ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — When nursing homes in New York stopped visitations because of the pandemic, a couple married for 62 years went from seeing each other every day to visiting through a window.
But after more than a year apart, Bob and Lauren Barber finally reunited this past weekend. Their granddaughter Alicia said although Lauren has Alzheimer’s, she seemed to recognize them.
“On that day, she knew who she was looking at for sure. She was so happy to see him. I just love the look in their eyes,” Alicia said.
Married for 62 years, Lauren and Robert could only visit through the window of Lauren’s assisted living facility for month after month due to pandemic policies put in place in New York.
Robert would visit almost every day, Alicia said, regardless of the weather. Then a video their granddaughter captured of one of their emotional visits in late March got millions of views on TikTok.
Alicia said the comments people left on that video gave her hope that her grandparent’s love story made an impact on people’s decisions to stay socially distant so her they can once again hold each other.
“He went yesterday and, I think it had rained or snowed the day before, and he was standing under the window and there was water falling on him,” Alicia said at the time. “My aunt had to come over and come get an umbrella.”
Months later, Alicia said the video of their emotional reunion is another reminder of the power of love.
“Gives some hope and light in what has been a grim year,” she said.