I don't think we get to know our neighbors as much as we should anymore. I remember growing up and knowing everyone who lived on our street. We would all have dinner parties, play dates, and even celebrate holidays together. Now, though, people are too busy with their own lives, and too skeptical about strangers to make an effort.
However, one family learned that knowing your neighbors can be an extremely special experience.
Owen Williams posted on Twitter about his late neighbor Ken Watson, who had a special bond with two-year-old Cadi Williams, Owen's daughter. Watson, a retired diver, was 87 years old when he passed, but he had dreams of seeing little Cadi grow up. He always told neighbors he would lived to be 100, just so he could see Cadi turn 16.
Sadly, Watson passed away, but Williams and his wife got the shock of their lives when they got a knock on the door. It was Watson's daughter, and she had a delivery for them.
She was clutching this big bag plastic sack and I thought it was rubbish she was going to ask me to throw out.
But she said it was everything her dad had put away for Cadi. It was all of the Christmas presents he had bought for her.
I brought it back in and my wife was on FaceTime to her mum in Ireland. My wife started to tear up and I started to tear up, and her mum started to tear up.
It's difficult describing it because it was so unexpected. I don't know how long he put them away whether it was over the last two years or whether he bought them towards the end of his life.
Watson had bought enough presents for Cadi until she turned 16. Williams posted about the story on Twitter, and received immediate attention. Over 5,000 people retweeted the story, which prompted Williams to give out more information on the kind man who had a bond with his daughter.
Ken was a former salvage diver, seaman, carpenter, baker... The first time I met him, he was bouncing a 20ft ladder across the face of his house. He was on top. He was 83 at the time.
Our dog loved him. I mean, genuine visceral love. It was mainly due to the chocolate digestive biscuits he gave her on first meeting. She'd scream whenever she saw him. Really scream. Like a banshee. He'd call her "my darling" and "sweetheart".
He played the accordion. We'd hear the strains of oompah drift through the kitchen wall late at night.
He said he'd live to 100.
Williams and his wife had an important decision to make: should they give Cadi a gift every year as Watson had planned? Or should they open them all now? Ultimately, it seems as though they've decided to give Cadi "a present from Ken" every year, but they opened one now just to see what it was. It was a book called Christmas Eve at the Mellops.
The response online has been overwhelmingly positive, showing that there are still kind-hearted people who think about someone other than themselves. Cadi is lucky to have had a sweet man who cared so much about her, and is sure to have a guardian angel watching over her from now on.