Canadian thrill-seeker Leslie David combines her passion for both photography and adventure by seeking out and exploring abandoned homes in her hometown and taking pictures of what she finds.
Leslie shares pictures of herself exploring theses abandoned places on her Instagram and website. When she posted about an adventure back in 2015, it touched the hearts of thousands across the world.
One day while exploring Ontario, Leslie found an empty house with a broken roof and an entrance that was almost entirely covered in weeds. Inside the house, she found something that would change her life forever.
Inside what she assumed to be an abandoned home, Leslie found an older man named Lawrence who was actually living there. In her posts about the experience, she explained that he had been living there for a while.
“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,” Leslie writes. “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.”
This is Lawrence. He lives in a house I had believed to be abandoned. The driveway is overgrown, the roof is caving in and the interior would lead anyone to believe this land had been deserted. I found him in the living room. 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.
A few days later she returned to the house with food and drinks for Lawrence. She stayed in the run-down house with the man for three hours and shared a good meal and conversation with him.
Over the course of this time, Lawrence shared his life story with Leslie – explaining both the good and the bad.
“He is THE kindest man. He has melted my heart. I brought him some chili and tea biscuits and some snacks for the next few days until I can make it back later this week,” she writes on her website. “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.”
After just their first meeting, Leslie could tell that Lawrence had been so alone that he began to give up on life altogether. She continued to bring him food to make sure that he was fed, and during the time she spent with him she found out that he had suffered a stroke and had yet to seek medical help.
Thankfully, it seems that meeting Leslie revived something in Lawrence – he slowly began to regain his passion for life.
Sympathizing with Lawrence, Leslie realized that renovating his home could really help to bring joy back to his life. She decided to gather a group of her friends and family to take on this project.
Knowing that the years of neglect put a toll on Lawrence’s health, Leslie knew that he didn’t have much time left and wanted to make sure they were filled with joy.
“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,” Leslie writes on her page. “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.”
After the renovations were done, Lawrence and Leslie continued to meet and have conversations about life.
Over time, Lawrence’s health worsened and Leslie helped to find him a retirement home that could be looked after.
Leslie hopes that her unexpected friendship with Lawrence can inspire others.
“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,” she wrote on the website along with pictures of Lawrence. “These old souls are still full of life and I feel blessed to have met this one.”
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