Growing up, my friends and I would go exploring abandoned places all the time. Abandoned buildings on the outskirts of my hometown were plentiful. We never had to search very far to find one we hadn’t been in yet. Most people get creeped out when they see abandoned places such as this. Not without good reason sometimes, there is some really weird stuff that goes down in abandoned buildings. Personally though, I see adventure. I love being somewhere that no one else has been in years. You can almost feel the age of some of the buildings you are in from the complete silence of them. A girl named Leslie has the same kindred spirit. She loves urban exploring, and it’s actually had a profound impact on her life. Check out the unlikely friend she made, and how he has changed her life for the better.
Leslie was out and about one day, exploring some different places when she came across this haggard looking house. The roof was caving in, and the yard was completely overgrown. She figured it was abandoned, so she decided to take a look inside.
She turned around a corner of the interior of the house though, and there standing in front of her was this man. His name is Lawrence, and the home is actually his. Lawrence has cataracts infecting his left eye, and his right one is completely missing. He has great difficulty getting around, so he rarely leaves his house and spends most of his time alone.
Even though she had just broken into his house, Leslie was taken aback by how sweet and kind Lawrence was to her. For the next three hours, the two just sat and talked. Lawrence told her about the struggles and difficult times he’s been through. Leslie felt a bond with Lawrence, so she decided to keep seeing him on a regular basis. She brings him food and offers her friendship.
This picture was taken during one of Leslie and Lawrence’s dinner dates. A week before this picture was taken Lawrence suffered a stroke. He couldn’t move his hands as a result, so it took him 5 days to get medical attention. During their meals and visits, Lawrence slowly opened up more to Leslie about what his life had been like. A bull fractured his hip in 2000, which started a string of injuries that has hampered his ability to take care of himself. He also told her about the brother he lost touch with, and described Leslie as a “blessing”.
They continued to have plenty of dinner dates together. Pizza was definitely a favorite on the menu.
Leslie eventually helped clean up Lawrence’s yard and fixed his house up. Volunteers helped her remove his old fridge, stove, chest freezer, along with numerous bags of garbage and other content. He was extremely grateful, and happy to finally have some room in his home.
Lawrence’s health started to decline rapidly however. He asked Leslie to help him make his funeral arrangements and requested that she be there.
Lawrence ended up having stays at two separate hospitals after his last stroke. Fortunately though, he recovered and is now living in a retirement community and doing much better!
Lawrence did miss his home, but he loves being around other people. He lights up when Leslie brings her dog to see him. Here he is with a birthday cake that Leslie’s mother baked for him.
This is such an inspiring story. So many people today would have just went on their way after finding out this house was being inhabited. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have stuck around to listen to this mans story. Leslie did though, and because she did she has gained such an incredible friendship. She has brought joy back into Lawrence’s life, and he seems like he will be eternally grateful for her extending her hand in friendship.