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Love & passion spark Life mystery, not data, nor lab: singing nun rocks; couples married for decades die minutes apart

By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 23 March 2014

a singing nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia, got all four judges to turn their chairs

Sister Scuccia Sings Alicia Keyes Song on The Voice

Sister Cristina Scuccia would like to meet Pope Francis

*update*17 Apr 2014: Italian singing nun back for encore

Florida couple who spent 45 years together died within minutes of each other

elderly couple die hours apart holding hands after 60-year vow that he’d never leave her

the two were nearly always together and died just 88 minutes apart

married 6 decades, couple dies minutes apart


A Nun Brought Down the House on Italian Version of 'The Voice'
We are fans of NBC's "The Voice" here at Trending Now. The interplay between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton is great, and they bring in some great talent. But after seeing one performance on Italy's version of the show, we feel as if we're missing out on something. That something is Sister Cristina Scuccia. Yes, sister. She's a nun from the Ursuline Sister of the Holy Family, and she sure can belt it out. On "The Voice of Italy," she performed a passionate, full-throated rendition of Alicia Keys's "No One" that kind of puts even Keys's version to shame.

As Sister Cristina sang , fellow sisters watched and cheered from backstage. All four of the "Voice" judges almost immediately hit their buttons, and when their chairs turned, the looks on their faces were priceless. After all, it's not often that a nun is a contestant on a singing show and — more incredible — that she is so good. Shortly after her performance, the term #suorcristina, or "Sister Cristina" in Italian, was trending on Twitter. One of the show's judges, Italian rapper J-Ax, told the woman, "If I had found you at mass, I would always be in church."

To top it off, when asked what she thought the Vatican might think of her performance, she mentioned that she would like to meet Pope Francis. We really hope there might be a duet in the works.

45 years romance, dedicated love, love of nature,
death won't separate them

A Florida couple who spent 45 years together died within minutes of each other on Saturday.

Naomi Shirley of Southwest Ranches, Fla., was on her way to visit her husband, Tom, in the hospital when she suffered a heart attack.

According to the couple's children, Tom Shirley, hospitalized with heart problems earlier Saturday, died shortly before his wife.

"Dad didn't know that she had passed, and she didn't know that he had passed," Troy Shirley, one of the couple's three sons, told the Sun Sentinel. "I don't understand it, but it's beautiful."

"He never knew she left and she never knew he was gone, but both left within 10 to 12 minutes of each other," Melanie Davis, the couple's daughter, told CBS Miami.

“You have to look at it in a romantic way," Troy said. "They did everything together."

Tom Shirley, a retired game warden for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was 83. Born in Texas, Tom moved to Florida when he was 3.

"He fell in love with the Everglades," Troy Shirley said. He wrote a book, “Everglades Patrol," about his experiences preserving wildlife.

"He lived to protect the Everglades," another son, Tommy Shirley, said. "He kind of molded us into what he did and we passed that on to our kids as well."

Naomi Shirley, a retired nurse, was 75.

“My mother loved fishing and the outdoors life and he was a game warden and that’s what attracted them to each other," Tommy Shirley said. "They both liked the same things."

The couple are survived by four children and eight grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the Shirley family is requesting donations be made to the Florida Wildlife Federation.

Stories of elderly couples dying in close succession are not unusual. In 2012, a Pennsylvania couple together for 65 years died just 88 minutes apart. The same year, a Florida couple who had been together for over six decades died within minutes of each other.

And just last month, an upstate New York couple — Floreen Hale, 82, and Ed Hale, 83 — died 36 hours apart, the Daily News reported. The pair, who had been in separate hospitals, were reunited so they could hold hands in their final hours.

'I love you, I will see you real soon': Couple married for 65 years dies 88 minutes apart
True soul mates, they were so inseparable in life that not even death could keep them apart.

A Pennsylvania couple who were married for 65 years died within an hour and a half of each other on Monday.

Marjorie Landis, 87, died at the Laurelwood Care Center near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, following a long illness. Her 89-year-old husband, James Landis, died of a heart attack just 88 minutes later.

Soul mates: People who knew James and Marjorie Landis of Westmont said the two were nearly always together and died just 88 minutes apart

The couple's granddaughter, Erin Miller, told the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown that the last thing her grandfather said to her grandmother was: 'It's OK. I love you. We had many good years together. I will see you real soon.'

The couple met at a dance in Johnstown when they were both with other people.

But they eventually paired off and got married in 1946 becoming almost instantly inseparable.

The celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in September.

Mrs Miller said of her grandfather, a former Air Force pilot: 'I just think he died of a broken heart. I don't think they could have lived apart from each other.'

When she was looking for photographs of the pair for their funeral, she said it was hard to find any of them apart as they were always together.

According to the Tribune Democrat, the couple started their married life in Pittsburgh, where James Landis attended Pitt following his military service.

He earned a degree in engineering and eventually went to work for Bethlehem Steel while she stayed at home and looked after their two children Gary and Gail.

The couple's case is not uncommon.

In January, Richard and Nancy Trimmer, also from Pennsylvania, died within 12 hours of each other.

Both are reminiscent of the 2004 film, The Notebook, which tells the story of an epic romance which ends when the couple dies at the same time after decades of a happy marriage.

A study published in 2007 by researchers at the University of Glasgow found that bereaved widows or widowers were at least 30 per cent more likely to die within the first six months of their partner's death than those of the same age who hadn't lost a spouse.

Some experts say that after being with someone for such a long period of time, especially after sleeping next to each other, one person's heartbeat can affect and regulate another person's.

Married 6 decades, couple dies minutes apart
"They weren't really happy if they weren't together. They were in love. They were in love."

That's how the children of Doyle and Mildred Martin remember their parents relationship.

They spent 62 years together, until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Doyle, who was in a nursing home because of a recent stroke, was not doing well.

"We got the call from hospice that daddy probably was not going to make it through the night," says daughter Rhonda Moore.

The family loaded Mildred in the car and raced to the nursing home to see her husband.

After saying her goodbyes, Mildred immediately fell ill.

She was rushed to a hospital.

The family thought it was the stress of the moment, but it turned out to be much more.

Mildred suffered a massive aneurism and died.

Just minutes later her husband of 60 years passed away at the nursing home.

"They pronounced her dead at 5:30 my dad at 5:40," Moore says. "She knew that Daddy was not going to make it and she was not going to make him hang on anymore, but on the other hand, Daddy was saying, I'm not going 'til you go. It was spiritual. It was spiritual."

The family laid the couple to rest in a double coffin, just like they lived their married life for six decades, side by side.

"They were married 62 years. They left together and everything they did in life was together. It didn't make any difference if Dad was at home or at work, or Mom was at home, they were in it together," says son Kendle Martin.

Elderly New York couple die hours apart holding hands after 60-year vow that he’d never leave her
Floreen Hale, 82, and husband Ed Hale, of Batavia, died 36 hours apart in a love story that nearly ended with Ed breaking the promise when they were hospitalized miles away and hours from death.

Edward Hale and his wife Floreen Hale comfort each other after being reunited at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, New York on Feb. 6. Twenty minutes after Ed arrived, Floreen died.

He promised that he'd never leave her, even as he lay dying.

An 83-year-old man fulfilled his promise to his beloved wife of 60 years when they died just hours apart while holding hands in an upstate New York hospital earlier this month.

Floreen Hale, 82, and husband Ed Hale, of Batavia, died 36 hours apart in a one-of-a-kind love story that nearly ended with a broken promise when they were hospitalized miles apart on their deathbeds.

"He said, 'no, I promise to take care of her for the rest of my life and if I have to carry her forever, I will," the couple's daughter Renee Hirsh told the Daily News of his vow. "He stayed committed to that to his last dying breath."

It was 1952 that the couple first locked eyes at a county dance, a moment that they'd describe to their children as love at first sight.

Floreen was celebrating with her friends for the first time since surviving a head-on collision while driving with her then-husband of six months, who was tragically killed, as Orleans Hub first reported.

Doctors erroneously told her she'd never walk again and would need someone always there caring for her.

So when Ed Hale went to get permission from Floreen's parents to marry her, "They said 'absolutely not,'" said Hirsh. "'She's going to need someone to take care of her for the rest of her life.'"

Ed promised to be that man. Before he left their home, they accepted his proposal.

It was 1952 that the Batavia couple first locked eyes at a county dance, a moment that they'd describe to their children as love at first sight.

Their life was from then on a fairy tale romance in which they were never apart. Ed would be called a "saint" by friends and family who knew of the constant doting he did on his wife.

That all nearly changed on Jan. 31, however, when he was hospitalized for a leg injury that within days had grown gravely worse. Come the following Monday, he was moved to a Rochester hospital where doctors expected him to die.

There he asked to see his wife, not knowing that on Tuesday Floreen had been hospitalized in Batavia for congestive heart failure. After deteriorating health, she too was only given hours to live.

"(Ed) said, 'I need to see your mother, I need to talk to your mother,'" Hirsh said. "He probably realized 'I'm dying, I'm here. I need to see her.'"

They married on May 12, 1953 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Albion. Hale's request to marry Floreen was first shot down by her parents. After he promised to take care of her forever, they approved.

"It was the worst day of my life," Hirsh acutely summed it up.

Meanwhile, nurses at her father's hospital were calling her, begging her to come to his side, saying, "He's asking for his family."

That's when hospice got involved and pulled off a truly incredible act that depended on Ed, a man lying on his deathbed, to suddenly improve. They suggested transporting him to his wife's bedside at United Methodist Medical Center.

Just before 5 a.m. Thursday they called Hirsh saying, "we're going to do everything we can to help this situation," she recalled them saying.

By 11:30 a.m., Hirsh said her father's condition was not stable, but he did rebound. It was just enough of an improvement to give the go-ahead for an ambulance to whisk him away.

At United Methodist, where two beds were put together in Floreen's room, she didn't completely understand or at least believe what was going on.

"She thought that maybe he had already died," said her daughter.

Then her loyal husband rolled into the room.

"(Floreen) just said, 'Edward, don't ever leave me again,'" Hirsh said.

Her father was in pain and barely breathing at this point, she described.

"He said, 'How long do you have?'" Hirsh said.

"He said, 'I just can't do this anymore. I love you so much,'" said Hirsh who stayed in the room.

'My dad was a saint, my dad cared for her her entire life,' the couple's daughter, Renee Hirsh told the Daily News. 'He was a gentleman to the dying breath.'

"I said to my father, 'Daddy, it's OK you can go to heaven, mom's here with you,'" she said. He refused. "He said, 'No, not yet.' He kept looking over at her saying, 'No.'"

The couple held hands between their beds, and within minutes, Floreen died.

Hirsh said doctors and nurses had equally gathered to watch the couple whose bodies were said to be in complete synch on the medical charts.

In addition to this astonishing anomaly, Ed was reported as breathing only two breaths per minute. It was said to be just short of a medical record.

After a phone call from Hirsh's son who was unable to make it from Hawaii, and a visit from his last surviving sister, Ed died.

"My dad was a saint, my dad cared for her her entire life," said Hirsh. "He was a gentleman to the dying breath."

A joint funeral was held for the couple that Thursday, on the eve of Valentine's Day, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Batavia.

After the service friends and family celebrated the couple's lives at Albion's Tillman Village Inn, where they held their wedding reception in May 1953.

"It's an amazing love story," said Hirsh of a story whose full magnitude she didn't realize until it was over. "We're kind of feeling very privileged that it's touched so many hearts."

Heartbreaking final goodbye between giraffe and zoo worker with cancer
He got one last kiss for the road.

After a 54-year-old zoo worker from the Netherlands discovered he had terminal cancer, he wanted to say goodbye to the zoo's giraffes, some of his closest friends.

A charity arranged for the man, known only as Mario, to visit the giraffes, whom he'd looked after his entire adult life, according to the Ambulance Wish Foundation.

Their reunion is incredibly touching. In a photo that made waves across the Web, Mario lies in a hospital bed, wrapped in blankets, while a giraffe leans over and plants a nice big lick on his face.

Kees Veldboer, founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation, said the animals seemed to recognize Mario, according to KRON.

The foundation, a kind of "Make a Wish" for adults in the Netherlands, specializes in taking terminally ill patients to places they love or have always wanted to see. Ambulances in the foundation's fleet have been outfitted with extra large windows so that bed-bound passengers can take in the view while out on adventures, the Daily Mail reports.


2014.04.19 Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apartHelen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart, the Zanesville Times Recorder reported.

Relatives told the Zanesville Times Recorder that after a few years of dating the young couple snuck off to a court house in Kentucky to elope with $5 in their pocket, enough to pay the $2 marriage fee. The Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.


Photos courtesy of The Voice of Italy, CBS, NY Daily News / Kyle Hirsh, Mail Online, NBC, and Yahoo

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