$$$$$ Elderly Man’s Gesture Catches His Neighbors Way Off Guard

Many of us live day to day without chatting up a stranger, expanding our list of hobbies, or going out of our way to provide a kind act for the people we know. Then there are the ever-enthusiastic, ever-friendly, ever-spontaneous people who dare to leap — those who welcome new people into their lives, and who go the extra mile to put a smile on someone’s face.
When an elderly man began to feel lost, he decided to be one such adventurer. Not only did he spread plenty of cheer during his lifetime, but what he did had such an impact on those around him that it started a veritable movement that’s already inspired thousands…
It was December 18, 2018, when a young girl received a big surprise from her elderly neighbor, Mr. Watson; he had hidden something in his home in Cardiff, Wales, just for her.
See, before Mr. Watson retired, he was a salvage diver. This meant that he recovered parts of ships, airplanes, and other structures that had sunk into the water. He was an adventurer in every sense of the word…
A keen metal detectorist, classical music and opera fan, wood turner, accordion player, election canvasser, and Great British Bake Off viewer, Watson said that he could go long periods of time without speaking to anyone; his activities got him out of the house.
“After my wife had passed away I took a long time to settle,” he said. “There’s a space around me. I still hear her voice and speak to her. I began parachute jumping. I enjoy these sort of things, I feel the rush of the air. The second jump was the best. I thought ‘gosh I’m an eagle.'”
When he was 85, he made what was probably the most daredevil-move of his lifetime: he climbed on top of a small stunt plane and remained standing on its upper wings while it soared through the air!
His neighbors, Owen and Caroline Williams, couldn’t believe their ears when they heard of his adventures. They were stunned to learn what their neighbor was up to and couldn’t wait to get to know him better.
Owen, Caroline, and their daughter Cadi met Mr. Watson in 2014. “The day after we moved in, we heard some banging and found Ken working on a ladder in his overalls,” Caroline said. “During our first meeting, he gave our dog a biscuit. She absolutely loved him from that moment on; he was such a character.”
As much as the Williams’ dog loved their neighbor, nothing compared to the sparkle in Mr. Watson’s eyes the first time he met the Williams’ daughter Cadi. The feeling was mutual — the baby adored him!
Her youth brought him incredible joy, and he couldn’t get enough of the time they spent together. In fact, he said he wanted to live to be 100 years old just to see Cadi grow up.
Sadly, four years after the Williamses met him, he passed away, when Cadi was only two years old. Despite his age, Mr. Watson had always seemed so vital. His neighbors would miss his stories, his visits, and his optimistic outlook on life.
It wasn’t until Mr. Watson’s son Ian rummaged through his belongings that the pair realized that they still had a way to celebrate their favorite neighbor: he had left them quite a surprise, or 14 surprises to be exact.
Hidden in his attic, buried deep behind boxes full of memories and covered in just a little dust, lay a large sack, complete with an instruction sheet for his son: he was to deliver the sack to the neighbors at once, and make sure they take a look inside.
Ian followed his instructions and rang the Williams’ doorbell that same night. When they looked inside the sack they saw that it was filled to the brim with wrapped gifts! Mr. Watson’s last wish was to put a smile on Cadi’s face one more time.
Rather than giving Cadi the 14 presents at age 2, where she wouldn’t remember much of it, her parents planned to give her one from the pile every Christmas. Surely, she might “grow out” of some of the gifts, but the memory of Mr. Watson’s joy would always remain just as strong.
When Owen brought the bag into the house, the whole family teared up. “I don’t know how long he put them away,” Caroline said, “whether it was over the last two years or whether he bought them towards the end of his life.”
Since receiving the generous gesture from the late Mr. Watson, the Williamses have opened 1 present: it was a children’s book, titled Christmas Eve at the Mellops, by Tomi Ungerer, about four brothers in search of the perfect Christmas tree for their family.
Ken’s son Ian — whose sister gave the gifts to Cadi — said: “I’ve known about this since before my father died. He was a very kind man. It is a lovely story and I would like to tell the world what a lovely guy he was…”
While Cadi never truly got to know her neighbor, her parents will be sure to tell her all of his stories and remind her of the kind man who left her all those presents. After all, Mr. Watson was a great inspiration to many and a reminder that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Knowing a neighbor like Mr. Watson lived next door made them feel so safe and secure.

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