Harry and Anna Norman from Newark, Ohio, were married for 72 years. On October 2, 96-year-old Harry, a World War II veteran, died of pneumonia at 11:30 p.m. Both of them were staying at Arlington Care Center, and Anna asked to have her bed pushed beside her husband’s so that she could hold his hand.
Misty Decker, a nurse’s aide, said that Anna wanted to sleep holding her husband. According to Newark Advocate, Anna, 97, was not seriously ill, and was holding up well after learning the death of Harry.
“After she insisted her family go home, she was telling me memories about him, and she was fine, and said she’d rest. She didn’t appear upset. She talked about him and couldn’t believe he had left.”
However, about five hours after Harry’s death, the call light for Anna’s room came on. Decker responded and held Anna’s hand who was responsive right until she died at 5:30 a.m., six hours after Harry died.
Toni Pimental, another nurse’s aide in the center, said that Anna was the stronger one of the couple, but she might not have been ready to live another day without Harry. Pimental believes that Anna died of a broken heart.
“She was his strength, and he was her strength. They were each other’s strengths, and when that broke, everything broke, including her heart. If you don’t believe in true love, by gosh, you would after you met them.”
Pimental said that Anna was someone to be missed. She prayed the rosary everyday, and told them stories about her life with Harry. She even joked with the staff at the center, and talked to everyone who needed someone to listen to them.
Shella Nixon, Harry and Anna’s granddaughter, said that her grandfather “needed her [Anna] up there” more than they did.
According to a story told by Anna, she wasn’t particularly impressed by Harry when they met. Through the years, Harry grew on Anna, and they eventually married in 1942 in Savannah, Georgia, where Harry was stationed for the Army Air Corps.
In another story reported by The Inquisitr, a couple from Brazil who was married for 65 years died 40 minutes apart.
Anna gave life to the people who worked and resided in the Arlington Care Center. She will not only be missed by her family, but by the people whose lives she touched.
“The loss of a patient has never broken my heart like this,” said Decker.
[Image via Newark Advocate]