If you've ever lost someone, you know what it is like to celebrate the holidays without them. Imagine if you got a gift from them every year, even long after they were gone.
That's exactly what one kind senior citizen planned for his little neighbor, and her dad is telling the story of how the family's first Christmas without their neighbor Ken is becoming one of many that will honor his memory.
When Owen Williams and his wife moved into their home in Wales three years ago, they met Ken, then 83. The first time they saw him he was "bouncing a 20 [foot] ladder of the face of his house," Owen recalls. The neighbors became fast friends, and when the Williams' daughter, Cadi, was born two years ago, Ken became something like a grandfather to the little girl.
He always told Cadi's parents that he was going to live to be 100, but he didn't. In October, Ken passed away at 86 years old.
This would have been the first Christmas in Cadi's life that she didn't get a present from Ken, but as the Washington Post reports, Ken made sure Cadi would have a gift from him for many Christmases to come.
The story spread from a neighborhood in the Welsh town of Barry to newspapers in America after Owen tweeted about how Ken's daughter had come over with a bag full of wrapped presents for Cadi.
"Our elderly neighbour passed away recently," Owen tweeted. "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."
Are you crying yet? (It's okay, so are we.)
So Owen, a social media consultant, asked Twitter whether he should open all the gifts this Christmas, or dole them out to his daughter one year at a time.
He wondered, though, if the gifts would be age-appropriate a decade from now.
The consensus from Twitter users was that the Williams' should save the presents and open one per year, as a tradition for their daughter. The Williams have already opened one of the presents since Owen's tweet went viral, but they've decided that Twitter users are right.
"We're definitely going to open one every year till 2032, by the way. It'll be our way of remembering an immensely generous gentleman - our new Christmas tradition," Owen writes.
Cadi may never remember the neighbor who was her special friend until she was 2 years old, but thanks to Ken's late act of generosity, she will always know how much she meant to him.