unending laughs, there’s something for everyone. They became more like family over time, with Cook referring to Salvatore as “the grandson she never had.” He, too, thought of her as a grandmother.
That’s why, when Cook’s health began to deteriorate at the age of 89, Salvatore, 31, did what any good grandson would do and offered to help with her care. She had been fighting leukemia for years when, suddenly, at the end of 2016, she fell gravely ill and had to spend two months in the hospital suffering from pneumonia and breathing problems.
Doctors determined that the old woman’s health was rapidly deteriorating and that she could no longer live alone without 24-hour care. Salvatore organized a GoFundMe to assist with covering her medical bills and the cost of her in-home care, and it raised more than $50,000. Cook’s only other alternative was to enter a facility because she had no children of her own or any close relatives nearby.
Young man Salvatore remarked at the time, “I just couldn’t do that to someone who is like my own grandmother.” Instead, he proposed that his elderly neighbor move in with him. Cook was delighted by the invitation, and the move seemed natural given that he would be visiting her place most days anyhow.
“The only place she would have moved was to my apartment.” Salvatore described the arrangement by saying, “She has strong opinions about where she wants to spend the rest of her days, and she wants to stay here.” Moving her in… it feels as if it was always meant to be. “It gives me great pleasure to be there for her.”
Cook immediately established a routine after moving in with her beloved Hermes. Salvatore would cook for her, and the two of them would spend time together on the couch, conversing, drinking Champagne, and eating peanuts while watching the news. Despite physicians’ predictions that Cook would not live past the holidays, the two were fortunate to spend a few more precious months together, including ringing in the New Year together.
Young man Salvatore was devastated when Cook passed away in February of 2017. But the friendship he formed with the elderly woman has remained with him throughout the years.
He said at the time of her death, “I felt her watching over me, and it was a good feeling.” “She is pain-free and at peace, perhaps sipping champagne and dancing with the numerous friends she has made over her life.I’ll be a changed man for the rest of my life, and I owe all I’ve learned to this lovely lady.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I share the news that earlier this morning the world lost a truly inspiring, beautiful woman. Norma is now resting peacefully in the eternal and while she may no longer physically be with us, her spirit will continue to fill the hearts of so many people. Perhaps Norma’s lasting legacy is that her story helped the world to see the true meaning of love. Norma reminded me that we all are created to love and all desire to be loved.”Instagram – Chris Salvatore
Years later, on the four-year anniversary of Cook’s death in February 2021, Salvatore added to the sentiment: “Over the years, I have read so many wonderful words about how inspiring my love for my neighbor Norma was, but what actually inspires me is the great capacity she had to love me.” When we choose to love another, it affects a large number of others. Beautiful, abundant blessings have been given to folks you have never met. ” And the affection and care that Salvatore and Cook showed for one another is a brilliant illustration of how a little compassion can go a long way.
“She taught me to love so much deeper than I ever could imagine possible. Norma opened the hearts of so many people during a time when it was desperately needed. She was a truly powerful woman who had the ability to bring people together who may not have crossed paths otherwise.”Salvatore to Today
Norma loved Chris as the grandson she never had, and Chris saw her as the most loving grandmother, Chris told TODAY. Remember that kindness and care for one another can make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season. Even if they’re only a next-door neighbor.
Christopher Louis Salvatore is an actor, singer-songwriter, model, and lgbt rights activist from the United States. He is best known for his role as Zack in the LGBT cinema series Eating Out. AfterElton’s annual list of the top 50 homosexual and bisexual male celebrities ranked him #41 in 2011.
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