SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — “The first time we met, you had just had your new baby, and Cheryl and I was expecting my first.”
At Good Samaritan Society’s Sioux Falls Village, Irene Nelson and Darlene Johnson talk about old times.
Darlene is 92 and Irene a year younger. More than 70 years ago the two young mothers met in Wentworth, and according to Irene’s niece, they became the best of friends.
“Irene lived on the farm between Wentworth and Colman and Darlene lived in Wentworth and their husbands knew each other and so they just became close and they started having children about the same time and they just grew up together,” said Becky Erickson.
But a few years ago, they lost track of each other. Darlene is in the special care unit and is working on her memory. Irene is recovering from a leg injury so she can go back to assisted living.
A few weeks ago, Irene was talking with her niece, who happens to be the Activities Supervisor at the nursing home.
“And she said, ‘You know, I have this friend that I just lost contact with, and it just dawned on me that maybe she’s been here,'” said Erickson.
Becky put two and two together, contacted Darlene’s family and arranged for the reunion.
“When I brought Darlene to see Irene for the first time, I didn’t tell Darlene who she was going to see,” said Erickson. “And she saw Irene and a big smile came on her face. She goes, ‘I know her. That’s my friend!’ It just was so heartwarming.”
When these two get together, there are decades of memories together. “She had all these chickens, remember that?” asked Darlene. “Here she comes carrying these pails of eggs, two pails you know of eggs!”
Later in life, they both ended up moving to Sioux Falls and made weekly get-togethers at the Fryn’ Pan
“Sometimes for lunch; it was all different times, but we went. That was our hang out,” said Irene.
The surroundings have changed but the friendship hasn’t.
“Friendship to me is just wonderful. That is a person that you find, you can tell them anything and it stays there,” said Darlene.
Two friends, reunited and thankful to have each other back in their lives.
“Without friends you can’t get along with life at all. You have to have friends,” said Irene.