Elderly people spend a lot of their time alone and that’s a very unfortunate fact. Although when they have family and friends to see, they still often don’t have the same social interactions as younger people, so each friendship and every little bit of human contact can be very valuable to them. And a weekly interaction with one man has always been very special for one old lady in the Midlands, England.
The woman named Dorothy Ballard, whose friends call her ‘Mercy’, always looked forward to ten simple minutes of chat with a garbage collector named Ben Bird each week.
“I talk to her every Thursday from 8am to 8.10am and every time I walk up her garden path she will be there waiting for me.” said Ben, in an interview with ITV News.
They both got very close over the years, and Ben promised Mercy he’d bring her a birthday cake if she lived to be 100. Well, Ben kept his word when she made it!
A video that went viral shows Ben walking down the path to Mercy’s house, with a special 100th birthday cake in his hands.
When Mercy opens the door, she is overwhelmed with joy to see her friend keeping his promise as he starts to sing “Happy Birthday To You” together with a couple of his garbage collector buddies.
When the woman finally recovers from the surprise of it all, Mercy blows out the candles, with Ben urging her to make a special wish that she lives all the way to her 105th birthday.
The guy values his friendship with Mercy just as much as she does. Ben absolutely loves hearing stories about her past and speaking to someone who knew the world before all of the gadgets and conveniences we have these days.
I’ve been a binman for about 11 years and love listening to her stories about her life – having been born in 1919 she can hardly believe what technology can do now and she can’t get her head round my phone.
When I was taking the selfie of us with my two colleagues she was saying ‘Where do I look?
For seven decades now, Mercy has lived on the same street, and Ben has been visiting her for several years already. Although their friendship started off with a simple hello, but has grown into something very special today.
Mercy’s granddaughter saw the video and shared it around, as well as sending a personal message thanking Ben.
A TV crew went out to Mercy’s home to film an interview with the pair after the video went viral.
When being interviewed, Mercy spoke of how “wonderful” it was to see a young man like Ben being so kind to an old lady, while Ben calls the woman his “best friend”.
Of course that they have a few disagreements along the way, just like any best friends! Ben says he wants Mercy to make it to 105, while Mercy jokingly responds that she’s “had enough”, having lived for a whole century already. However, we all hope that she does live much longer so this wonderful friendship can continue to blossom, and maybe we’ll have another happy video to share on Mercy’s next birthday celebrated by Ben!