“WINDA I’M HOOOMMMMEE!” is the first thing 4-year-old Jackson says when he gets off the bus from pre-school. He’s calling for his best friend, Linda, a 63-year-old woman who lives right next door.
Linda joined Nextdoor three years ago upon moving to the Charlton Neighborhood in Upstate New York from her hometown in the Bronx. She first used Nextdoor to organize a neighborhood block party – a post that gained dozens of positive responses and allowed Linda to meet all of her neighbors. When Jackson and his family moved in the following year, Linda brought some cakes over as a house-warming gift and to welcome the new family to Charlton. No one would’ve suspected the unlikely friendship that blossomed between the two almost instantaneously.
Jackson was immediately drawn to Linda. He would see her walk to the mailbox and yell out the window, “Winda, Winda, can I come over?” to which Linda would happily welcome Jackson into her home.
In preparation for his frequent visits, Linda now keeps an endless supply of Jackson’s favorite snacks, which are marshmallows, lollipops, and strawberries, in her pantry. Jackson insists on going over to play on Linda’s swing set in her backyard, even though he has the same one in his yard.
Jackson assures Linda that she is his best friend and that he “woves her very much.” Oftentimes, Jackson advises Linda she should attend speech therapy with him since she “doesn’t talk right” and he finds her Bronx accent hilarious.
Thanks to the bond between Jackson and Linda, their two families are now deeply connected. Jackson loves playing with Linda’s children, 8-year-olds Dom and Isis, and Linda’s husband, Tony, often hosts friendly cook-offs with Jackson’s parents to see who can make the best meatballs. Jackson’s mother, Nicole, says their family is blessed to have such sweet neighbors and can’t imagine their life any other way.
Linda is so grateful for her friendship with Jackson. At first, Linda believed she would never have kids of her own, sharing, “I never thought in all these years I would have anyone who would call me mom.” Having Dom, Isis, and now Jackson is a blessing that brings meaning and joy to her life every day.