Quickly approaching his 40th birthday, 2014 was not too kind to husband and father Darius.
He lost his job and all of his money. To make matters worse, he noticed strange patches on his skin and was diagnosed with skin cancer. Interestingly enough he says his backyard at the time resembled his life: downright depressing.
But no matter how bad he felt about his life, Darius realized that someone else probably had it much worse. After all, he has two healthy children, a supportive and loving wife, and amazing friends.
So, Darius decided to do something special for his family. He set out to build his kids their dream playhouse and a space where his wife could exercise outside. Best of all, his wife had no idea what he had planned.
Darius found inspiration through Pinterest, which helped him visualize and problem solve. For his 40th birthday, he asked his friends and family to give him wood and lumber, of all things.
He then surprised his wife with a five-day trip to New York City. By the time he got back from dropping her off at the airport, the lumber was waiting for him. He got right to work, and his daughters helped him through the entire process, cleaning, painting and cheering him on.
He built a deck, a pergola, a playhouse, a garden, and he did it all on a budget, while taking care of his kids and working on getting healthy. The couple of times he ran out of money, he sought handiwork in order to buy more materials. Incredible.
“The kids love their new space,” Darius wrote on his blog. “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.”
Instead of a backyard that symbolizes darkness and depression, the transformation mirrored his positive new outlook on life.