Friendships are a wonderful thing. When you manage to find someone that you can be friends with, it’s like finding a family that you get to pick for yourself.
Good friends are hard to find – it’s not every day you can find someone who will be by your side during rough times. But sometimes, friendships can seem unlikely to people on the outside, but what counts is that the friends have each others’ backs.
31-year-old Chris Salvatore first met 89-year-old Norma Cook when he moved into his apartment complex in West Hollywood, California. As he shared on Facebook, she was his next door neighbor. Their friendship just sort of happened, and Chris soon began documenting their journey together as buddies.
In one of the first videos he made, he explained that Norma was living with leukemia at the time that they met, and she didn’t have family nearby.
One day, she greeted him through her apartment window, just casually saying hi, and Chris asked if he could stop by for a chat. They then shared some sparkling wine and became fast friends.
This soon became a series called, #myneighbornorma, and in the second video, Chris explained that he began helping Norma out by taking her for errands with him, such as going to the grocery store together. Then, they would do activities together, like watching movies or throwing a BBQ in their apartment’s courtyard.
By the third video, Chris shared that he saw Norma as a grandma figure in his life. She didn’t have any kids or grandkids of her own, so he became like a grandson to him.
Sadly, because she had leukemia, her health was on a steady decline. Norma became quite frail and even fell a couple times in her apartment.
The doctors concluded that she couldn’t live alone anymore. Luckily for Norma, Chris was in her life now, so she was able to turn to her friend for help. He wasn’t about to let Norma go through her struggles alone.
He posted a fourth and final video to his series in which he shared with followers that he’d started a GoFundMe page in order to raise money for Norma. The goal was to avoid her having to go into a county run nursing facility. He was successful enough to raise money to pay for in-home healthcare so that Norma could go back to living in her apartment.
Even though he never filmed a fifth part to the story, it was far from over. The money raised eventually ran out, and when it did, Chris stepped up. He invited Norma into his apartment so that he could care for her in her final days.
Chris shared with TODAY:
“The only other option was for her to go into a facility. I just couldn’t do that to someone who is like my own grandmother.”
Norma has since passed away, but she was lucky enough to have a friend like Chris care for her in her final days.Whizzco