CHICO, Calif. - A coronavirus and a happy story of a couple who have seen their share of struggle.
Joun and Fred Cox, married for nearly seven decades, have spent the last several months apart.
First, they lost their home in the Camp Fire.
Then late last year, they were forced to separate when they both came down with Covid-19.
Both hospitalized, they decided it would be the perfect time to renovate their new Chico home.
But that dragged on and they wound up in separate assisted living facilities.
Their long and painful wait to be together again ended Friday in a tear-filled reunion.
Before heading back home, they were anxious to see each other.
"The only people I have really seen in all of this is Sharmayne, my daughter,” Joun wept. “If it wouldn't have been for her, I wouldn't have seen anybody."
"Nobody knows the love affair that we have,” Fred said tearfully. “I met her when she was 13 years old. I have a hard time even thinking about it because it tears me up."
Tears filled their eyes as this was the longest they have ever been apart.
Fred continued, “I'd call her up like we were young kids again and I'd talk love talk to her and she'd talk love talk to me. We don't ever want to be separated. We don't want to die because we'd be separated."
And, as Fred said, their love kept them connected throughout such an uncertain time.
He said with a smile, "You know, no matter how old we get, I'll never forget the love that I have for her."