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Although it wasn't the Valentine's Day they expected, Lowell and Jackie Robinson will call it a date at IU Health Bloomington this lover's holiday. Lowell, 86, is recovering from COVID pneumonia. He's been in the hospital for seven weeks, with Jackie by his side every day.
"They cannot get his oxygen to stay up, so they're working on it," says Jackie.
Lowell and Jackie have been married for 55 years and live on a farm in Freedom, Indiana. Every day since Lowell has been in the hospital, Jackie gets up, feeds their cats, takes care of things around the farm, then makes the over 40-minute drive to Bloomington to spend time with Lowell. At 85, her days are very busy.
"I leave here around 6 or 7 pm and then get stuff done at home then come back for five or six hours every day," she says. "It's just what you do when you love someone."
Lowell says, "You already know it, but Jackie is amazing."
The two fell in love when they were neighbors in Indianapolis. They got married in 1967. Lowell had six children from a previous marriage, and Jackie had five.
Jackie would tell you her husband is late for everything. On their wedding day, she thought he stood her up!
"Yeah, he was late as usual," she says. "He was two and a half hours late."
As Jackie waited at church, she remembers thinking Lowell "better have a good excuse." When he finally arrived, she realized what an effort he had made to get there.
"He had totaled his vehicle on the way to the wedding," says Jackie. "He had broken ribs, a broken nose; he was a mess."
Lowell later explained to her that there was a tractor in the middle of the road. He swerved and crashed head-on into a tree.
But he made it, and the rest is history.
Most times, on Valentine's Day, Lowell and Jackie go out for a dinner date. One year, Lowell made reservations at White Castle.
"White Castle had decorated, and they made a big dinner for us," says Jackie. "That was 12 years ago."
This year, Valentine's Day might not involve a fancy dinner, but for Lowell and Jackie, just being together will do.