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Viral portrait of love: Man teaches girlfriend to read after stroke

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23 2013 1:46 p.m. MST

John Allen, 82, takes his longtime love, Linda Alexander, to Starbucks for her reading lesson six mornings each week.

Matthew Ballestero, Facebook

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Our take: After Linda Alexander, 70, suffered a stoke, she forgot how to speak and read except for the phrase, "I love you." Her longtime boyfriend, 82-year-old John Allen, takes her to a local Starbucks six mornings a week for a reading lesson. A bystander shot a photo of the two which has gone viral and been seen by more than 2 million people.

Its a picture that has warmed 2 million hearts and counting.

In it, a man uses flash cards to help his sweetheart relearn the alphabet. The photo was snapped by a stranger captivated by the elderly couples unconditional devotion to each other.

"We could feel the love emanating off of them," said Matthew Ballestero, who took the picture earlier this month while with friends at a local Starbucks. The coffee shop is the site where 82-year-old John Allen takes his longtime love, Linda Alexander, for her reading lesson six mornings a week.

Alexander, 70, lost much of her memory after a sudden illness five years ago led to a stroke and severe brain damage. "For a while, I couldnt even talk — except to say, 'I love you,'" she told NBC's Kristen Dahlgren in a segment that aired Wednesday on TODAY.

Read more about Viral portrait of love: Man teaches girlfriend to read after str on TODAY News.

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