2014 was not kind to father of two Darius Stevens, writer of the book ‘ Clueless Parent’. Just months shy of his 40th birthday he was laid off. Shortly afterward he was diagnosed with skin cancer. He had gone for a check-up when he noticed unusual flaking on his body. When it rains, it really pours. But instead of despairing, Darius hit back at life by doing something remarkable.
He said that when he would look out to his backyard during those gloomy days, what he saw just reflect the goings-on in his life: the yard just seemed “downright depressing”.
But despite all the hardship, Darius had somewhat of an epiphany. He realized that no matter what life threw at him, there are always people who are having it much worse. Despite his joblessness and illness, he suddenly saw how blessed he is to have two healthy children, a loving wife and supportive friends.
Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he decided to use the newly-allotted free time in creating something beautiful for his family… without telling his wife!
Inspiring himself on Pinterest, Darius decided to re-invent his backyard into a dream playhouse for his children and an exercising space for his wife. For his 40th birthday, his friends presented him with wood, lumber and other building materials, then he was all set.
He surprised his wife with a five-day trip to New York City, and once he dropped her off at the airport he was all business.
In five days he managed to create a different planet out of his old, boring backyard – all while taking care of his children who helped him out and taking care of his health regimen. It was all done in time to surprise his wife on her return, without almost any kind of expense.
Instead of unused space, the yard now accommodates a trampoline, a pergola, a playhouse and more.
“The kids love their new space,” he said. “My wife loves our backyard. And I feel strangely satisfied. It felt good to build this. It sort of gave me a renewed verve for keeping going. Pursuing my dreams and taking the struggle that comes with that in stride.”
Watch the video to see the whole deal!