The pandemic has been the cause of many challenges and difficulties in people’s lives but it’s also the reason behind a blossoming friendship between two unlikely souls.
Mary and Benjamin have a 97-year age difference but the neighbors have hit it off great and spend a large amount of time with each other.
Mary is 99 and Benjamin is 2, but that hasn’t stopped the two from being close friends. “Benjamin just turned 2 years old, we’ve been neighbors with Mary long before he was born,” Benjamin’s mom, Sarah Olson said.
The Olsens did not see Mary much earlier, but after the pandemic hit last year, she and her family had to stay home and also spent more time playing in their yard, and Mary would be in hers.
Benjamin was learning to walk and talk, and as he grew more, he started to play with Mary. “He would run over to Mary when he would see her in the yard and he would bring her a ball,” Olson said.
“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.”
“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. Turns out this is what Mary needed desperately after she was isolated alone during the pandemic.
“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.