~Photograph by Garry Gay~
Sam watched her from behind the lace curtain of his window as she walked slowly by with her schnauzer each day, always stopping to take a look at his flower garden near the fence. He knew her as Agnes from the house at the end of the street, a widow whose husband had died a year or so ago. He could remember a time when her yard also bloomed with flowers, and she and her husband would sit out on their porch swing with the dog, greeting those who passed by.
She always seemed so sad now, never stopping to visit with anyone, just accompanying her dog on his daily walk, and then retreating back into the seclusion of her home; Sam had been a widower for almost five years now, and he knew loneliness of being single all too well.
On impulse one morning, he picked the most beautiful tulip from his garden, put it in a matching yellow vase, and set it outside her front door where she was sure to find it; he hoped it would brighten her day.
Little was he prepared for what greeted him when he went out to collect his newspaper that evening… there on his doorstep sat a fresh loaf of banana bread wrapped up in cellophane and tied with a yellow ribbon, with a small note attached that read simply “Thank You!”