Filling the air with the noise of children is one man's way of coping with grief.
When we get married we hope to spend as much of our lives with our beloved, who knows us inside out, at our best and worst, and will still love us no matter what. So it’s difficult to imagine the void 94-year-old Keith Davison felt when his wife of nearly 66 years, Evy, passed away last year.
The elderly widower and father of three explained to his local news broadcaster: “You just can’t imagine what it’s like.” He added: “You cry a lot. That’s just the way it is, because she’s not here.”
Davison, who has no grandchildren, decided to fill the empty air with the noise of his neighbor’s children. He spoke with his neighbors about the idea of building a pool for those in the community in his backyard. Understandably, his neighbors didn’t think he’d really go ahead with the project.
Yet, last spring, the nonagenarian went out into his backyard and marked up a site for an impressive 32-ft long pool, which also goes as deep as 9 feet for diving, making for quite a splash! The former judge then opened the pool to all the children living around him.
In a town with no public outdoor pool, Davison’s backyard is proving quite the hit. One neighbor, Jessica Huebner, whose four children are daily visitors to the pool said: “It’s him spreading joy throughout our neighborhood for these kids.” She also told Davison: “You kind of adopted our whole neighborhood of kids. These are your grandkids.”
The new grandad now sits in his backyard watching kids giggle and splash, accompanied by an obligatory adult. He wants these children to have fun, and although the project made absolutely no economic sense to Davison, he explained: “I’m not sitting by myself looking at the walls,” he said. “What else would you think of doing where you could have a whole bunch of kids over every afternoon?”
The 94-year-old does go for a dip himself once his guests have gone. But what really makes this project remarkable is how Davison, in his profound grief, was able to lean on his community while helping them at the same time. His generous gift to his neighborhood is the perfect reminder of how in giving we receive.