On June 8, we celebrate National Best Friends Day, and there may be no better duo to exemplify the spirit than Harrogate residents Claire Papp and Pat O’Brien. More than 50 years ago, the two women, who were each raising their children, began to form bonds of friendship. They didn’t know it then, but all these years later, those bonds remain as strong as ever as neighbors at the community.
One visit with Claire and Pat is all it takes to learn the secret of that friendship. From watching their children grow to standing beside one another during difficult times, the two ladies say they can’t imagine a life without one another. A friend to rely on, they say, is one of life’s wonderful blessings.
It was certainly no coincidence they both ended up at Harrogate. While they didn’t move in at the same time, they were both attracted to the community’s vibrant, active environment. Activities director Sue Gallagher says the community places the utmost importance on offering programs, events and outings that can help nurture both old and new friendships.
“They say no man is an island, and we’ve certainly found that to be true based on the strong bonds between our residents,” said Sue. “We all depend on one another for support during both good and bad times. There truly is a sense of family and belonging.”
As for Claire and Pat, the two agree with Sue, and say fate had a way of making sure they’d get to spend their retirement years together.