Carole Lechan has shared 56 years of her life with Jane Anderson, but the two had never met in person until Wednesday.
Lechan, who lives in Natick, and Anderson, a New Zealander, have been pen pals since October 1959, when they were both 9 years old, according to The Boston Globe.
The pair have exchanged letters five or six times a year every year since, through multiple changes of address and after landmark life events like weddings, children, and now grandchildren.
“After 56 years, you feel a connection,” Lechan, 65, an office manager at Temple Israel in Natick, told the Globe. “A lot of our lives have paralleled.”
The two forged their bond before the internet era, through a program called World Pen Pals out of the University of Minnesota that introduced kids in the United States to other children abroad.
“I really always enjoyed having someone to write to from another country and, as time goes on, you grow up, and you appreciate it more,” Anderson told the Globe. “I had always hoped I would meet up with her.”
That day came this week when the two were united at Logan Airport. Lechan picked up Anderson and her husband, and the New Zealand couple will stay in the Lechan’s Natick home for a few-days visit.
Read the full Globe story here.