"I care for her. I love her, but I can't be with her, and that's hard. She's the love of my life," said Karl.
The coronavirus pandemic is not just a health crisis as its aftermath has been much more than just the fear of being infected by the virus. Rather, it has affected people emotionally, mentally, and financially. Above all, it separated loved ones from each other and left them in pain.
Karl Waitschies and his wife Donna are victims of the latter. For over a year, the couple could not touch each other or stand next to each other. Fortunately, their misery came to an end recently.
According to People, Karl drove to his see his wife Dona at the Belleview Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care in Aurora, Colorado, three times a week. However, his 10-mile drives did not fulfill his desire to sit by her and hold her in his arms. Instead, he was forced to talk to her via phone with a window separating them.
Karl had no choice as the facility had stopped allowing visitors inside. So the couple, married for 55 years, could only see each other from a distance since the beginning of the pandemic.
"I care for her. I love her, but I can't be with her, and that's hard. She's the love of my life," said the elderly man. He added, "We know they won't be with us much longer. People are ill. They're elderly, and we want to be with them to help them through this stage."
With every visit, Karl promised his wife suffering from Alzheimer's disease that he was always by her side. "I'm here for you, honey." Fortunately, after a year of being unable to hold his dear wife, Karl finally got the chance to embrace her in March 2021.
It came after the facility opened its doors to visitors following a notice from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Karl was filled with joy when he walked into the facility to meet the love of his life. His face displayed his happiness. "I get to see her," said the elderly man joyfully.
When Karl finally met Dona, he hugged her and held her hand throughout the 30-minute visitation time. Additionally, he sang to her and reassured her.
Though he is incredibly grateful to have seen her after a long time, he referred to the moment as "bittersweet" as he could see how her health had deteriorated.
"I'm glad I finally got to see her, but it's just really hard," said the elderly man.
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