Dying man leaves 14 years of Christmas presents behind for neighbors' young daughter
A dying British man's final act of kindness for his neighbors' daughter has gone viral, tugging at heartstrings all around the world.
Ken Watson, an 87-year-old retired commercial deep sea diver who lived in Barry, a small town in Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, recently passed away, despite his vow to live to be 100 years old, the Mirror reports.
Watson, who lived next door to Owen and Caroline Williams for the past two years, had grown "very fond" of the couple's two-year-old daughter, Cadi, her parents say.
On Monday night, Watson's daughter Jenny stopped by the Williams' home to drop off a sweet surprise that the elderly man had left behind for their child — 14 years of neatly-wrapped Christmas presents collected in a large sack.
"I brought [the bag] back in and my wife was on FaceTime to her mum in Ireland," Owen Williams told the BBC. "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," he added. "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."
The girl's father then took to Twitter to share photos of the gifts, which have already amassed over 2,300 retweets and more than 11,000 likes.
"Our elderly neighbour passed away recently," Owen Williams wrote. "His daughter popped round a few moments ago clutching a large plastic sack. In the sack were all the Christmas presents he’d bought for *our* daughter for the next thirteen years. 😢"
Williams later amended his first tweet, stating that he had miscounted the number of gifts. "It’s fourteen gifts," he wrote. "He always told us he’d live till he was 100-years-old, so these gifts would have taken him up to our little girl’s 16th Christmas."
After the touching story garnered widespread media coverage, Willson updated his followers with some incredible information about Ken Watson, the late man who had captured the world's heart.
"There’s some press interest in this story, so let me tell you a bit about the man: Ken was a former salvage diver, seaman, carpenter, baker," Williams wrote.
"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"."
Williams also shared a link to an article published by a local paper about Watson's unusual methods of coping with his wife Beryl's death in February 2012, which included skydiving, parachute jumping and hang-gliding.
"After my wife had passed away I took a long time to settle," Watson told Barry & District News in 2016. "There’s a space around me. I still hear her voice and speak to her."
"I think my deep sea diving days helped," he added. "When I was considering becoming a diver I remember my wife said, 'If you don’t try it you may always regret it'."