It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In other words, when we’re separated from our loved ones, our affection and devotion are bound to intensify. The same was true for an elderly gentleman who paid daily visits to his wife, expressing his love from the other side of the glass. Sam and Shirley Kleiman were a charming couple from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, who married in 1950 and had never been apart. They built a beautiful life together over the years, reveling in marital bliss and embarking on the extraordinary journey of parenthood.
However, as is often the case, separation and love go hand in hand—there came a time when the Kleimans had to experience physical separation, despite knowing their hearts would always beat in unison. Check out their incredible story of love, patience, commitment, and reunion. Shirley required extensive care and treatment after suffering a stroke and was transferred to The Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre, a nursing facility for senior citizens. Sam found it difficult to be apart from his adoring wife, so he paid her frequent visits.
But when Sam finally saw his wife of 71 years, he was overjoyed and breathed a sigh of relief. Every morning after breakfast, he would stop by the care home and take Shirley for a walk. The couple would sometimes sit in a quiet place to talk, reflecting on their life together and envisioning a happy, prosperous future. The thoughtful husband occasionally took his wife for a ride around the neighborhood.
With Shirley as his navigator, Sam never worried about anything except hoping for her recovery with all his heart and soul. Despite being separated for three years, Mr. Kleiman was sustained by the precious little moments he spent with his wife. But everything changed for the world and Sam in 2020, when COVID-19 struck, putting people under lockdown and quarantine. The Winnipeg couple’s daily visits were also impacted as social distancing became the norm.
Following the implementation of the new safety measures, the assisted living facility restricted physical contact between residents and visitors. That was disappointing news for the Kleimans because Sam couldn’t take his wife for long walks or drives around the neighborhood anymore. In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Shirley’s nursing center began following the new protocols in March 2020. Even the “new normal” couldn’t keep the couple apart, as Sam was determined to find a way to continue his daily visits. So, after much deliberation, Sam drove to the assisted living facility in southwest Winnipeg, drew a chair near the window, and sat, waiting for his wife.
Shirley was wheeled out of her bedroom and brought close to where her husband stood on the other side of the glass. When Sam, 93, saw his beloved Shirley, he tapped on the window to draw her attention and blew tender kisses in her direction. The 92-year-old lady, who had difficulty speaking after her stroke, returned her husband’s loving gesture by blowing kisses in his direction.
Shirley was then given a phone by her nurse to listen to Sam’s voice, who affectionately told her, “Hello, sweetheart. Do you know how much I adore you?” Immediately, her face lit up, and her lips curved into his favorite smile, unable to say much after struggling with speech issues following her stroke. Even the nursing home staff couldn’t help but adore the couple and shared a touching Facebook post with their picture. “How can one image be both heartwarming and heartbreaking?
In any case (sic), these two lovebirds blowing kisses goodbye are to be envied! “Check out the caption. Even with a glass wall between them, Sam believed he wasn’t separated from his beloved wife because their marriage was based on love and trust. The Canadian man observed that any trust-based relationship was strong enough to overcome the odds. He continued:
Sam and Shirley faced numerous difficulties together, including the deaths of two of their three children. But their love, commitment, and devotion kept them going through it all, and they learned to confide in each other. The Kleimans were reunited in January 2022, after being separated for four years—a momentous occasion that the Simkins Center warmly celebrated. Shirley was placed in isolation after contracting COVID-19, according to nursing home staff, which meant her husband could no longer visit her.
But when Sam finally saw his wife of 71 years, he was overjoyed and breathed a sigh of relief. Shirley arrived in her wheelchair and met her husband after what seemed like an eternity to the couple. Their heartwarming reunion was captured in a tweet, which read: “My baba has been released from Covid protocol and reunited with my zaida. These two have been married for 71 years and are still going strong (sic).”