99-Year-Old Woman and 2-Year-Old Boy Formed Friendship Across Their Fence During Pandemic

These neighbors have 97 years between them and may seem like unlikely friends, but during the pandemic, they formed a unique bond at the fence between their houses in Minneapolis.

With 97 years between them, these neighbors formed an unlikely bond due to the pandemic. 99-year-old Mary and 2-year-old Benjamin became friends through their shared fence between their homes in Minneapolis.

“Benjamin just turned two years old, we’ve been neighbors with Mary long before he was born,” said Benjamin’s mom, Sarah Olson, to CBS. During the pandemic, the Olsons started playing in the yard more, and Mary would be in hers. As Benjamin got older and started to walk and talk, he would play with Mary more often.

“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.”

Benjamin does not see the 97-year age gap, he just sees his friend.

“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. 

Mary was isolated and alone during the pandemic, so she looked forward to seeing Benjamin in the yard. He kept her going when she was unable to see anyone else. Mary has one granddaughter, who is already an adult, so Benjamin is the closest thing to grandkids or great-grandkids that she has right now.

Even with most pandemic restrictions lifted, Mary and Benjamin still see each other nearly every day. “Friendship can just happen so many different ways,” said Olson. “I’m happy they formed this friendship because it means a lot to her and it means a lot to him too.”

Image source: CBS News