Devoted widower to rejoin wife - on left

Julita and Rocky Abalsamo.
Julita and Rocky Abalsamo.

A man who sat at his wife's grave for almost 20 years through storms, heatwaves and howling winds from dawn to dusk has died.

Rocky Abalsamo will now be reunited with his beloved wife, Julita, who died in 1993 after 45 years of marriage. He will be buried on her left, the side he walked alongside her when she was alive, the Boston Globe reported.

He only left Julita's grave site when St Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury, Boston, was closed. Then he would sprinkle crumbs across the plot so chipmunks would keep her company when he could not.

Rocky, who was 97 when he died, rose to prominence in 1990 when his vigil became known.

"She is part of me, so here I am whole," he then told the Boston Globe.

"Being here makes me feel better. Not good, but better. I do it for Julita, and for myself."

He sat beside his wife's grave in a blue beach chair, calling out, "I am here", when he sat down.

On her birthday each year he would toast her with a glass of cider.

Every night he left, Rocky would rub his finger on her name on the red granite stone. The ritual left an indelible mark.

He always carried a photograph of his wife. On the back of the image, Julita had written: "Today the sky smiles to me. I see you. You look at me. Today I believe in God. With all my love, Julita."

The couple met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1937 and married a year later. They followed their children to the US in 1971, moving to Boston in 1972.

As Rocky's story became widely known, he began to receive visitors at the grave, would bring him meals and gifts.

- Herald on Sunday

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