Elderly man passes and leaves behind 14 years of presents for his next-door neighbor's daughter

Sometimes we come across people who will change our lives forever.

A family living in Barry, a small town in Wales, was given that opportunity when they met their neighbor, Ken Watson.

Barry & District News Source: Barry & District News

Owen and Caroline moved into the neighborhood along with their 2-year-old daughter, Cadi.

When the family arrived in town they thought it would be best to reach out to all of the neighbors and introduce themselves.

“We moved to the street three years ago and made a real point of going ’round and meeting all the neighbors,” Owen stated.

Facebook/Owen Williams Source: Facebook/Owen Williams

However, they did not meet Ken the first time they introduced themselves to the neighborhood.

“Ken wasn’t in when we first called round, but the next day we heard some banging.”

This was a unique individual indeed.

“I went out to investigate and there was Ken in navy overalls bouncing across the face of his house at the top of a 20ft ladder. He was 83 at the time.”

Still, he seemed spry and full of energy. He didn’t have any grandchildren of his own but he made sure to look after the kids in the neighborhood, particularly during the holidays.

For Christmas, he gave out gifts to them.

Not only did he look after others, he decided to look after himself as well after his wife passed away. He knew he couldn’t allow himself to waste away in front of the television. He missed her dearly and knew that he had to force himself out of the house.

“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.”

Ken didn’t just dip his toes in the pond of adventure, he dove in. He began skydiving, wing walking, and even deep-sea diving!

Wales Online Source: Wales Online

“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.’”

But he said it was deep-sea diving that made a significant impact when it came to coping with his wife’s passing.

“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.'”

Full of life and adventure, Ken passed away as well. And little did Owen and his wife know, he left something for their daughter.

Twitter/@OwsWills Source: Twitter/@OwsWills

Ken’s family had come to organize his house on December 16th when his daughter paid Owen and his family a visit.

She was holding a bag full of gifts. The woman explained that the gifts were for Cadi. He left them for her before he passed. There were 14 gifts in total, one for every year until she turned 16.

Twitter/@OwsWills Source: Twitter/@OwsWills

“He always told us he’d live ’til he was 100 years old, so these gifts would have taken him up to our little girl’s 16th Christmas,” Owen said.

The family was overcome with emotion. They were shocked and grateful.

Together, Owen and his wife agreed to a new tradition. Every Christmas (for the next 14 years), Cadi will open up one gift from their beloved neighbor.

“It’ll be our way of remembering an immensely generous gentleman— our new Christmas tradition.”

To start off their holiday season, the family opened up one of the gifts. It was the children’s book, Christmas Eve at the Mellops by Tomi Ungerer.

Twitter/@OwsWills Source: Twitter/@OwsWills

Cadi opened up one as well. It was a baby goat! Needless to say, they loved the gifts.

Twitter/@OwsWills Source: Twitter/@OwsWills

This is truly a remarkable story. We can all learn lessons from people like Ken about love, generosity, thoughtfulness, and adventure.

Facebook/Owen Williams Source: Facebook/Owen Williams

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Sources: Wales Online, Shared Media