VIDEO: Background on the viral photo of man teaching his girlfriend to read again


Matthew Ballestero shared the above photo with reddit two weeks ago with this beautiful explanation:

I was sitting next to this couple at Starbucks this morning, this man John was teaching Linda the alphabet. He told us that she lost her memory and was re-learning how to read. Patience, love, and understanding at it’s finest.

This heartwarming story struck a chord with the reddit community, and soon the photo and story became a viral sensation. The Today Show caught on, and sent a crew out to interview and learn more about this couple, and it turns out they are just as sweet, lovely and strong as they appear to be in the photo, possibly more so.

Five years ago 70-year-old Linda Alexander suffered a stroke and had severe brain damage, leaving her unable to do many things. She’s since slowly progressed and made huge improvements with the help of her long-time boyfriend John Allen. “For a while, I couldn’t even talk – except to say, ‘I love you,” Linda explained.

Every day they have a routine where they go to Starbucks and get coffee and work on the alphabet using flashcards. They also go to the gym three days a week so Linda can work towards getting better functionality to her right side, which is still partially paralyzed. They also share a romantic lunch with each other every day.

The love Linda and John share just radiates from them through the screen, and Linda’s attitude about her situation is truly inspiring. She is determined to someday read again, and possibly even drive, but she’s not letting her current limitations make her bitter. She’s working towards goals every day, while enjoying her life as it is now. No matter what our circumstances are, that sounds like the perfect way to approach life.

Linda: “I’m still enjoying my life, you know? I’m not sad. I’m not angry.”

Watch the video:

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