There is an old saying that goes, “Good fences make good neighbors.” With so many people forced to stay indoors during the pandemic, some are happy to report that good fences can make good friends, too.
In Minneapolis, the Olson family lives next door to 99-year-old Mary O’Neill.
Although Mary has an adult daughter in the area who visits her once a week, with the rest of her relatives scattered for the most part, the pandemic left the future centennial in seclusion.
But as the confinement progressed, Mary managed to forge a special friendship with one of her neighbors: 2-year-old Benjamin Olson.
Over time, Mary watched through the link in the chain as Benjamin learned to walk, speak, and eventually run and play. Despite huge age differences, Benjamin was drawn to his elderly neighbor and reveled in her presence.
Between the two of them, they developed a game that they could play on the fence. Ben passed her a ball and she returned it with her stick.
While others may point to the 97-year gap between the two friends, when Ben sees Mary, he simply sees a friend, not a number.
“She’s just Mary, or for the last few days, he’s been calling her ‘Mimi.’ We’ll play inside and he’ll say, ‘Mimi? Mimi? and we will go out to find [her]”Said Benjamin’s mother, Sarah Olson CBS News. “She will yell, ‘Hey, Benjamin!’ when she sees it, and it’s been so nice to see it. “
Although the couple’s special affinity definitely scores high on the cuteness factor, Sarah and Mary’s adult daughter believe that the relationship has been a lifesaver that kept the elderly woman through a long period of isolation.
As pandemic restrictions were lifted, the bond between Mary and Benjamin continues to flourish on both sides of the fence; only now can the doors be opened.
Benjamin joins Mary on her back steps to play, blow bubbles, and enjoy activities that bring joy to both the young and the young at heart.
“Friendship can happen in many different ways,” Sarah told CBS. “I am very happy that they were able to form this [one]”Quarantine or not, pandemic or not.” I’m happy … because it means a lot to her and it also means a lot to him. “
In August, when Mary celebrates her 100th birthday, it’s a good bet that Benjamin and his family will be there to help her blow out the candles and make a wish.
But we assume that the only thing you won’t want is a best friend.
Benjamin already has one that covers.
(CLOCK the KARE 11 video of this story below.)
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