Leslie David has always been an adventurous soul. And as a photographer, she’s drawn to the abandoned buildings around Ontario, Canada, where she lives. But the life of an urban explorer is full of surprises. Last year, while exploring sites to photograph, Leslie found a ramshackle house overgrown by weeds. The roof was partially caved in, and it took some time before she could find a way in. Once inside, Leslie found something that would change her life forever.
This is Leslie David. On her Instagram, she shares all the abandoned house she visits and the adventures she goes on. Now, her latest discovery has touched the hearts of thousands of people. She found a ramshackle house that she thought looked intriguing. But as soon as she entered it, she saw something that shocked her.
What did she find? Lawrence— an elderly man who actually still lived in the house.
She writes about the moment 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.”
Leslie thanked Lawrence for his hospitality and promised to visit him again. Little did she know, the two would develop an incredible friendship.
A few days later, Leslie returned with some food for Lawrence. For three hours, the new friends sat together in the dilapidated house and ate, laughed, and talked. Lawrence told Leslie all about himself and his life, including both his successes and setbacks.
From then on, Leslie brought Lawrence food during her frequent visits.
Lawrence had given up so completely on life that he didn’t even try to seek help when he suffered a stroke. But meeting Leslie ignited something in him. Slowly but surely, he started to rediscover the spark of life.
Leslie felt so much for this lonely and damaged man. She realized that if she could renovate his home, joy would return to his life. She also knew that Lawrence didn’t have much time left to live. And she wanted his last days would be filled with joy and love. Thus, she enlisted her friends and family to start fixing up Lawrence’s house.
“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.”
When the renovation was finished, Leslie and Lawrence continued to hang out and talk. Lawrence told her that he lost touch with his brother, the family member he’d been closest to.
As the months passed, Lawrence’s health worsened. Leslie helped him find a retirement home where he could spend his last days in a supportive environment. Now, Leslie continues to visit him there. She takes his favorite food and even brings her dog.
Lawrence loves his new home and understand that none of this would have been possible without Leslie.
On her website, Leslie writes about her reason for sharing her story of meeting Lawrence:
“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.”
Just like Leslie, I hope we are all inspired to reach out to a long lost loved one. Please share if you were also touched by this story of an unexpected friendship.
Published by Newsner, please like.