A family was shocked to hear that their elderly neighbor left behind some memories when he passed away.
His daughter was looking through his things and found a large bag of stuff. The neighbors were not expecting to see what he had saved for them.
His act of kindness had taken years and years of preparation.
One man’s trash…
Ken Watson, an 87-year-old man was stashing 14 years of presents he had purchased for his neighbor’s two-year-old daughter. Owen Williams had first thought that the bag just had trash in it, according to News.com.Au,
“She was clutching this big bag plastic sack and I thought it was rubbish she was going to ask me to throw out. But she said it was everything her dad had put away for Cadi. It was all of the Christmas presents he had bought for her.”
Each present had been wrapped individually, and you could tell the time and care that the gifts had been prepared with.
Ken didn’t have any grandchildren, so it made sense that he purchased presents for the children across the neighborhood.
The Williams family was taken back at the kind and thoughtful gift from the deceased man. Owen mentioned to Barry and District News,
“We moved to the street three years ago and made a real point of going round and meeting all the neighbours. Ken wasn’t in when we first called round, but the next day we heard some banging.”
…another man’s treasure
When Owen and his wife Caroline opened the bag and took a look at the gifts the emotion washed over them.
Owen posted on Twitter, and the story quickly went viral. He then detailed how the relationship between the family and their neighbor grew so quickly.
“There’s some press interest in this story, so let me tell you a bit about the man: Ken was a former salvage diver, seaman, carpenter, baker… The first time I met him, he was bouncing a 20ft ladder across the face of his house. He was on top. He was 83 at the time. Our dog loved him. I mean, genuine visceral love. It was mainly due to the chocolate digestive biscuits he gave her on the first meeting. She’d scream whenever she saw him. Really scream. Like a banshee. He’d call her “my darling” and “sweetheart”. This was there first meeting”
The post continued to grow and get more clicks.
Owen asked his followers what he and his wife should do, give their daughter the gifts straight up? Or open them and give them to her based on what they thought she needed that year?
Many people had opinions and willingly gave their ideas.
One Twitter user, @MissRachelle, opened up with some thoughts for Owen,
“Stop it Owen, no one’s heart can take this. Plus his daughter delivered them? Oh the feelings… Take your time, he chose, wrapped and planned them, so he wanted to take his time too.”
Tweet suggestions kept coming
Meanwhile, another Twitter user, @rachelgwenllian, had a helpful suggestion:
“Oh my goodness, how absolutely lovely. What a special and thoughtful man he was… wow. My suggestion would be to follow his wishes & give a present each year… It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s the thought, the gesture, the kindness that’s important here & to keep that alive.”
Yet another user on Twitter, @JojJojoelle, wrote back,
“Beautiful. Utterly beautiful. Don’t open them, it’s the sentiment, not that gift that is value. I am sure, they’re timeless anyway. As she gets older, she will learn the invaluable lesson, that the greatest gift to receive and give, is the beautiful gift of humanity.”
Sweet and Savory
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During an interview with Barry and District News, they followed Mr. Watson around on an adventure.
He took one of his friends to sightsee and complete various tasks and hobbies. He recalls his fun adventures and what he loved doing.
“After my wife had passed away I took a long time to settle. There’s a space around me. I still hear her voice and speak to her. I began parachute jumping. I enjoy these sorts of things – I feel the rush of the air. The second jump was the best. I thought ‘gosh I’m an eagle’. Wing walking isn’t scary. I looked on the computer and it said 63 was the age limit, but as long as you have a medical certificate to say you are in good health it’s all right. I think my deep sea diving days helped. When I was considering becoming a diver I remember my wife said, ‘If you don’t try it you may always regret it’.”
Mr. Ken lived a life of kindness, humility, and focus every single day. Cadi and her parents get to receive one of the greatest gifts, kindness.
His story will live on in their lives as they seek to give back to the community with his memory in their hearts.
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