The couple that eats chocolate together, stays together. At least, that seems to be true for retired Air Force veteran Mike Cain (93) and his long-time girlfriend Doris Jerman (94).
Every night, the couple partakes in a “sweet” ritual and shares a Hershey’s chocolate bar. It’s something they’ve done for more than 20 years, ever since meeting each other at a seniors’ dance.
But in 2020, amidst COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, their nightly tradition was threatened when their chocolate stash ran out.
Not one to let some pesky global pandemic stand in the way of true love, Mike, unbeknownst to Doris and the staff at the retirement center where they live, pulled some serious James Bond moves and snuck out.
His mission? To hitch a ride to the nearest dollar store so he could load up on their favorite chocolate bars.
All in the Name of Love (And Chocolate)
Armed with his walker, a reusable bag, and his thumb, Mike set out. He was prepared to walk the entire 3-mile round-trip if he had to. But, luckily for him (and not surprisingly), it didn’t take long for someone to notice the 93-year-old hitchhiker on the corner of San Marino Drive in Lake San Marcos, California.
Real estate agent, Richard Farmer, had just left his office to run home to grab a quick bite to eat for lunch when he happened to pass by the elderly man. It was hard to miss him. He was standing about 4 feet into the street, with his thumb out.
Richard immediately did a U-turn to check on the unlikely hitchhiker to make sure he was okay.
“My first thought was this guy was trying to get some food so I decided to spring into action,” Richard wrote in a now-viral Facebook post. “I had him step up on the curb, I pulled my car over and spent 15 minutes wiping down the handles, seats, dash boards, etc with my Clorox wipes.”
Once they were both in the car, Richard offered to take Mike wherever he wanted to go but Mike had already made up his mind: He needed to get to the 99-cent store for those Hershey chocolate bars.
“I was amazed. I’m like, ‘This guy must really be in love with this gal.’”
Richard Farmer via NBC San Diego
A Sweet Mission Accomplished
Thanks to Richard, Mike accomplished his goal and purchased a grand total of 35 Hershey chocolate bars to share with Doris. Enough to last them for at least a month or more. Richard then drove him home but before they parted ways, he made sure Mike knew to call him whenever he needed help.
“I gave him my card and said next time [you] need some chocolate no need to try and hitch [a] ride, just give me a call and I look forward to meeting Doris,” Richard wrote on Facebook.
As for Doris? She didn’t even know Mike had gone missing. Good thing too. “I probably have to send the police after him,” she said when she found out how far Mike was going to walk to get her chocolate.
And while his mission may have been completed, it wasn’t the end for Mike or Richard.
Thanks to the power of social media, Richard’s post about Mike’s sweet gesture went viral. People couldn’t get enough. Because really, who doesn’t love a real, true, bonafide love story?? (And chocolate).
Offers of chocolate bars for the lovebirds came pouring in, including from the big kahuna themselves: Hershey’s Chocolate.
Hershey’s Heeds the Call
In another Facebook post, Richard shared that Hershey’s reached out to him after hearing about Mike and Doris on the news.
Not only did they provide the nonagenarians with a year’s supply, but they also gave “a great amount” of chocolate to Richard as well.
Attached was a note: “Richard! We love seeing heartwarming gestures out in the community and what you did for Mike was just that! Thank you for taking the time and kindly helping our friend. Enjoy! – Hershey’s”
Not only are the lengths Mike went to for the love of his life giving us major “now this is TRUE LOVE” vibes, but the fact that a complete stranger stepped up to make it happen is also pretty dang inspiring.
All You Need Is love…and a Bit of Chocolate to Sweeten the Journey
Charles Schulz once famously said:
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
For Mike and Doris, they have both.
Society likes to make us believe that true love is found in the big gestures — diamonds, fancy dinners, writing in the sky. Like, the bigger the gesture, the greater the love.
But if there is any takeaway from this story, it’s this: It’s in the little things where true, lifelong lasting kind of love, quietly blooms. Even something so small as a Hershey’s chocolate bar.