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Man, 31, Who Cared for Dying Neighbor, 89, Mourns Her Death

Here’s a story that will touch your heart.

Eighty-nine-year-old Norma Cook passed away on Wednesday in West Hollywood, Calif. from leukemia. Cook had made headlines after she moved in to the apartment of her 31-year-old neighbor, Chris Salvatore, who agreed to take care of her.

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. ❤️

A post shared by Chris Salvatore (@chrissalvatore) on

Salvatore and Cook became fast friends and Salvatore is crushed at her passing. “She was a beautiful human,” Salvatore told People. “She changed the world with her big heart and ability to speak with anyone, of any age.”

Cook lived in a bed in Salvator’s living room and he knew the end was near. “The last thing she did was put her arm around my neck, she was so weak, I don’t know how she did it, and pulled me in and kissed me and said, ‘I love you.’ That was Saturday.”

Norma and I had a lot of fun with this gang from down under on @theprojecttv #myneighbornorma

A post shared by Chris Salvatore (@chrissalvatore) on

Salvatore also says Cook, who was diagnosed with leukemia a decade ago, wanted to enjoy a final Valentine’s Day with him. “I got her a bunch of candy, a big chocolate heart box and roses and I walked in the door and said, ‘Will you be my valentine?’ he says. “She just wanted to spend one last Valentine’s Day with me and I wanted her to feel very special in her final moments.”

Cook and Salvatore became friends after he moved into their apartment building four years ago. Their relationship was so strong that he also became her power of attorney and caretaker since she had no immediate family living near her.

Salvatore also says Cook’s last words to him were short, but powerful: “I love you.”

I hope this little update will bring some sunshine to your rainy day here in La. We are reaching the 2 month mark since my neighbor Norma has come home from the hospital and I am so happy to share that she is continuing to prove the doctors and nurses wrong by continuing to THRIVE! To prolong the remaining funds to prevent her from having to be moved into a county facility, Norma and I have decided to move her into my apartment across the hall where she now has her own beautiful room and bathroom! She loves it! I do most of my work at home so I am here most of the time to care for her so it only made sense to the both of us. She is my adopted grandmother and I am her grandson she never had. :) We will still have caregivers coming in to care for her as well as her weekly hospice visits from the nurses and doctors. I just wanted to let you all know Norma loves reading your comments and I seriously think all the support and love is keeping her healthy. Now who wants to come to dinner? #myneighbornorma… I mean #myroomatenorma

A post shared by Chris Salvatore (@chrissalvatore) on

Happy New Year from Norma and me. She rang in 2017 in style last night! #myneighbornorma

A post shared by Chris Salvatore (@chrissalvatore) on

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