How far would you go to show love for your neighbor?
We believe that kindness starts in our homes. Then we slowly let it flow to those nearest to us. Our neighbors should be the first recipients of kindness outside our family. It can be as simple as respecting their boundaries or giving a helping hand when they need it.
This American actor brought “loving your neighbor” to a whole new level.
Chris Salvatore found himself in an unexpected friendship with an 89-year-old woman. He moved into his apartment in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, in 2015 when he saw an elderly woman looking out her window, always ready with a friendly greeting.
Norma Cook lives on the same floor, slightly across from Chris.
He started to make regular visits to her place after knowing that she was living alone with her cat. Chris realized that the least he could do was spend time with her.
The two soon became best of friends, sharing fun moments together.
Chris shares this lovely, albeit unlikely, pairing on his social media. He posted pictures of them celebrating holidays together or videos like their pizza night when they ate pizza in Norma’s bed. He admits that she stole the limelight, gaining more likes than his own posts.
Then, things took a dark turn when Norma was diagnosed with leukemia.
The bills started to pile up, and Chris ran to social media for help. He created a GoFundMe page to help with Norma’s hospital and health care bills.
The page garnered more than $30,000 overnight!
That just shows how well-loved Norma was, even to people who only knew her through Chris’s posts. She was overwhelmed with happiness when she learned about this great news.
However, the funds soon ran out, and Chris thought of the best way to help her.
He offered to let Norma stay with him in his apartment. That way, she doesn’t have to think about home and utility bills. Plus, he could look after her and give her the care she needs.
Some might think Norma is so lucky to have Chris, but he believes it’s the other way around.
“As much as I’m here helping her, she’s helped me tremendously. It’s really brought me back to what’s important: family, love, human kindness,” he told NBC News.
Norma is also thankful that she had Chris to spend the remainder of her days.
She never wanted to be put into a home or to stay in the hospice until her last breath. After being hospitalized, she was eager to go home and be with Chris and her cat. This was her ideal place to pass away – in the arms of someone who treated her like family.
Sadly, Norma died a couple of years afterward and Chris poured his heart out in this social media post.
“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,” he wrote on his Instagram post.
Indeed, a lesson that all of us could learn from.