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Friends Come In All Ages


Have you ever made a friend that you can’t imagine what your life would be like without them? I made one of those friends about a year ago. I met one of the sweetest most beautiful person in 2022. Her name is Mary Opalka.

Here’s a little bit about Mary. Mary is my 104 year old neighbor who has been living in the US her entire life. In the 1920s her parents moved from Poland to the USA where they established Blue Corners Farm in Galway, NY. After settling into the farmhouse and raising animals and growing crops, they had Mary and her younger sister Nellie. While visiting Mary she often tells stories about her childhood and how much farming played a role in her life. She went to a small schoolhouse right down the road and that is where she would spend many hours with her friends. Mary went to school up until 8th grade and then continued working on the farm. As an adult she moved to Amsterdam while working in a carpet mill. Throughout her time working she found the love of her life, Chester. Together they had two children, Chester Jr. and Mary Margaret. Although Mary has outlived her sister and husband, she continues to remember them and think of them often. Mary currently lives with her daughter, Mary Margaret and her husband, Lee. In her free time she enjoys going outside, gardening, having ice cream, watching television, and visiting new places.

The year or so I have spent with Mary has been like no other. We have laughed together, weeded the garden, knitted, ran from a rain storm, sat outside, and taught each other different languages. She has the brighest smile and the most original laugh. Mary teaches me Polish and I make her lunch. She cracks me up and I make her smile. We are one of the most abnormal friendship duos around, 2 ladies, age 16 and 104. I wouldn’t trade my friendship with Mary for anything. She makes me smile often and laugh until my belly hurts. Mary is also extremely considerate of others. One thing she said that will I never forget is “If you ever need anything, let me know.” This was the most kind, yet simple act that made a difference in my life. If I had any advice to offer, find yourself a Mary. Friends can come in all ages, you never know what difference someone will make in your life.

Kocham ciÄ™, Mary

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About the Contributor
Addelayde Ross, Sr. High Staff Writer
Addelayde is 16 years old, and in 11th grade. She partakes in many clubs here at Galway, including Impressions, FFA, Girl Scouts, EMC, SADD, and more. She is also president of Best Buddies and the Galway FFA secretary. This year she plans to work towards her goal of a career in the medical field.

Comments (2)

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  • J

    JohnSep 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm

    Absolutely Beautiful, Mary was my neighbor growing up on Frederick St. In Amsterdam.

  • M

    MarySep 16, 2023 at 8:21 am

    Love, love, LOVE!!!!