With everyone isolating themselves in the U.S. hoping to stop the spread of COVID-19, Kline urged people to reach out to their elder relatives be it through a window screen or computer screen.
Alabama issued a statewide order restricting visitations at nursing homes and extended-care facilities to control the spread of infection among the elderly, who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. But this limitation did not stop an 80-year-old man from meeting his beloved wife every day. Prior to the new measures, John Kline would spend his day at Troy University, where he is a distinguished professor of leadership. Then he would head towards John Knox Manor Nursing Home in the late afternoon, to spend a few hours with his partner, Ann, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 17 years ago. Kline would share dinner and a goodnight kiss with his "sweet Ann" and wait until his wife of 45 years fell asleep before traveling home to Montgomery.
Due to the current limitations, the pair have been forced to separate but Kline was determined not to let his wife forget who he is during this crisis. So, he came up with a solution that respected the restriction and allowed him to continue his daily routine without any interruption. He stops by her window each day and serenades her from the other side of the glass. When an employee at the Montgomery nursing home witnessed this sweet exchange, she recorded a heartwarming video of the two singing together. The footage was shared on Facebook by Kline where he can be seen singing alongside his wife through a window screen. The touching video tugged at the viewer's hearts and immediately went viral.
Through a Pane -- not a Pain. No visitors to John Knox Manor Nursing Home. Not my best singing -- so you probably won't want to listen. I cut it off at 45 seconds. I love my Sweet Ann and look forward to spending eternity with her. God bless you for even looking -- and if you listened, well that was because you wanted to hear Ann, wrote Kline, uploading the video which has since been viewed 69,000 times. Speaking to the Montgomery Advertiser on Friday, Kline expressed his immeasurable love for Ann.
"I've always said how much I love her, 'til death do us part,'" said Kline. "But I'm trying to make the statement that no matter what happens, there's no reason to give up on love. If she gets where she doesn't know me, I will still go see her, because I will still know her." In the clip, Kline can be heard beautifully singing "Amazing Grace" as his wife sings along with him. Now, Kline spends about 15 minutes every day outside his wife's window singing church hymns like "Jesus Loves Me," and songs from the 1950s to help her remember the times they have spent together, reports Fox News. "He doesn’t want her to forget him, and it’s very important for him to be here singing so she doesn’t lose her ability to do that," said Terri Howell, John Knox administrator.
Kline expressed his surprise at the overwhelming response to his video, adding how he understands that everyone needs human connections, especially the elderly. Explaining why he meets his wife daily, Kline pointed at decades of research that shows the benefits of human connectivity for people from all age groups. Kline, who is a consummate teacher, also shared how younger people can learn about their own aging from elder generations. With everyone isolating themselves in the U.S. hoping to stop the spread of COVID-19, Kline is urging people to reach out to their elder relatives be it through a window screen or computer screen. "If they can use technology, use a cell phone. Call them, they have an old land line," said Kline. "If they have an iPhone, Facetime them. I want people to know to stay in contact. They let me do it every day, and most people can't go every day, I understand that. But you can stay in touch even if you can't get to people."