The early days of COVID-19 were hard for almost everyone. So imagine spending that time unexpectedly separated from the person you love most.
KX News sat down with a couple who finally reunited after over a month apart.
This is the story of Orlin and his wife, Doris.
“My brother-in-law worked at Larson Motor and I went down to see Chuck first and he said “Hey, you better go up to the house and meet our new baby sitter,” I said, well I guess I can do that, so I went up and there she was and that was the beginning of our 63-year marriage,” Orlin Kirby said.
The two are almost inseparable. They almost never spent a day apart, until recently, when Orlin got sick.
“He had to have his toe amputated and it got infected and they had to take some more off and then he ended up in Minot, and that’s when the virus started,” Doris Kirby said.
Orlin was admitted to Bethel Lutheran Nursing & Rehabilitation Center until he was fully healed, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, he and his wife were separated.
“I just spent 46 tough days in Bethel Home and there again it was a tough 46 days because she was never in the room with me,” Orlin said.
Their only communication was through a window.
“The communication through the window, what was that like?”
“It was hard” Doris responded.
Doris says they tried other methods of communication as well.
“I know how to use my phone pretty good, but he has a hard time with it so we spent a lot of time saying, ‘Don’t push that button, don’t press this button, no, no, no,’ but we finally figured it out, but it isn’t like visiting in person,” Doris said.
Orlin says that being quarantined that long, alone, wasn’t the best, but the efforts from his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still finding ways to communicate made his stay a little easier.
“A lot of people there don’t have a family here or probably don’t even have a family so I know it feels like a lonely time there,” Orlin said
Orlin and Doris are now, once again, inseparable and Doris says she’s learned a lot through all this.
“I guess you just learn to appreciate each other a lot more because they’re always around and then all of a sudden they’re gone, it’s kind of lonely,” Doris said.
The two say their next plan is to go on a cruise together in the near future.