An unexpected bag of items was found in an elderly man’s home after he passed away. It was soon realized that they belonged to the 2-year-old little girl next door. It was handed to her parents, who were left shaken as they looked inside and discovered what their neighbor had done without their knowledge.
Ken Watson left quite an impression on those around him. A retired deep sea diver, Ken loved performing stunts well into his golden years. At 85, he learned to skydive and even performed risky feats, strapped to the wings of an airplane. Indeed, his antics gave those around him plenty to talk about, but the greatest stunt he ever pulled wasn’t discovered until he was gone.
In his final years, Ken lived near Owen and Caroline Wilson and their two-year-old daughter Cadi. From the moment their sweet baby girl was born, Ken, who Owen described as a “real character,” doted on the little girl. The elderly man didn’t have grandchildren of his own so he showered Cadi in grandfatherly love, developing a close bond and friendship with the child.
“We moved to the street three years ago and made a real point of going round and meeting all the neighbors,” Owen recalled. “Ken wasn’t in when we first called round, but the next day we heard some banging. 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,” Owen added, saying the first impression perfectly summed up Ken, who did an airplane wing walk at 85.
Everyone in the Wilson family seemingly adored the old dare-devil, even their dog. “On that first meeting, he gave our dog a chocolate biscuit. She absolutely loved him from that moment on,” Owen recalled. “Really loved him passionately. She would shriek when she saw him,” he added. “He’d call her ‘my darling’ and ‘sweetheart.'”
Sadly, Ken passed away at 87 years old. As his family cleaned, organized, and collected items from his home, his daughter stumbled on a bag filled with items. They belonged to the two-year-old little girl next door, prompting Ken’s daughter to head to the Wilsons’ home.
It was well-known that Ken absolutely adored Cadi, but what wasn’t known is just how deep Ken’s love for the little girl ran. It became clear when his daughter stopped by the Wilsons’ home, clutching the large plastic sack she had discovered in her deceased father’s house. After handing it to Owen and Caroline, the couple looked inside, realizing what Ken had done without them ever knowing.
The bag was filled with items that obviously belonged to Cadi, but they were items she didn’t even know about yet. After realizing the time would come when he wouldn’t be around, Ken planned ahead, buying, wrapping, and stashing away 14 different Christmas gifts for his little buddy, ensuring she would have a new one to open every year until she was 16.
Stunned by the unexpected gesture and amazing act of kindness from their elderly neighbor, the couple called Caroline’s mother to share the news, tearing up over their neighbor’s big heart. Then, they took to social media to share the story — as well as a dilemma that had developed. Although the gifts were intended to be one per year, none of them were labeled to indicate when they should be opened.
“My wife and I think it might make a nice Christmas tradition to give our daughter ‘a present from Ken’ for the next 14 years,” Owen said. “Issue is, we really have to open them now,” he added, explaining that it was the only way to make sure she got the right gift at the right time in her life since a gift for a toddler would be much different than one for a teen.
But, there was another problem as well: Who can resist the temptation of a stack of gifts for over a decade? The family couldn’t and decided to open some of them. One was a book, and Owen said he could tell there were more of them in the other gifts, as well as three or four soft toys. The second present Cadi opened was a stuffed goat.
As for the rest of the items, it was anyone’s guess. It also wasn’t known how long Ken had been hoarding away the presents or whether he put together the sweet collection in his final days. Either way, it was remarkable for Owen and Caroline Wilson to see how much their little girl was loved. But, Cadi wasn’t the only one to receive a gift from Ken — the rest of the world did as well.
Ken Watson reminded us how to makes this world a much happier place when far too many people don’t even know their neighbor’s name and wouldn’t recognize them if they crossed paths in public. Ken showed everyone the beauty of being neighborly as he gave the greatest, most beautiful gift of all — the gift of love. As Cadi received his bounty, the rest of us had our faith in humanity restored.