Nick Avtges, 88, lives in Watertown, Massachusetts. For the past year, his sweetheart Marion Avtges, 85, has stayed at the Maristhill Nursing & Rehab Center. They've been married 61 years, and Nick went to see her every day after breakfast, staying all day, until the pandemic caused the Rehab Center to stop allowing visitors. Separation took an emotional toll on Nick, so his family parked a truck with a bucket lift outside Maraisthill. With approval from the nursing home, they strapped their father into the sanitized bucket and hoisted him three stories up to the window where his wife was waiting on the other side.
Family members gathered outside the nursing home to watch the couple reunite for the first time in weeks. Nick said, "They could have lifted me ten stories and it would not have bothered me as long as I got to see her." Once he reached the window, Marion playfully scolded her longtime husband, telling him, "That's dangerous. Be careful. Don't fall." They talked for about 20 minutes. Then Nick showed her a sign he'd made that said "I love you, sweetheart." She replied, "I love you too. More than you know."