$$ Elderly man saves thoughtful gift for neighbors but nobody knew

 

Elderly man saves thoughtful gift for neighbors but nobody knew

In this day and age, it seems that it gets harder and harder to get to know your neighbors. Maybe this is because most people spend so much time connected to each other via various devices like their smartphones and thus social media. However, in a small neighborhood located in Wales by the name of Cardiff, one older neighbor decided he wanted to break the mold and get to know those around him but in a very special way. This particular neighbor had begun to feel a tad lonely as he advanced in years, which is what prompted him to get to know those around him. He had always been something of an adrenaline junkie, and his age did not hold him back even as he entered his eighties. Naturally, how he decided to surprise his neighbors had something of a surprising quality to it. While it may not have been his intention to create a widespread movement that would sweep across the country it certainly did. Kindness can go a long way.

The Month Of Giving

When you think of the month of giving, the first one that comes to mind is the Christmas season. You give gifts to all of your loved ones and even those who may not have any loved ones of their own. No one should be left out.

The Month Of Giving

Mr. Watson, a kind old man from Wales, had a particular gift for a little girl that he had held on to in his house for a long time. In December of 2018, she finally received it, but it wasn’t from Mr. Watson himself.

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Finders Keepers

Mr. Watson had led a sensational life full of deep sea adventures. You may be wondering what he did before he retired. In fact, he had trained to be a salvage diver. If you have often wondered who dives down and looks at shipwrecks, crashed airplanes and sunken cities then now you know.

Finders Keepers

During his younger years, he dived on a variety of sites and was able to salvage many unique objects which would then end up in his house where they stayed stored away for a number of years. He was not only a diver though, but he also had a diverse range of hobbies which kept him busy.

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Hobbies

Like some other treasure hunters, Mr. Watson enjoyed using a metal detector to find lost objects. That tell-tale beep always caused an instantaneous excitement which salvaging also gave him. Since he was something of a lone wolf, and truly enjoyed his solitude many of his hobbies were solo ones such as listening to operas, carpentry, and even trying his luck on with the accordion.

Hobbies

He led an extremely fulfilled life, but as he got older he found that he wanted more people around him to share some of these wondrous experience and hobbies. Watching television can be lonely if you have no one to discuss it with.

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Lonely

Sadly there had been a Mrs. Watson who Mr. Watson had shared these pastimes with but she had passed away a few years prior to his surprise for his neighbors. He commented that while it took a number of years to become accustomed to being without her presence, he still saw her around him in the home they shared for so many years.

Lonely

He still felt like she is with him to a certain extent, but he knew that he had to go on living so he turned to skydive to fill the void in his life and find the adrenaline rush he needed.

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Not Dead Yet

Living by the motto “I’m not dead yet,” Mr. Watson began to embark on a variety of daredevil-esque pursuits. The sky diving was just the beginning. After his initial jump, he knew he had to do it again. The feeling of flying was like nothing he had ever experienced underwater. At the ripe old age of 85, he started performing stunts on airplanes.

Not Dead Yet

On a small open cockpit style plane, he decided to stand on top of the wings for the duration of the flight. Age is but a number which this fellow definitely demonstrated. Just look at his nonchalant pose!

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Neighbors

In his small community in Cardiff, Mr. Watson did not have much of a connection to his neighbors beyond saying basic pleasantries when he passed them on the street. However, his neighbors had heard all about his special retirement hobbies.

Neighbors

One couple in his neighborhood decided that they wanted to know him a whole lot better since it was obvious he was living more than most and had a lot of wisdom to share.

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Move In Day

The new neighbors: Owen, Caroline, and Cadi moved next door to Ken Watson back in 2014. The first time they encountered him he was doing some home improvements on the outside of his house. He had on his work clothes and was hammering away at something on his house.

Move In Day

The family’s pup immediately warmed to Mr. Watson and trotted over to him to get better acquainted which immediately created a bond between the four.

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First Steps

Mr. Watson was overjoyed to have new neighbors, and particularly because they were a younger family with a new baby. Mr. Watson had children of his own but they had grown up and lived with their own families. Although he was close to them, he missed having interaction at his home. In between all of his adrenaline seeking adventures, he longed for a way to invest his time. The first member of the Williams’ family to catch Mr. Watson’s eye was their dog.

First Steps

They made friends almost immediately and their dog seemed equally as happy to have another doting human being in his life.

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Cutie Pie

Dogs are always an excellent judge of character which created the initial bond, but it was the adorable Cadi who was the true apple of Mr. Watson’s eye. For him, children sparked a certain joy inside of him, he loved how precious they were and how much they wanted to play and have fun.

Cutie Pie

The Williams’ daughter felt Mr. Watson’s warm heart and with her bright blue eyes, she instantly warmed to him. Her little face lit up and when he first spoke to her.

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New Meaning

At that moment he became something of a surrogate grandparent and decided then and there that he would have to live for at least another 15 years to see her get older. Cadi gave him a boost of life, as well as enjoying his adrenaline infused activities, he now had little Cadi who would keep his soul young and playful.

New Meaning

The family was overjoyed to have moved next door to such a sweet old man. Nowadays, not many people interact with their neighbors, but for the Williams’ and Mr. Watson, they had just expanded their families.

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Pillar Of The Community

Unfortunately, Mr. Watson did not get to see Cadi reach her teen years. Just as Cadi turned two, Mr. Watson passed away of old age. The entire community mourned his passing as he had become a true pillar within their neighborhood and he could always be counted on to share a kind word or a wild story of a past adventure.

Pillar Of The Community

But he left something behind for which he would always be remembered.

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Lost But Not Forgotten

While Mr. Watson’s passing was felt keenly by all, Ian his son found out that he had left a little something behind for Cadi to find. In fact, it was not just one thing, but fourteen mystery objects for her to unwrap and bring her closer than ever to the lovely Mr. Watson.

Lost But Not Forgotten

He had not had the time to give them to her himself before his passing, but once Ian found them he made sure that they made it to their intended destination.

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Up In The Attic

Mr. Watson had been working on this surprise for quite a while it seems, which was why it was so special that Ian had been able to present them to Cadi’s family. Like Santa Claus, Mr. Watson had left a large cloth bag in the attic full of wrapped items along with a list of instructions for what his son was to do with it if he found it.

Up In The Attic

The primary instruction is that the bag was delivered to Cadi’s family as quickly as possible.

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Final Wish

Wasting no time, Ian grabbed the bag of presents, and just like Santa, he arrived on the Williams’ doorstep to deliver them. Cadi’s parents were very surprised when they answered the door to see Ian holding a bag full of presents. But it became clear that Mr. Watson wanted Cadi to always remember him and bring joy to her life even after his passing.

Final Wish

Cadi’s parents decided that since she was so young, only 2, that each year she would receive one of Mr. Watson’s presents to keep his memory alive.

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Thoughtful

The trio was beyond touched by this kind gesture of Mr. Watson and wondered if he had been purchasing these presents for the last couple of years, or more recently before his passing. They opened one present immediately, which was a book called Christmas Eve at the Mellops authored by Tomi Ungerer.

Thoughtful

Cadi really enjoyed having this Christmas related tale read to her, and she got to remember Mr. Watson as it was like a part of him was there with her.

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Looking Back

Taking to Twitter, Owen commemorated Mr. Watson and explained how lovely the relationship was between the Williams’ family dog and their neighbor. Our dog loved him. I mean, genuine visceral love. It was mainly due to the chocolate digestive biscuits he gave her on first meeting”.

Looking Back

Continuing he said, “She’d scream whenever she saw him. Really scream. Like a banshee. He’d call her “my darling” and “sweetheart”.

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Touching Gesture

When hearing of the news about the presents, Owen Williams once again took to the platform to spread the sweet news, “The family were completely taken back by Mr. Watson’s touching gesture and effort. Our elderly neighbor passed away recently. His daughter popped round a few moments ago clutching a large plastic sack.”

Touching Gesture

“In the sack were all the Christmas presents he’d bought for *our* daughter for the next thirteen years.”

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Not A Surprise To All

It turns out that Mr. Watson’s surprise gift hoard was not a complete secret. His daughter knew that he had been collecting little presents for dear Cadi so that she could remember him when he was gone if he did not get to see her grow up.

Not A Surprise To All

Mr. Watson’s daughter told Cadi’s family that she thought other people should know about this sweet gesture and wanted to immortalize her father for his good deeds.

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Living Memory

With Cadi’s parents’ permission, Mr. Watson’s daughter along with his son decided it was a nice idea to spread the story and speak out about their fathers’ sweet gesture to the media. They were both beaming with pride, their dad had done such a wonderful thing, and now he will live forever, not only in their memory but Cadi’s too.

Living Memory

The media sources that they spoke to were in love with “feel-good story”, and it was quickly published. It received such a great response, far and wide. Everyone was touched by the story.

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Warming Gesture

The public was quick to comment on his generosity with many commenting that it had inspired many others to follow in his footsteps. Not necessarily through gift giving, but simply by getting to know their neighbors and build a network of support, especially for the elderly.

Warming Gesture

Not only had he touched Cadi’s and her parents’ heart, but he was now changing other people’s lives as well.

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

As Cadi gets older, she will know that she had a kind neighbor who treasured her and simply wanted the best for her. It is far from common for a relationship of that sort to be established between a child and an adorable old man.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Even though she will most likely not remember the thrill-seeking elderly man who lived next door, she will know that he loved her through the gifts she receives over the next thirteen years.

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A Story To Tell

Cadi will grow up hearing stories of this great man who lived next door, who even in his old age, jumped out of airplanes, and went out of his way to give her a gift, each Christmas for many years.

A Story To Tell

His story shows that everyone has something to give and that everyone can make a difference to someone’s life, no matter what the age and sometimes we all get lonely and need some support.

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Take Note

This act of generosity between neighbors, who became family, has made a lot of people look at their own neighborhoods and how everyone needs to interact in their community. In the time when Mr. Watson would have been young, it was very common for you to have a relationship with your neighbors.

Take Note

You would stand and chat with them over the fence, as well as invite them over for a drink and a chat, something that just is not so common anymore.

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Be Kinder

It is important to remember that everyone has something to offer, so why not make that extra effort with your neighbor. Sit down and have a coffee, or go for a walk. We all need a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on in times of need.

Be Kinder

Mr. Watson’s memory will live on through his good deeds and little Cadi will be reminded of him every Christmas.

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