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Mom Chokes Up At Gift Two-Year-Old Son Has For 100-Year-Old Neighbor

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Not even an irritating virus that stopped the world could come between Benjamin Olson, 2, and Mary O’Neill, 99, from being really good friends. And no, those aren’t typos. Olson is 2, O’Neill is 99.Benjamin and his baby brother Noah live next door to Mary. The Minneapolis neighbors became friends over the course of the year when they realized that they’ve been stuck at home for so long.

All that separated them was a chain link fence.Sarah Olson, Benjamin’s mom, says that Mary is her son’s first best friend. And really, it is the most endearing of friendships we’ve seen in a long time. Get those tissues ready.“For more than a year, he didn’t see other kids. He didn’t interact with anyone except our family and Mary.

They ended up forming an incredibly strong bond.”

Mary lost her husband 37 years ago. Like any good neighbor, she started by waving hello to the adorable little boy next door through her window. Then she began to walk outside to say hello.

Eventually, they became the best of friends.

Benjamin and Mary even invented a game of their own called “cane ball”. Benjamin brings his ball to her, and Mary hits it with her cane. That simple game means the world to these two who are separated by 98 years.

“Benjamin keeps me company.”

O’Neill tells Today.

Mary brought over a basket filled with metal Tonka trunks that once belonged to her late son, all for Benjamin to play with. This little boy is learning colors thanks to Mary’s thoughtful gesture.
“Mary carried this big laundry basket filled with heavy trucks up from her basement. I have no idea how she did it. But she carried out those trucks, no problem.”

Sarah recalled.

Mary and Benjamin start their day at around 10 in the morning and will spend a few hours together just hanging out and interacting with each other.

It is one of the sweetest moments to grace your screens.

The two sit side by side on Mary’s porch steps, giggling and blowing bubbles. Benjamin recently learned how to open and close her gate on his own so he now goes over to hand her dirt. And she accepts them wholeheartedly.

It’s quite impressive seeing a 99-year-old lady converse with a toddler. You’d think both would have speech problems given their respective ages.

“He is very understanding. He doesn’t talk much, but he sure knows what you’re talking about,” O’Neill said. “He is friendly with me, and I’m friendly with him.”

She is used to being alone. Mary has has two children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her family lives out of state, so Mary now has pictures of Benjamin and Noah on display in her home.

She says they’re the closest thing to grandchildren. Are you crying yet?

Sarah got teary eyed hearing what her son meant to Mary.

“Mary is fiercely independent. She doesn’t really show her cards. So I got really emotional when I heard her say that she missed Benjamin on the days when it was too cold or rainy to go outside.”

Mary looks forward to spending time with Benjamin.

O’Neill may have seen a lot in life but the toddler next door may be her favorite yet. And for Benjamin, his first best friend is always waiting on the other side of the fence. Beautiful.

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