Woman, 99, And Boy, 2, Form Heartwarming Friendship During Pandemic

July 22, 2021

Two neighbors in Minneapolis developed a strong bond amid the pandemic, despite a 97-year age difference.

benjamin and mary neighbors
Credit: Sarah Olson

Mary is 99. Benjamin is 2.

"Benjamin just turned 2 years old, we've been neighbors with Mary long before he was born," Benjamin's mom, Sarah Olson said.

But she didn't see Mary much -- until last year when the pandemic hit and her family had to stay home.

The Olsons started playing in their yard more, and Mary would be in hers. As Benjamin grew over the year, learning to walk and talk, he started to play with Mary more.

"He would run over to Mary when he would see her in the yard and he would bring her a ball," Olson told CBS News. "And she created this game that we call Ping Ball, where Benjamin brings her a ball and Mary reaches her cane over our fence, flips it over and kind of kicks it to Benjamin back and forth."

benjamin and mary neighbors
Credit: Sarah Olson

"She's just Mary, or in the past couple of days, he's been calling her 'Mimi'," Olson said. "We'll be playing inside and he'll go, 'Mimi? Mimi?' and we'll go outside and look for Mimi."

"She'll call out, 'Hey Benjamin!' when she sees him, and it's just been so cute to watch it," she said.

 

And for Mary, who was isolated alone during the pandemic, a friend was just what she needed.

"We learned how much she looked forward to seeing him playing in the yard and how Benjamin kind of kept her going in the pandemic when she wasn't able to see anyone else," Olson said.

Watch the video below.

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