Family Says Last Goodbyes After Toddler Befriends Older Man
Marilyn Caylor 3/16/2017
Never talk to strangers - that's one of the first rules that parents always teach their children. You just never know who might harm your kids! But, little Emmett Rycher didn't pay heed to those warnings when he wandered over into the neighbor's yard...
Although the Rycher family lived next door to Erling Kindem for more than a decade, they barely said hello to each other. But, that all changed after Emmett was born. The elderly man suddenly took a keen interest in the little boy.
When he was just two-years-old, Emmett noticed Erling tending to his tomato garden. The inquisitive little tot loved tomatoes, so he grabbed his toy shovel and ventured next door to see what the old man was up to.
It turns out that no matter how young or old you are, boys will be boys - they all love to play in the dirt! Emmett and Erling made an instant connection over this common interest.
To everyone's amazement, it didn't take long for an unlikely friendship to develop between the two. The pair complemented each other perfectly with their combination of wisdom and innocence.
Emmett wanted nothing more than to spend all his time with his new best friend! The duo would have lawnmower races, play croquet, and ride their bicycles together. One day when mom Anika saw the excited pair take off down the street on their bikes, she was worried that she would have to call 911.
But, that's only because she was afraid Erling would fall off and break a hip!
Later, when Erling's wife died, Emmett and his family attended her funeral. Then, when Emmett was six, Anika had even more sad news to give to her son. Their kindhearted former neighbor, who had lived a full life, was going to be reunited with his wife.
Just three days prior, Emmett visited his 91-year-old best friend at the nursing home, and even read the Lord's prayer to him. Anika felt like it was a final goodbye, but in his heart, Emmett knew better.
"After we told Emmett that Erling had passed away, he was very quiet for a while. The first thing he said was, ‘So we'll just have to wait a really long time. I know we'll see him again in heaven.'"
Wow, what sage words for someone so young! It looks like Erling's years of wisdom has now been passed on to Emmett.
Watch this video to see how this unlikely pair became best friends.
Awww, this is such a sweet story! It just goes to show that true and lasting friendships can develop between anyone. Age is just a number.