LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The love story of Bob and Rebecca Parish began late in life.
They married in 2003 while in their early seventies. Nearly two decades later, their story continues, even if the pandemic has changed it in some ways.
“It turned our world upside-down,” said Bob Parish.
In 2019, Rebecca moved into long term care facility Sayre Christian Village as she grappled with dementia.
Bob visited her every day for hours at a time. Then, COVID-19 hit.
“It was a big shock to everybody that all of a sudden we’re on lockdown. We’re not going to get to see her,” Bob Parish said.
In lieu of being able to see her in-person, Bob began writing Rebecca love letters.
“I started twice a week sending one mail card that I mailed to her and then I sent one e-card,” he said. “I just would send her little notes mostly to keep her spirits up, to let her know somebody was in contact with her, cared about her, and that it was important she takes care of herself and be strong.”
Parish writes to his ‘pretty lady’ at least twice a week.
“I was just doing what I thought I needed to be doing to put a little bit of happiness in Becky’s life,” he said.
Leadership at Sayre Christian Village took notice of the love shared between the couple and dedicated specially designed e-cards to them. The ‘Love, Bob’ limited edition set can be found here.
For Christmas, Rebecca received a book filled with the letters her husband had written to her over the months. The cover is titled, ‘My Rebecca.’
However, the real gift will come on the day they can reunite, according to Parish.
“That’s why as soon as they say we can all get vaccinated, I’m on my way to get vaccinated,” he said. “She may have a hard time recognizing me now because I’ve had a haircut since she saw me last.”
Kentucky long-term care facilities began vaccinating its first residents and staff before Christmas. Sayre Christian Village’s first residents received the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 30.
But until the day when the pandemic is under control and in-person visits can resume at Sayre Christian Village, Parish says he’ll continue writing to his ‘sweetheart’ to remind her just how much he loves and misses her.