Letter reunites Kansas woman with friend after 40 years apart


A pair of long-lost friends have been reunited thanks to a leap of faith and a handwritten letter.

“An old-fashioned letter, I can’t believe that that actually found her,” said Tammy Nelson.

Nelson, 55, is an Arkansas City native. However, Penicuik, Scotland holds a special place in Nelson’s heart.

She and her family lived there for a short time in 1976. It’s where she met childhood friend Karol Stevenson.

“Karol is this awesome girl. The minute I saw her we became instant friends. She was just like my twin,” Nelson said. “She just took me around, showed me everywhere.”

The two were inseparable until Nelson’s family moved back to the United States in 1977.

“I just lost contact with her. I got busy with life and children, and we lost contact, unfortunately, but I have tried to find her ever since,” Nelson said. 

Nelson scoured social media for Stevenson but came up empty-handed each time.

“That’s where we went wrong. We didn’t know each other’s married names,” she explained.

Nelson then decided to send a letter to Stevenson’s childhood home.

“I just wrote a simple letter. I said this is who I am, this is who I am looking for, and she’s one of my dearest friends and I really want to find her,” Nelson explained.

Nelson’s letter ended up landing in the hands of two people who happened to know Stevenson. One of them posted it to the Penicuik Facebook page.

“Before you knew it, my daughter was phoning me at work saying, ‘Mom, mom, you will never believe it. Tammy is looking for you!'” said Karol Stevenson.

Stevenson immediately wrote back to Nelson.

“My daughter was going over on a business trip to London and Scotland and I called her in the airport and said, ‘You will never believe this, I just got a letter from Karol,'” Nelson said.

“I hurried up and sent her a quick message and said, ‘Hey, my name is Tara Easley. I am Tammy’s daughter and I would love to meet you,” explained Easley to KSN.

Easley and Stevenson met up in Scotland on Saturday.

“It just felt very natural, you know, it was like, hi, hello, how are you and it was just so normal. It was really hard to believe and take in that this was really happening,” Stevenson said. 

Stevenson took Easley to her mom’s old neighborhood. They also toured the areas the pair used to spend time at.

“It was wonderful. She is the sweetest lady in the whole world,” Easley said. “We went and saw all of the different tourist attractions, went to the castle that my mom visited, the cathedrals, Just kind of walked in her foot steps and did the things mom did whenever she was a young girl too.”

Easley and Stevenson snapped photos of their adventures together. They also called Nelson, so she could join in on the memories. 

“It was awesome. I just wanted to do the ugly cry whenever I saw it,” Nelson said.

Nelson and Stevenson said their story proves neither distance nor time can keep true friends apart.

“We have connected and it’s just like not even a day has passed,” Nelson said.

“I just can’t wait to see her in person and sit and catch up and have a chat,” Stevenson said.

The women now talk daily on the phone. Stevenson is planning a trip to Kansas to visit Nelson in the near future. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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