Leslie David is a photographer who is an explorer at heart. She has a curious mind which takes her on crazy and wild adventures. One of her hobbies is exploring abandoned buildings and homes around her hometown of Ontario, Canada.
One day, Leslie stumbled upon a particular decrepit house which caught her eye. The house was abandoned. The windows where shattered, the roof caved-in, and the yard was full of weeds. Curious, Leslie decided to step inside. Little did she know, her life was about to change forever.
Based on the condition of the home, Leslie presumed there was no way for someone to be living inside. She circled the home and found a way to enter.
But when she managed to find her way inside, she was shocked when she saw an old man standing in the living room. His name was Lawrence, and he actually lived in the rundown home. Leslie shared her story on her website:
“He has a hard time getting around so he spends most of his time in there. Alone. He is missing his right eye and has cataracts infecting the left.
Even after noticing a stranger essentially helping themselves to his life he was nothing but sweet and kind to me. He was even nice enough to let me take his picture which I will always treasure. He is a beautiful soul and I plan on visiting him a lot.”I’m posting this picture in hopes that it will inspire at least one person to reach out to someone they may have lost contact with or perhaps just forgot about. These old souls are still full of life and I feel blessed to have met this one. I’m making him some meals to take over this week. I don’t think he’s eating very well, if at all. Some veggie soup and mashed potatoes will hopefully help fill him up a bit. Easy to chew but good for the soul.
He overwhelmed me with how kind he was … I can only hope to return the favor a bit.”
Surprisingly, Lawrence did not treat Leslie has a home intruder. Instead, he was both sweet and kind. He provided Leslie with hospitality, and she reciprocated by promising to return to visit.
A friendship was born.
Later that week, Leslie returned to Lawrence’s home bearing food.
“Tonight was the first of what will be many dinner dates with my new friend. Over the course of 3 hours we ate and drank and laughed. I was fortunate enough to hear about his life… His struggles and his triumphs. This truly was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to share another meal with such a gentle soul.
He is the kindest man. He has melted my heart. I brought him some chili, tea biscuits and some snacks for the next few days until I can make it back later this week. I hope to have most of the trash cleared out and a few repairs done by the end of the summer. Give him a bit of his home back.”
This was a huge promise, but Leslie was determined to make good on it.
While helping Lawrence out, Leslie would bring dinner over to his home. Whether it was food she cooked or food from take-out restaurants, she helped feed Lawrence. He lacked the motivation to clean up after himself after losing nearly everything.
But meeting Leslie changed his life. He started to regain the motivation to live again!
Lawrence’s home was not a long-term solution. It was rundown and disheveled. For him to start a new chapter at life, Lawrence needed to make renovations. Leslie promised to help him out, and she worked relentlessly to transform his home.
“I’ve managed to remove his old fridge, stove, and chest freezer, along with numerous bags of garbage. This was all made possible by a very generous company and a few awesome boys with big hearts and strong lower backs. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and generosity during this period in my life – and in his. He is beyond grateful, not just to me. He knows you are all following his story. After a few recent visits to the doctors, it’s apparent that his health is declining, rapidly.
These may be the last few months I have with my friend and I plan to make them as comfortable and enjoyable for him as possible. He’s informed me of his funeral arrangements and has asked me to be there. I told him I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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. As self-righteous as I feel writing that, I understand 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. It’s a rare opportunity and I’m glad I was able to accept the challenge.”
Leslie was happy to help a friend-in-need, and Lawrence was extremely grateful.
Over the course of the renovations, Leslie and Lawrence bonded. They shared stories with each other as if they were childhood friends.
“Tonight we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful evening. He explained to me how his injuries started in 2000 when a bull fractured his hip. He told me of his brother’s illness and how they have lost touch. He said I was a blessing to him. I told him I couldn’t put into words what he means to me.”
Both parties appreciated the companionship they found.
Lawrence even asked Leslie to accompany her to public events, including a church dinner. She made it very clear to him that he had found a friend for life.
As time passed, Leslie noticed that Lawrence’s health was deteriorating. As a result, she helped transfer him to a local retirement facility. Don’t worry though, Leslie still visits him regularly and brings food as well!