Independent living at The Good Samaritan Society provides many opportunities for seniors to meet new friends. For Laura Miller and Carolyn Cuddy, The Society is actually bringing them back together after decades spent apart.
Laura and Carolyn first met through their husbands in Clarkston, Washington. It was 1950 and the ladies were in their early 20s.
“I was teaching and my husband was still going to school and they were quite busy with their life,” Laura says.
The Millers and Cuddys lived about a block from each other for just over a year. They’d go to formal dances together, join up for dinners or go out sometimes on the weekends.
Job opportunities in different cities would split them up. For the next six decades, they enjoyed separate lives raising children and being active members of their communities.
“Through the years, even though we didn’t see one another all that often, we always stayed connected in our minds and our hearts,” Carolyn says.
Little did the ladies know, they’d reunite down the road.
Tammie Poe is a Senior Sales Representative at Good Samaritan Society – Moscow Village in Idaho.
“It’s just a really neat story,” Tammie says.
Her office is across the hallway from Laura’s apartment at the center. Tammie says the women both ended up in Moscow roughly ten years ago but didn’t realize they were in the same town.
“Meant to be. That’s a good way to say it,” Tammie says.
One day, a mutual friend wanted Laura to meet someone named Carolyn Cuddy.
“Laura said, ‘Oh, my Carolyn Cuddy?’” Tammie says.
The friendship picked up right where it left off. However, the story doesn’t end there.
Laura and Carolyn, now 92 and 91 respectively, have both sadly lost their spouses. Laura was the first to move to The Society’s independent living location in Moscow.
Carolyn and her family started looking into the center in 2019.
“When I came in to do the tour, they saw each other. It just happened that the apartment we had available was right next to where Laura is living,” Tammie says.
“Oh we were so pleased and our children, how about that, were pleased that we had company next door,” Laura says.
It was quite the coincidence.
“It is exactly crazy. I can tap on the wall,” Carolyn says.
Carolyn and her family didn’t hesitate to make the move knowing it would mean joining back up with Laura.
“I’ll tell you it made all the difference in my feeling comfortable about moving in here,” Carolyn says.
The two can be seen hanging out together often.
“Just enjoy visiting in her apartment and she comes and visits in mine. Or we sit down at the door and visit with people that come and go,” Laura says.
They watch movies and do their physical therapy together, socially distanced these days.
The friends even did this Zoom interview with us in the same room properly spaced. When asked what they like about each other, they highlight kindness.
"Oh my gosh. She’s sitting right here beside me," Laura says.
"Tell a big lie!" Carolyn says laughing.
"Carolyn is very friendly. Carolyn is great at complimenting. I like people like that," Laura replies.
Jokingly, Carolyn admits Laura having wheels doesn’t hurt.
“She always has a friendly manner. Everybody here knows her and loves her. And oh yes, she has a car,” Carolyn says.
That’s helpful when the pair want to make a run to the grocery store.
It’s a special friendship you won’t find every day in the produce section.
“God, for whatever reason, wanted these two women to have this friendship that would just span decades,” Tammie says.
It’s a bond getting even stronger during their time at The Good Samaritan Society.
“We’re right next to one another. Whatever happens in one, the other understands. So, we’re in good shape,” Carolyn says.