An attractive young woman went to take photos of what she thought was an abandoned home. As she snapped photographs, she decided to take a closer look. Needless to say, what she found in the living room was not what she was expecting.
Leslie Muir, an urban explorer and photographer, was on her way home after a long day of exploring on her birthday when a seemingly abandoned red house caught her eye. Seeing art in the dilapidated structure and overgrown yard, she stopped on a whim to snap a few photos of the mysterious residence. However, she would soon be left in disbelief as she discovered what was inside.
As an urban explorer, Leslie has countless photographs of forgotten places, but this random red house changed her life forever when she was least expecting it. Helping herself to someone else’s property, she walked around and took pictures of all the interesting details. That’s when her curiosity led her inside the house, where she made her shocking discovery, which no one would have known about had Leslie’s inquisitiveness and maybe even fate not put her in the right place at the right time.
Under her username “The_Tourist” on Instagram, Leslie Muir explained that she’s seen this house before, and it’s always intrigued her for reasons that she wasn’t sure about until she decided to stop one day. Since it looked like it had been deserted for years, she assumed it was abandoned and wasn’t worried about angering anyone by taking a look inside. “The driveway is overgrown, the roof is caving in and the interior would lead anyone to believe this land had been deserted,” she explained.
Right there in the living room, Leslie’s life would be forever changed when she heard a quaint, “Hello.” In the middle of what she thought was an abandoned home, she met Lawrence, who had been sitting inside alone. “This is Lawrence. He lives in a house I had believed to be abandoned,” Leslie wrote alongside a photo she took of him. “I found him in the living room. He has a hard time getting around so he spends most of his time in there. Alone,” she added, as she began to share his tragic story.
Leslie Muir explained that Lawrence is missing his right eye and his left isn’t much better off because of severe cataracts. But, his ill-health hasn’t seemed to hurt his spirit. “Even after noticing a stranger essentially helping themselves to his life, he was nothing but sweet and kind to me,” Leslie recalled, which must have been a relief after realizing the abandoned home she had entered uninvited and unannounced wasn’t empty at all.
“He was even nice enough to let me take his picture, which I will always treasure,” Leslie said, according to Little Things. The photographer stayed and got to know this man over the next three hours, and she was probably the first person he interacted with in months. On her own birthday, she stumbled upon the greatest gift — a new friend. Little did she know, this was only the beginning of something beautiful.
Leslie Muir had crossed Lawrence’s path at just the right time. Sadly, Lawrence didn’t have a lot of time left. He was dying, and not a single person was around to care or be there for him when he did. He had mentally prepared himself to leave this life alone since he had spent every day that way for years in this hardly inhabitable house. That is until Leslie came along and vowed to keep him company.
Leslie kept her promise, ensuring Lawrence wouldn’t be lonely anymore, and the two have since shared several meals together. They’ve even enjoyed BBQs and outings that neither had ever imagined. Over the next several weeks after Leslie found Lawrence on that fateful day, she took care of him, but then his health started to rapidly decline. However, Leslie wasn’t about to let Lawrence be abandoned ever again. She helped him move into a retirement home, where she continued to visit with him often.
“He’s safe and warm and seems to be fairly happy to be around some new people, although I know he misses home,” Leslie wrote of her friend’s move. Lawrence didn’t have very much longer to live, but at least he would leave this life feeling loved, all because a stranger decided to stop.
Photographer Leslie Muir explores abandoned houses around Ontario. However, one not-so-abandoned home has made all the difference in the way she sees things.
Posted by Great Big Story on Friday, September 23, 2016
“He shared something with me that will stay with me forever. He said the day I showed up was the best day of his life,” Leslie wrote, feeling ashamed of sounding “self-righteous” while also understanding how he feels. “The best day of my life was when I met him. He gave me the chance to really do something for someone — an act of kindness with no expectation of reward.”
Leslie Muir concluded that no one takes a picture of something they want to forget, so after meeting Lawrence, she takes his picture as often as possible. There are angels who walk among us, and Leslie is one of them. She stopped at the right time to be Lawrence’s “family,” finding that the house she had thought was empty wasn’t abandoned at all, but the man inside was — until she stepped in, showing him kindness and love in his last days. No one deserves to be forgotten, and Leslie ensured that Lawrence never will be.