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 once a week, with the rest of her relatives scattered, for the most part, the pandemic left her in seclusion.
But as lockdown wore on, Mary managed to forge a special friendship with one of her neighbors—Benjamin Olson, age 2. Over time, Mary watched through the chain-link as Benjamin learned to walk, talk, and eventually run and play.
Between the two, they developed a game they could play over the fence. Ben would pass her a ball and she’d hit it back to him with her cane. When it was too cold to go outside, Mary missed Benjamin. He and his family had become the closest things to family as her great grandkids lived out of state. She even has pictures of Benjamin and his family in her house now. And now that the gates are open, Benjamin and Mary play games on her back steps, blow bubbles, and enjoy being buddies!