95-year-old Marine and 3-year-old meet in music class and are now BFFs

WELLS, Maine — "Etta chose Stanley and she never looked back."

That's according to Laurie Morse, the mother of 3-year-old Etta, who befriended Stanley, a 95-year-old ex-Marine.

"It's a very strange connection," Morse told "Good Morning America." "Some people who have seen them together say they are soulmates. I think there may be something to that."

Etta Morse and Stanley Rotman met during a music class at the Avita of Wells assisted living facility where Rotman lives in Maine. The facility focuses on Alzheimer's and dementia care.

"There are lots of adorable boys and girls in the class and lots of lovely seniors, but Stanley and Etta just picked each other. I can't explain it," Morse said.


The friendship began one day when Etta was in charge of handing out instruments. She gave all of them to Rotman, Morse said.

Since then, Etta and her mom have visited Rotman outside of class, too. The two play Candyland and with toy trucks.

"Even if she just sits next to him and does a puzzle," Morse said. "He's just content to sit next to her and watch her."

"Her love for him is totally genuine," Morse told "GMA." "She makes snacks for him. She knows he loves chocolate, so she brings him Kit Kats, which they share."

"[Stanley] just lights up when he sees Etta. He's always excited to see her," Morse said.

Morse said that she hopes Etta and Rotman's story inspires more senior homes to offer programs like the class Etta attends at Avita of Wells.

"If their friendship inspires people," she said, "that would be great."