A Husband So Devoted To His Wife, He Spent 20 Years Sitting At Her Grave
97-year-old Rocky Abalsamo will never have to leave his wife again
When Rocky Abalsamo's wife died in 1993, part of him died too.
Out of sadness and longing, he would hold vigil by her grave site at St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury all day, every day, rarely eating or drinking and weathering all temperatures and conditions.
Now, over 20 years after his beautiful Julia 'Julita' passed away, Rocky 'Roque' continues to sit next to his beloved, after being buried in the plot next to her.boston.com
Rocky died on Janaury 22 at Stonehedge Health Care Center in West Roxbury after several months of declining health, reports The Boston Globe.
He was 97.
Rocky became something of a celebrity in 2000 after The Boston Globe ran a story about his unwavering devotion to his late wife
The story was picked up by media outlets all over the world.
The attention amused Rocky, but all he wanted was to remain close to his wife.
The love of Rocky's life: Julita Abalsamo died from complications with heart surgery in 1993
The pair met as teenagers in a cafe in their native Buenos Aires.dailymail.co.uk
Rocky was sitting with his back to Julita when he overheard her talking with friends 'about the soul, about life, goodness,' Rocky said in the 2000 interview.boston.com
Even before seeing her face, he decided: 'This is for me. I must know her.'
'She was pure love,' he said.
'Her beauty was a gift apart, a reward.'
They shared a first kiss on September 16, 1937 - a date Rocky - celebrated annually - and married the following April
They had a daughter, Angela, and a son, Roque Jr.
In 1971 the followed their children to the United States and settled in Boston a year later.
Rocky and Julita had been married for 55 years when she died of complications after heart surgery in 1993 . Distraught, he began spending his days at St. Joseph Cemetery.boston.com
Rocky went to the cemetery when it opened and would leave at closing. He rarely ate during the visits, mostly out of respect but also so he didn't need a bathroom
In 2000, at age 84, he said he had spent the seven years since his wife's death keeping vigil, arriving when the cemetery opened and heading home when it closed.dailymail.co.uk
'She is part of me, so here I am whole,' he said previously.
'Being here makes me feel better. Not good, but better. I do it for Julita, and for myself.'
Each morning he would greet Julia - 'I am here!' - unfold his blue chair and unpack the belongings he would bring with him, such as photos and other tokens.cafemom.com
At night he would pray and sprinkle crumbs on the grave so that chipmunks would keep her company after he leaves.dailymail.co.uk
Over time, what began as a personal act of mourning touched dozens of others who came to the cemetery.
People would bring meals, boots, hats, and scarves, and they decorated Julita’s grave with plants, ceramic angels, flags, and stuffed animals.
He told them stories and shared his wisdom about life and love.
Abalsamo's daughter, Angela Arai, told the Boston Globe her father will be buried to his wife's left-hand side in accordance with his final wishes
"The most special thing about my father was that he lived his life his way," Arai said.
"He lived one day at a time and enjoyed that day without preoccupations for tomorrow."msn.co.nz
Now, after 20 years of waiting, Abalsamo and his love are side by side for eternity.people.com