“Are you the one who will be making the decisions?” he asks, before he tells me the plan to replace my roof.  He is my contractor.

(Insert applause for finding a contractor for such extensive home repairs.)

“I am.”

“Okay, ma’am.  I always like to ask.  I don’t know if you’re married… not married…”

He is studying me for clues.

“I’m a young widow.”  I give him the short version of my life’s heartache in two paragraphs or less.

“I can’t imagine losing my wife.  I can’t imagine…” He is choked up, unable to finish.  He excuses himself to his van parked in front of my house.  He wipes his eyes on the sleeve of his shirt.

“I’ll be right back,” he calls to me as he walks down my sidewalk.  “I’m sorry for being emotional.”

It’s okay, sir.  Take your time.

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