NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two women who have been "pen pals" for 50 years met for the first time in the Nashville International Airport.
"I mean, it's not a reunion because we've never met before," Yvonne Betowt laughed.
As planes landed on Sunday, Betowt got anxious.
"I don't usually wait for anything this long," Betowt said.
Betowt said she wrote letters to her Canadian friend for 25 years.
“We’ve grown up together," Betowt said. "We’ve had our children together. We actually lost contact for about ten years, and I traced her down through a librarian at her hometown that I contacted and she forwarded my email to Mary.”
Betowt has lived in Huntsville, Alabama. Mary Richardson has lived in Grand Prairie, a city in Alberta, Canada.
"I can't believe it. It's been 50 years in the making," Betowt said.
They started writing in sixth grade when they were 12 years old. Richardson posted in a teen magazine that she wanted a pen pal.
Her Canadian friend withstood the tests of time.
"Her husband unfortunately was killed in a car wreck during the time that we had lost contact, and my husband died of lung cancer," Betowt said. "So we're both widows, and now we're just trying to make sure we see each other before it's too late. We want to do it now."
The two friends cried as they united for the first time.
"How did you sneak in on me like this? We had a sign," Betowt said.
Even though she arrived early, nothing else mattered.
"We've grown old together almost. I'm not old yet, I'm still 35 at heart," Richardson said.
"I know, but you're shorter than I anticipated!" Betowt said.
After taking a quick photo, the two friends went on their way.
They planned to spend three days in downtown Nashville.
"Im shaking," Betowt said. "I mean this is like a dream come true. How many people get to do something like this?"
Richardson said she always dreamed of visiting Music City. She's a fan of country music.