Nightly News | January 23, 2013
>>> finally tonight, it was the shot that was shared around the world. as often happens on the web, millions of people were drawn to a photo. this one of two people in a coffee shop sharing what was clearly a private moment between the two of them. well tonight we've learned the story of dedication and devotion behind the photo. we get our report from nbc's kristen dahlgren.
>> okay. you better know this one.
>> reporter: it was a moment captured on a cell phone that quickly captured hearts.
>> abcd, e.
>> reporter: 82-year-old john allen , patiently teaching his 70-year-old girlfriend, linda, to read again. after her stroke.
>> what's this one?
>> a v.
>> reporter: almost every day, the two go to a starbucks, where john uses flash cards to quiz her on the alphabet. when fellow patron spotted them, he couldn't help but snap a picture.
>> i just wanted some of my friends to see what a cool moment i had today. you know what i mean ?
>> reporter: but his friends shared it again and again. in almost two weeks, almost 2 million have seen it.
>> reporter: every time i need a bit more patience, i think think of this picture. and this is what true love is all about. for a time, love was all john and linda had to hold on to.
>> i couldn't even talk. except to say "i love you."
>> reporter: the stroke left her barely able to speak or recognize letters. tough for a woman who five years ago was an active career woman , a manager at raytheon.
>> i want to be able to --
>> read. and i want to do the things that -- those things that i did before.
>> reporter: with john's help, she may. three days a week, he also pushes her at the gym, working to restore her partially paralyzed right side.
>> 16, 17, 18 --
>> reporter: even on the toughest days, she never seems to lose her smile.
>> i still enjoy my life. i'm not sad. i'm not angry.
>> reporter: perhaps --
>> i just love him, that's all there is to it.
>> reporter: because she never lost her love. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, orange, california.