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A Rocky Hill man uses the power of song to connect with his beloved wife while separated by COVID-19

Apple Rehab says they plan to allow more visitors in the next week. Until then, he will find solace through song

ROCKY HILL, Conn. — They are songs about love. Each one belted with a passion that needs no translation.  

Tony Morello, 81, sets up in his home office each day to sing a song in his native tongue of Italian to his beloved wife Lina. He sets up his phone to record, sits in front of his laptop, and pours his emotions into the lyrics.  

It's something to get out of my stomach and be free," said Morello. 

Morello's bride of 53-years has dementia. She is being cared for at Apple Rehab in Rocky Hill. The strict visitor policy that has been in place since February of 2020 has put an end to their daily walks and has kept them physically apart.    

"My heart says why? Why me," asked Morello.

Morello turned to song to connect with Lina from afar. His first piece coming on Valentine’s Day last year in the form of a poem called "Lina". 

"It’s a poem about we. How we met together," said Morello. 

A moment still imprinted in Tony’s mind.  

"She come into the dining room. I looked at her and she looked at me and that’s it," said Morello. 

Unfortunately, Lina's dementia has worsened causing many of her precious memories to fade.

"When I see her, I call her and she doesn’t know me," said Morello. "I got to cry at least five to 10 minutes and not just a little cry. I mean to release."

Tony’s almost daily songs to his wife have also become a personal release. They help express the painful emotions of a difficult new reality. Ones those closest to him feel as well.  

"It makes me cry and it makes me sad that he really misses his wife," said family friend Sarah Luczak. 

Apple Rehab says they plan to allow more visitors in the next week. Until then, Morello will find solace through song 

"There’s a lot of emotion when I sing songs to her," said Morello. "That's what this song means to me."

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