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Grumpy Widower Finds New Purpose Helping Struggling Single Mother Next Door — Story of the Day

The life of a lonely widower, Colin, changes when a single mother with two children moves into the house next door. She tries to show Colin that even after the death of loved ones, life goes on.

Colin, an elderly man, recently lost his wife. He loved his wife more than anything and never imagined life without her. After her death, he became angry at the world. He stopped going out and talking to people; no one interested him anymore.

Each day feels empty, and the silence in his home is a constant reminder of his loneliness. He spends most of his time staring out the window, watching the world go by without him. Once filled with laughter and love, his house now feels cold and empty.

One morning, Colin sees a moving truck pull up next door as he sits in his usual spot by the window. He squints to see better and watches as a pregnant woman steps out, followed by two young children.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

The sight of them makes his chest tighten with irritation. Children are the worst thing that could happen to Colin now. They always bring unnecessary noise, something he can’t bear in his fragile state of mind.

With a huff, Colin pushes himself up from his chair and makes his way to the front door. From the start, he needs to make it clear that he won’t tolerate any disturbance.

Stepping out of his house, he stands on the porch, glaring at the new neighbors as they bustle around, unloading boxes and trying to settle into their new home.

“Ma’am!” he yells, his voice rough.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

The woman turns to him, a kind smile on her face. “Oh! So, you’re our neighbor! Nice to meet you! My name is Samantha, and these are my sons, Toby and Carl,” she says, her voice friendly and warm.

Colin glares at her. “Ma’am, if your children bother me, I’ll call the police!” he shouts.

Samantha looks taken aback but keeps her smile. “My children are very well-behaved and quiet! They won’t bother you,” she says, following Colin as he turns to go back inside.

Colin doesn’t respond. He enters his house and slams the door behind him. The sound echoes through the empty rooms.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

That evening, Colin hears a knock on his door. He opens it and sees Samantha standing there, holding a pie. “I thought since we’re now neighbors, it would be nice to get to know each other better, so I brought you a pie,” she says, smiling.

Colin stares at her for a moment before silently shutting the door in her face. Samantha knocks again.

“Go away! I don’t need your pies!” Colin shouts through the closed door.

A few seconds later, Colin hears crying. Curious, he looks through the peephole and sees Samantha sitting on his doorstep, crying.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

With a heavy sigh, he steps out of the house. “Why are you crying on my steps? Don’t you have your own house?” he grumbles.

Samantha looks up, tears streaming down her face. “I do,” she replies, her voice trembling.

“Then go cry there. Let your husband comfort you,” Colin says harshly.

Samantha cries even harder. “I no longer have a husband. He died in a car accident, and since then, everything has gone wrong. I can’t cope. We moved into this house, and it’s almost falling apart, the kids are always crying for their dad, and I’m about to give birth soon. My husband bought this house; we were supposed to live here together,” she says, her voice breaking.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Colin stands there, silent and unsure of what to say.

“I hoped for good neighbors, but it seems I was wrong,” Samantha says, standing up and heading back to her house, leaving the pie on the steps.

Colin watches her go, a strange feeling twisting in his chest. He looks down at the pie, then picks it up and goes inside. He sets the pie on the kitchen table and sits down, staring at it. The smell of the pie fills the room, reminding him of the pies his wife used to bake.

For a moment, he feels a flicker of warmth, a memory of better times. But it quickly fades, replaced by the familiar emptiness. With a sigh, he leans back in his chair and closes his eyes.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Feeling guilty about the previous evening, Colin goes to Samantha’s house early in the morning and starts fixing her fence, hammering the loose boards into place. When Samantha wakes up and sees Colin outside, she looks at him in surprise.

“Good morning,” Samantha says, stepping outside. “What are you doing?”

Colin looks up from his work. “Fixing your fence. Do you need any other help?”

Samantha is stunned for a few seconds. “Um, yes. There are some rotten boards in the floor, the kitchen faucet is leaking, and the doors squeak a lot.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Colin nods. He puts down his tools and walks towards the house. Samantha follows him, still surprised by his unexpected kindness.

She watches as Colin examines the floorboards, then moves to the kitchen to check the faucet, determined to help however he can.

Colin begins by removing and replacing the rotten floorboards, meticulously measuring and cutting each new piece of wood to fit perfectly.

He then moves to the kitchen, tightening the faucet and replacing a few worn-out parts to stop the leak. Finally, he oils the hinges on the doors, ensuring they open and close smoothly without a sound.

After finishing all the work, Colin approaches Samantha, wiping his hands on a rag.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

“It seems everything is done,” he says. “Let me know if you need any more help.”

Samantha looks at him, gratitude in her eyes. “I don’t even know how to thank you.”

Colin shakes his head. “You don’t need to. I noticed you don’t have a crib yet.”

Samantha sighs. “Yes, after my husband’s death, it’s been hard to manage everything. I didn’t even think about getting a crib.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Colin nods, understanding. “I get it. Six months ago, my wife died. Every day, I wake up and regret waking up instead of joining her. I can’t wait to be with her again.”

Samantha’s face softens with empathy. “Don’t talk like that.”

“Martha was the love of my life,” Colin says quietly. “My reason for waking up every morning. When she passed, everything lost its color.”

“I understand,” Samantha replies. “But I have to stay strong for the kids.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Colin looks at her, seeing the strength in her eyes. He nods.

Samantha smiles sadly. “Thank you, Colin. Really.”

Colin gives a small nod and then turns to head back to his house, feeling a bit lighter than before.

A few days later, there is a knock on Colin’s door. He opens it and sees Samantha’s children, Toby and Carl, standing on his doorstep. Toby is holding a stray cat.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

“Hey, Mr. Colin,” Toby says. “We found this cat, and she’s very hungry and sad.”

Carl chimes in, “We can’t keep her because Mom will have a baby soon.”

“We want you to take her and look after her,” Toby adds.

Colin frowns, his eyes narrowing. “I’m not going to take care of this creature,” he grumbles.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

“Pleeeease,” the children beg in unison, their eyes wide with hope.

“We’ll help you, and she won’t bother you much,” Carl says earnestly.

Colin sighs, rubbing his forehead. “Will you visit her every day?” he asks, looking at them sternly.

The children nod enthusiastically, their faces lighting up with excitement.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

“Alright, give her to me,” Colin finally says, taking the cat from Toby’s hands.

“Thank you, Mr. Colin!” the children say together, their voices full of joy. They hug Colin, their small arms wrapping around him tightly. Colin freezes, not knowing how to react to the sudden display of affection.

The children release Colin and run back to their house, giggling and waving as they go. Colin watches them for a moment before turning to enter his house.

He lifts the cat up and looks into its eyes. “And what am I supposed to do with you now?” he mutters, shaking his head.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

The cat meows softly, snuggling into Colin’s arms. He sighs again, carrying the cat into the living room. He sets the cat down on a soft blanket and watches as it curls up, purring contentedly. Despite himself, Colin feels a small smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

Later that day, Samantha comes to Colin’s house. She looks a bit uneasy as she stands on his doorstep.

“Colin, I’m really sorry about the kids bringing you the cat,” she says. “I hope it wasn’t too much trouble.”

Colin shrugs. “It’s fine. What do you need?”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Samantha hesitates for a moment. “I have a doctor’s appointment and need someone to watch the kids for a couple of hours. Could you help me with that?”

Colin thinks for a moment, then nods. “Alright, bring them over.”

A few minutes later, Samantha brings Toby and Carl to Colin’s house. “Thank you so much, Colin,” she says, looking relieved before she leaves.

At first, everything goes well. The children play with the cat, laughing as it bats at a toy mouse. Colin watches them, feeling a warmth he hasn’t felt in a long time.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

After a while, he decides to teach them how to play chess. He sets up the board and explains the rules, showing them how each piece moves.

At first, Toby and Carl are interested, carefully moving the pieces and trying to remember what each one does. But soon, they start to get bored. Their eyes wander around the room and land on the piano in the corner.

“Look, a piano!” Carl exclaims, running over to it.

Toby follows and lifts the lid. He presses a key, making a soft note sound. Colin’s heart leaps in his chest.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

“No, don’t touch that!” Colin yells, his voice sharp and panicked.

The children jump back, their faces pale with shock. “We’re sorry, Mr. Colin,” Toby says, his voice small.

Just then, Samantha returns. She sees the scene and hurries over. “What happened?” she asks, concern in her voice.

“It’s okay,” Colin says, his voice gentler now.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Samantha looks at her boys and then back at Colin. “I’m so sorry,” she says. “Thank you for watching them.”

Colin nods, feeling a mix of emotions. He watches them leave, the house suddenly feeling emptier than before. He looks at the piano, and the memory of his wife playing it fills his mind. He sits down on the bench, running his fingers over the keys, lost in thought.

In the evening, Colin sits on the couch with the cat on his lap, the house quiet around him. Suddenly, there is a knock on the door.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

“Come in!” Colin shouts.

The door opens, and Samantha steps inside. She walks over and sits next to Colin on the couch.

“Colin, I’m so sorry that the children upset you,” Samantha begins, her voice soft.

Colin sighs. “I shouldn’t have gotten so angry. It’s just that the piano belongs… belonged to my wife. I couldn’t—”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Samantha interrupts, “I understand how difficult it can be when reminded of a loved one who is no longer here. I have two such little reminders. My sons look so much like my late husband. As terrible as it sounds, it sometimes hurts to look at them.”

Colin nods, feeling a deep sense of empathy. “I get it. It’s hard to move on when everything around you brings back memories.”

Samantha looks down, nodding. “Yes, it is. But we find ways to cope, don’t we?”

Colin pauses, then says, “I have something for you. Come with me.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Curious, Samantha follows Colin as he leads her to a room at the back of the house. The room is almost empty except for a beautiful crib standing in the center.

“I made this crib for the child my wife and I were expecting,” Colin explains, his voice thick with emotion. “But we never had children, and this crib has stood here for years. I’ve updated it a bit, and I want to give it to you.”

Samantha’s eyes fill with tears. She steps forward and hugs Colin tightly, her gratitude clear. “Thank you. I don’t know how I would manage without you.”

Colin pats her back awkwardly but feels a warmth spreading through him. “It’s nothing,” he mutters. “Just glad it can be used.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Colin helps Samantha carry the crib to her house. As they set it up, Colin watches Samantha’s face light up with relief and happiness. He returns home, the house still and quiet once more. But this time, the silence feels a little less heavy.

Over time, Colin and Samantha become a family. They start doing small things together that bring them closer. On weekends, Colin helps the boys with their homework and teaches them how to play chess.

Samantha often brings over fresh-baked cookies, and they sit together in Colin’s kitchen, chatting about their day.

In these simple, everyday moments, they help each other heal. Colin starts to smile more, and Samantha feels less alone. Together, they build a new sense of family, finding joy in each other’s company and support.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

One night, Colin feels unwell. He barely manages to call Samantha. Hearing the distress in his voice, Samantha rushes to his house and finds him looking very pale. She quickly helps him into her car and drives to the hospital.

At the hospital, the doctors take Colin in immediately. Samantha is left in the waiting area, her heart pounding with worry. She paces back and forth, praying for good news.

After what feels like an eternity, a doctor approaches Samantha. His expression is serious and sad.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

“I’m very sorry, but Colin’s heart has stopped,” the doctor says gently.

Samantha’s eyes fill with tears. “What caused it?” she asks, her voice breaking.

“Heart failure,” the doctor replies. “Colin’s heart was too big.”

Samantha pauses, a sad smile forming through her tears. “Yes, that’s true. It really was too big.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

The doctor nods, understanding the deeper meaning behind her words. Samantha sits down, tears streaming down her face, but she also feels a sense of peace, knowing Colin’s big heart has touched so many lives, including her own.

Samantha returns from the hospital, feeling a heavy sadness. She enters Colin’s house, her heart aching. The house is quiet, filled with memories of Colin. She walks through the rooms, finally finding herself in his study. On the desk, she sees a letter addressed to her.

With trembling hands, Samantha opens the letter. It is Colin’s will. As she reads, tears fill her eyes.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

“To my dear friend Samantha,” the letter begins. “Do not mourn for me. I am now the happiest person, reunited with my beloved wife. I leave you my house, my car, and, of course, my cat. They are yours now.”

Samantha’s tears flow freely as she reads the next lines. “You might not have known, but I needed you more than you needed me. Your kindness, your strength, and your family brought light back into my life. Thank you for being my friend.”

Samantha clutches the letter to her chest, feeling a deep connection to the man who had become such an important part of her life. She looks around the house, now hers, and feels a mix of sorrow and gratitude. Colin’s memory will always stay with her, a reminder of the power of friendship and love.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

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