Despite the belief that the grass is greener on the other side, two friends found that the grass is actually greenest when everyone is on the same side. Though the years 2020 and 2021 were difficult, they also offered numerous opportunities for people to rediscover their identities, their passions, and even old acquaintances. Even more remarkable is the fact that many people were able to form new friendships after taking the time to connect with others they might not have been able to connect with before.
Through a chain-link fence, Benjamin Olson, then 2 years old, and Mary O’Neill, then 99, developed a love relationship. The fact that O’Neill lost her spouse many years ago and that neither her grandchildren nor great-grandchildren live in the same state as her has left her living alone. Having spent a significant amount of time alone during the Coronavirus outbreak, she was fortunate to develop a close bond with her neighbor when she experienced an unexpected yet absolutely endearing experience.
Despite having a 97-year age difference, O’Neill and Benjamin have become the best of friends, enjoying outdoor activities while keeping a safe distance during the pandemic. The two have managed to create a bond that has won the hearts of countless people from all over the world from their own neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having been able to spend more time together as time has passed and restrictions have been lifted, the two have continued to enjoy each other’s company.
According to CBS News, O’Neill’s family had been Benjamin’s neighbors before he was born, but they rarely saw her. During the epidemic, the Olson family spent more time in their yard while O’Neill spent more time in hers as she was forced to stay at home for most of 2020, which led to the neighbors spending more time together. Over time, O’Neill and Benjamin became good friends.
Benjamin Olson’s mother recalled how her son would bring Mary a ball when he saw her in the yard. By hitting the ball back to him with her cane in response, O’Neill created their own game they called “cane ball”. She has found what it means to be a child again after her friendship with Benjamin reawakened her childish spirit. They enjoy blowing bubbles together and using water cannons.
She said that O’Neill quickly became her son’s “first best friend.” According to Olson, who spoke to CBS News, “We didn’t have to work on it at all; it just occurred on its own.” Bonds can develop in so many different ways, so whether they were in quarantine or not, she said, “I’m just thrilled they were able to build this.” I’m glad both of them value their friendship, so I’m glad it’s developed.
The pals even got together in 2021, when O’Neill turned 100 years old, to celebrate her milestone birthday. They play practically every day, according to KARE 11.