It was never much of a secret how things were going to end between Norma Cook, 89, and singer/actor Chris Salvatore, 31. She was going to die.
But their unlikely alliance became a Twitterconic hashtag — #MyNeighborNorma — after their story was told in January.
She lived alone, across the hall from him at their apartment complex in West Hollywood. They struck up a friendship a few years ago and when her leukemia required 24-hour care, he gave up whatever career he had and took care of his neighbor, documenting it on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and raising money for her care via social media.
“Being her best friend for the past four years, you create this bond, and then switching to being someone’s caregiver, well it becomes hard to disassociate the emotional bond you have with someone as you’re seeing them die in front of your eyes,” he said in a January interview.
He says she wanted one more Valentine’s Day.
She died a day later.
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. This year Norma has reminded us what Valentine's Day is all about. To love another is not about living struggle free or never experiencing hurt or loss, but to fully and deeply open our hearts to one another without fear. Each of us is lovable even with all of our differences. Love has no boundaries. May you rest in peace my sweet sweet lady, Norma. ❤️