Spouses vow to stick with each other through thick and thin, and that is a promise Dennis Cockrell strives to fulfill every single day. As a husband to his wife, Diana, all he wanted to do was support her through her chemotherapy sessions at the treatment center. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the way we live our lives has dramatically changed.
We are to stay at home, go out only when necessary, and wear protective equipment when we leave our houses. Once we’re out, we can’t even interact with other people the way we used to as we have to maintain a certain level of distance from each other. It’s quite sad, but this is our new normal until scientists discover a cure for the virus.
Since we’re living in different times, we must come up with creative ways to go about doing our regular tasks. As for Diana, a breast cancer patient at Bon Secours St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center in Greenville, South Carolina, her husband, Dennis, had always been by her side during her chemo sessions.
This time, however, she had to go in alone for her third round of chemo because of the temporary visitor restrictions implemented due to COVID-19.
“Only patients were allowed in which was tough because I didn’t want her to feel alone,” Dennis said. “But it’s the day we live in and I just tried to make the best of it.”
Dennis and their kids, Kate, Carly, and Collier, were heartbroken that they can’t be with their mom to show moral support. So, they came up with another way to make the most important woman in their life feel their love.
“She texted me she was in a windowed room in front of a grassy clearing so I knew she could see outside,” Dennis said. “I thought I could sit in a lawn chair out there and we could still see each other.”
The Cockrell children helped their dad level up his sweet surprise. The three made signs for him that read “IM HERE & I [HEART] U.” After setting it up, Dennis texted Diana and asked her to look out her window.
“All the sudden I didn’t feel so alone in the hospital room by myself,” Diana said of her reaction to the gesture. “It was such a pleasant surprise; he’s been the most wonderful supporter and he’s made it all very bearable.”
Dennis and Diana, who live in Greenville, have been married for 23 years. Diana was first diagnosed with cancer in December 2019.
“He’s seen me at my very worst but he’s always shown me invincible love,” Diana said of her husband’s unwavering dedication.
A few of the nurses who saw Dennis’ set up outside thought the love notes shouldn’t end there. So, they helped Diana respond and created signs that spelled out “I [HEART] U, “then taped the romantic message to the room’s window.
Since he can’t be with his wife physically, Dennis felt that the tribute was the next best thing he could do.
“There is a feeling of being with someone that can’t be replaced,” he said. “This felt more like being in the room with her than a FaceTime somehow so it was something I had to do.”
He also said that “it was a good day.”
It’s always a good day when romance abounds. Dennis’ display of love is the perfect example of how spouses can make their partners’ lives better even in simple ways. Some men think they have to perform grand gestures to impress their wives, but sometimes, all it takes is one simple act to sweep them off their feet.