teen visits 92-year-old friend at hospice and holds her hand
WJLA | Keslar Just

Teen Visits 92-Year-Old Pen Pal In Hospice To Break Her Out Of 'Unresponsive' Funk

When times get hard, it's not unusual for us to seek solace among the people we love.

And we can sometimes find that when we're that vulnerable, it doesn't even take large actions on their parts to make a major difference for us. But it's also worth noting that sometimes, entire friendships begin thanks to those little gestures of kindness.

And on multiple occasions, these friendships have seen people from vastly different generations bond and it's always adorable when that happens.

However, those bonds can also be very powerful in times of need and one story of two pen pals illustrates that perfectly.

Before she started studying biology at William & Mary University in Virginia, Keslar Just undertook a personal project soon after the pandemic emerged.

teen standing in backyard wearing T-shirt for William & Mary University
twitter | @keslarjust

As she told WJLA, she wanted to lift the spirits of vulnerable people as the situation worsened, so she used her spare time to write letters to nursing home residents in quarantine.

But in her words, "I ended up writing over 150 letters and only one responded. That was Jean Peck in Henrietta, New York."

92-year-old woman taking selfie in car
WJLA | Keslar Just

After Peck responded, she and Just kept up a routine that would see them learn more about each other and become friends.

As Just put it, "I learned she is a big swimmer, played basketball and she loved to go on hikes, loved the outdoors."

hand holding flowers
Unsplash | Clay Banks

Together, the pair exchanged 80 letters and started spending some quality time on the phone as well.

As Just said, "We wrote pretty religiously. We had a lot to talk about."

stack of letters and fountain pen bound by twine
Pexels | Ylanite Koppens

And Just had clearly come up in conversations Peck had with her family as well, since they made a point of contacting her when Peck fell ill enough to require hospice care.

Apparently, her condition quickly became grim enough that, in Just's words, "Her family told us that Jean was pretty much unresponsive."

hospice building
Unsplash | Jon Leclainche

Upon hearing this news, Just immediately made plans to head for Henrietta and meet Peck in person for the first time.

And when Just arrived, Peck found that she couldn't remain unresponsive for long.

teen visits 92-year-old friend at hospice and holds her hand
WJLA | Keslar Just

After Just introduced herself and started talking to Peck, it wasn't long before the woman opened her eyes and perked up.

She also reached her hand out towards Just, which we can see from this picture that she gladly accepted.

As Just put it, "I will always remember our relationship and what that brought to both of us."

h/t: WJLA

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