After being together for four years, Salvatore is Cook dinner’s 24-hour at-home caregiver.
Norma Cook dinner, 89, and Chris Salvatore, 31, are inseparable as she approaches the end of her life.
The dynamic couple has lived separately from their West Hollywood, California neighbors for the last four years. Salvatore took over as Cook’s principal caregiver when doctors suggested that she undergo round-the-clock at-home care this year.
I admire her since she is my closest friend.
Salvatore, an actor and singer told PEOPLE,
“It would be my joy to do anything for her.”
“I think human kindness is a magical force that might be able to heal what doctors can’t,” the speaker said.
Salvatore, who only has a few months to go, wants Cook to feel “so cherished” every night at dinner.
Salvatore claims she chooses not to treat the majority of malignancies. My responsibility now is to ensure that she never feels alone and is at ease.
Giving her the pleasure of dying peacefully and enjoying herself in her last few months of life is my gift to her.
Salvatore, a decorator, just moved into Cook dinner’s apartment. Cook supper would wave at the actor-singer as he walked out of his apartment from her kitchen window.
I asked at one point, “Can I be available and chat?”
“Because of this, she appeared very kind, “Salvatore says.
“She gave me a drink of champagne, and we quickly became friends.
I would talk to her for hours on end during a period when I was going through a breakup and was feeling down.
I felt better knowing she was there and had heard me. She supported me during some difficult moments.”
Cook dinner’s cat, Hermes, and the unusual duo started socializing regularly.
Salvatore and I were great friends in an instant. She lost many homosexual friends during the AIDS crisis. We connected quickly as gays, mostly over clothes and food.
She divorced at 43, never had children, and was diagnosed with leukemia ten years ago. Salvatore took up her care as her health dramatically deteriorated last year.
She was hospitalized six times in the previous year. The doctor remarked, after being let go from the hospital two weeks earlier,
“You can’t leave the hospital unless you have 24-hour care,” Salvatore says.
Furthermore, I couldn’t let her reside in a facility or a nursing home. As she said,
“I would rather die than be cared for in a facility.”
Salvatore assumed the job of legal counsel and primary caregiver as soon as physicians informed Cook dinner that she only had a few months to live. He started a GoFundMe campaign to seek money for the at-home care that her insurance could not cover.
I used to be doing that for her,” says Salvatore. As a result of my use of #MyNeighborNorma for videos and footage of us, we had developed a small following, so I asked anyone who loved seeing our friends contribute.”
Thanks to the funds he gathered, Salvatore was able to relocate Cook, who is getting hospice care.
After being someone’s closest friend for four years, you start to connect with them; when you transition to caring for someone, it might be challenging to break free from the emotional connection you have with them as they die in front of you. I’ve tried to keep a level head because I don’t want her to see me upset.
Although he struggles to stand and needs a breathing machine, According to Salvatore, he is still a “firecracker.”
She is a fiery and direct communicator. Norma is intelligent and humorous. She will touch my clothing if she doesn’t like them. She has that personality because it’s who she is, and I think it’s fantastic.
According to Salvatore, Cooks looks “totally happy” despite her infirmities and is eating and gaining weight.
“She’s all there in her head, she’s aware of death, she talks about it, she’s okay with dying,” he says. “She calls me her grandchild, and we’re just trying to spend as much time together as possible.”
The days are lovely and dangerous, but we now have one another.
Two times every week, Cook Dinner, who has been given two months or less to live, goes to Salvatore’s apartment.
He says, “Norma tells me, ‘I don’t want you finding me dead.’ I don’t want her to think I’ll be crushed. I’m trying to stay strong for her, and I tell her I’ll be okay, but it’s tough.”
Spending her last moments with her made me feel honored. She has changed me into a more likable and sympathetic person.
Hopefully, Salvatore’s incredible connection with Cook during supper will encourage others to socialize.
“Norma taught me that, and I hope others can learn from her. Kindness heals, and we’re all on this planet together. When you light a lamp for another person, it brightens your pathway.”
He believes that age is only a number.
It would be best if you weren’t shy about making a connection with someone, whatever your age. You can never predict who will become your closest buddy. “It’s funny because you think you don’t have anything in common with someone who’s 89,” says Salvatore.
The benefits of age gap friendships
Although building connections across generational gaps can take a bit more time and consideration, there are undoubtedly numerous benefits. So let’s take a closer look at the advantages of having a much older or younger buddy.
1. Broadening one’s horizons and letting go of preconceived preconceptions.
Younger generations often believe that older adults’ lives are dull. Similarly, older generations often see Millennials as entitled and self-centered. These are, of course, stereotypes and incorrect preconceptions. Creating age gap connections can broaden your view on age groups and allow you to see the reality beyond stereotypes.
2. Exchanging necessary knowledge and thoughts.
Older friends have previously “been there, done that,” meaning they have a wealth of relevant information and experience from which younger generations may benefit. Older friends can assist you in negotiating job life, financial or family challenges, break-ups, and other essential life crises since they’ve most certainly been through them. Have no idea how to acquire a mortgage, divorce an undesirable relationship, or plan a funeral? Your elder acquaintance can most likely assist you.
Meanwhile, since the younger generation is more fluent in technology and widespread cultural concerns, older friends may benefit from their expertise in these areas, picking up valuable new skills, particularly in our increasingly online environment. In reality, elder pals may discover a new world that is foreign (and thrilling) to them.
3. Broaden your horizons and find others who share your interests.
Many of our friendships form due to similar experiences, such as school, job, or friends-of-friends. Many of these folks, though, do not necessarily share our interests and activities. Those who share our interests become more important to us as we participate in and pursue them throughout our lives.