TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The threat of spreading coronavirus has forced some hospitals and care facilities to prevent interaction between patients and visitors.
It's a heartbreaking situation, and one that is reality for one Tallahassee couple.
Sarah and Thomas Jaye have been married for 64 years, and they haven't been able to embrace for two weeks.
Thomas has mixed dementia and is in a memory care facility in Tallahassee. Every day, Sarah visits him and the two talk through the window.
"I don't think you fall in love," Sarah Jaye said. "I think you grow in love."
"One day you look at this guy and you say, oh, he's pretty neat! The next day you say, boy he's really neat!"
Sarah and Thomas Jaye fell in love over six decades ago. They've been married 64 years, and it'll take more than coronavirus to break that bond.
"It's very hurtful not to be able to see Tom every once in a while," said Sarah. "Through the window is better than not at all."
Thomas has been in the memory care facility for the last year and a half. While he doesn't always understand why he can't hug his family, they've made it clear they're not going anywhere.
"The emotion you get from not being able to touch your partner behind the glass window is very hard," Thomas Jaye said. "Your good buddy is back there, you guys were inseparable."
While the situation is not ideal, it's what has to be done right now.
"You go on and you try to make the best," said Sarah. "You try to make it the best for your loved one. Tom does not need to worry about us and he doesn't need to feel our hurt. He has to know that we're okay and that everything's going to be okay."
"I would rather come, and have my dad come to the window to speak to me, and to know he is safe," said Grace Jaye, Thomas and Sarah's daughter. "You'll be together probably sooner than you think. This can't go on forever, as they say."
Together again, and just as they grown in love, this obstacle is another milestone in their journey.
"Tom is not the same person he was before he got sick, but I love him anyways because he is Tom," Sarah said. "In there, is Tom. When we're together again, we'll be happier because we'll realize we came through a terrible thing together."
A terrible thing that love has overcome.