I grew up in a cul-de-sac, surrounded mostly by houses owned by elderly people.  One of our neighbors, “Bethany” (out of respect, I changed her name) has lived by herself since I can remember.

My mom told me that she used to be married, and they had a daughter who was still alive; unfortunately, Bethany and her husband divorced due to sad circumstances, and she’s mostly estranged from her daughter, as well.  She’s always had one or two small dogs that would run around the neighborhood and play with our dog; other than that, from what I know, she lives a relatively solitary and peaceful life.  I would describe Bethany as rather blunt and introverted, but after a few encounters, you can tell that she’s a genuinely good person with a good heart that cares about others.

For the past decade, Bethany has dropped off loaves of bread at houses around the cul-de-sac every few weeks.  She rings the doorbell, and if no one answers for a minute or so, she just leaves the loaves (usually one wheat and one cinnamon) in a plastic bag on the door handle.  It took my mom awhile to figure out it who was leaving the loaves because there’s never a note.  My mom said she’s made it to the door to answer once or twice, and it seems like Bethany doesn’t do it in hopes of sparking up a long-winded conversation to pass time; she just wants to drop off the loaves of bread.

It’s a little odd, from our perspective.

One morning when I was home for the weekend, I heard the doorbell ring and was a little annoyed because I wanted to sleep in.  So I ignored it.  I looked out the window and saw Bethany walking away from our door with her plastic bags full of loaves of bread, and sure enough, there was a bag hanging on our door.  I felt awful for not answering, so I opened the door and waved; Bethany looked, waved back, and continued her trek around the block.  I was stoked to have the cinnamon bread for breakfast because it was fresh from the Cub bakery, and I hadn’t had time to go to the store that week.

Although the whole situation is a little odd, who am I to judge?  Anyone who knows me knows that I have some really odd habits; don’t we all?  Everyone’s a little odd; the world’s a little odd.  Everybody just wants to be loved, and we’re wired as human beings to seek connection.  Maybe this is just one way that Bethany experiences that love and connection in her life.  I really appreciate her kind gesture, despite how odd it initially seems; it’s selfless, and that’s beautiful.

Thank you for sharing more than just bread with us, Bethany.

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