Urban exploration is modern archaeology, digging into abandoned or hidden places. But there’s always a risk when poking in supposedly lifeless places. Sometimes, someone’s waiting.
That’s what happened to “The Tourist”, a.k.a. Leslie, an Ontario-based urban explorer and photographer. As reported Freaktography, Leslie celebrated her birthday in 2015 by making a stop at a house she’d always found intriguing.
Instead she found something shocking.
Her post on Instagram tells the story:
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 in 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.
The house that stole my heart – this is the exterior of my new friends home. 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.
Leslie and Lawrence began to share dinner together over a few weeks. Pizza and beer where often on the menu, and it went on for a few weeks. Sadly, it didn’t last forever.
An update on my friend – he is in good spirits and is very happy to have some room in his home. I’ve managed to remove his old fridge, stove, and chest freezer, along with numerous bags of garbage and other content. 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.
Lawrence at the moment is staying at a retirement home, no doubt a step up from an abandoned looking house. An amazing meeting across generations.