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A Sweet, Unexpected Friendship

A Webster 5 year old bonded with a Maplewood resident in 2020

5-year-old Julia Meyers and Maplewood resident Marion play virtual Yahtzee. (Photo Provided)


Webster, NY - Pardon my bluntness, but I think it’s safe to say that 2020 SUCKED. That being said, the year wasn’t COMPLETELY without its good moments...

A particularly beautiful “moment” started back in April 2020, when 5-year-old Julia Meyers bonded with Maplewood Nursing Home resident Marion over routine virtual games of Yahtzee. (God bless ‘em… I can’t win a game of Yahtzee to save my life.)

The pair would meet over Google Duo weekly, each playing on her own Yahtzee board in front of the screen. Each of them had some side help, of course; Julia with her mom and Marion with a Maplewood volunteer.

It all started when Julia’s mom, Linda Meyers, reached out to Maplewood for “giving back” opportunities.

“I reached out to The Maplewood when the pandemic started because I was looking for a way my daughter could give back during these hard times,” Meyers shared in an email. “My grandmother spent time at Maplewood before she passed away in 2014, so that was my connection there.”

But the friendship wasn’t solely based on the bonding game of Yahtzee. For instance, the two ladies would arrange “window meetings” and even exchange gifts.

“...they have developed quite a friendship, and Marion ‘met’ me when I was pregnant and now ‘knows’ my… son!” Linda shared.

A lot can be learned from this story, I believe. For one, it’s possible to make meaningful, long-lasting relationships - even in the most dire circumstances - with the beauty of technology. (I mean, can you just imagine what this pandemic would have been like WITHOUT technology???? My heart goes out to those who experienced such trials before phones, computers, and iPads…)

Secondly, this story demonstrates how friendships can transcend any age difference.

And lastly (something I personally learned from this story): I gotta learn how to play Yahtzee.

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