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‘Testament to true love’ | Houston couple reunited after coronavirus kept them apart

When 89-year-old Mickie Hawthorne became seriously ill with COVID-19, family members made the difficult decision to move her away from her 92-year-old husband.
Credit: Vinny Chiara
Bob and Mickie Hawthorne have been married for 68 years, so it was heartbreaking when COVID-19 forced them to separate for a few weeks.

HOUSTON — Bob and Mickie Hawthorne have been married for 68 years, so it was heartbreaking when COVID-19 recently forced them to separate for a few weeks.

When Mickie, 89, began showing serious symptoms last month, including fever, a dry cough and lethargy, family members made the difficult decision to move her to Galveston Bay so relatives could care for her.

Bob, 92, stayed behind in their Houston home so he wouldn’t be exposed to the virus.

The couple’s daughter drove him to Galveston several times a week so they could see each other through a window. When Mickie was up to it, she sat in a vehicle with the window rolled down and chatted with her husband who was in a nearby lawn chair.

“Although Grandma was severely ill, just those 15-minute conversations were enough to sustain them through the battle,” grandson Vinny Chiara said. “God, no doubt, was working through the entire situation and everyone involved.”

Bob and Mickie are lifelong Houstonians who once owned a small grocery store near downtown. Bob is a Korean War veteran, but family members said his time apart from his beloved wife was the most difficult thing he’s ever faced.

“What my grandparents have been through over the last 30 days is a testament to true love and their faith in God,” Chiara said.

The lovebirds were reunited on Friday after Mickie tested negative for COVID-19.

Credit: Vinny Chiara
Bob and Mickie Hawthorne have been married for 68 years, so it was heartbreaking when COVID-19 forced them to separate for a few weeks.

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