A photo of an elderly man separated from his wife on their 67th wedding anniversary amid the coronavirus outbreak has the internet in tears.
In the picture, Bob Shellard is seen standing outside Nancy Shellard's nursing home window in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, holding a glittery homemade sign that reads, “I’ve loved you 67 years and still do. Happy Anniversary.”
Shellard spent a week perfecting the poster that is decorated with a big red heart. He also came bearing a bouquet of orange, yellow, pink and purple balloons.
Last Saturday marked the first time that the Shellards weren’t able to celebrate their March 14 anniversary in person. Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed an order that let the Department of Public Health restrict visitation at nursing home facilities.
“It makes me feel bad because I want her down with me and I know she can’t be,” Shellard told NBC affiliate WNBC in New York.
After an image of Shellard clutching his placard was shared on Twitter, it quickly went viral with over 52,000 retweets. Some people compared him to Lloyd Dobler (played by John Cusack) who stood outside Diane Court’s window with a boombox in the 1989 romantic comedy “Say Anything.”
Many admitted they were in tears.
"Excuse me while i SOB," wrote one person.
"I am bawling," added another commenter.
The couple's daughter Laura Mikolajczak said her dad visited her mother every day up until the COVID-19 precautions went into effect last week.
"They have always been an inspiration to us," she said. "There's just a sweetness to the two of them and what they share."