We never truly know how the death of a loved one is going to affect us. Everyone reacts to grief in different ways, everyone processes loss on their own terms and in their own time.
For Keith Davison, losing the love of his life to cancer after a 66-year marriage was enough to leave him a broken shell of the man he had been.
The 94-year-old’s wife died of cancer back in 2016.
“You just can’t imagine what it’s like,” Keith said. “You cry a lot. That’s just the way it is, because she’s not here.”
But eventually Keith, a retired judge, decided to do something to take his mind off of the heavy silence. So he built an in-ground pool in his backyard, one large enough for all of the neighborhood kids to play in.
“I knew they’d come,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, his neighbors thought he was joking when he first talked about building a pool to host all of their kids.
Jessica Huebner, who lives close to Keith, explained: “This spring when I saw him marking the yard, I told my husband, he’s really going to put a pool in his backyard.”
She continued: “It’s him spreading joy throughout our neighborhood for these kids.”
Given that the town where Keith lives doesn’t have an outdoor pool, the one he built in his backyard – at 32 feet long and 9 feet deep under the diving board – is a welcome addition indeed.
Jessica says she now tells her neighbor: “’You kind of adopted our whole neighborhood of kids, these are your grandkids.’”
Though the idea of installing a giant pool at his age might be an eyebrow-raiser, Keith is more than content with his decision.
“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?”