By Velena Jones

ROCKLIN (CBS13) – A random act of kindness and just four words transformed Sherrie Brown’s Christmas after losing her husband of 56 years.

“’These are for you,’ and that is all he really said,” Brown explained. “I sat in the car and cried and cried on the way home.”

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Flowers sitting in her living room serve as a reminder of the generosity of a little boy, around 8 or 9, who picked Brown at random as she came out of a Rocklin Bel Air grocery store on Wednesday. He handed her a bouquet of flowers from the back seat of his mother’s car.

“His mother rolled down the window and said, ‘He wants to go out and make people happy,’ ” explained Sherrie.

The simple gesture left a profound impact on Sherrie, preparing her first Christmas dinner with an empty seat at the table that belonged to her late husband.

“We have been married 56 years and I just thought, ‘I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this.’ I’m getting the groceries and you just feel sad,” Brown said.

Her husband Dean died in August just days after their anniversary. The couple married when they were in their late teens. Their son Daniel shared the story of the flower surprise on social media. The tweet quickly went viral.

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“Of the hundreds and hundreds of responses on Twitter, more than one person said ‘That was your dad. Your dad guided that kid to your mom on this day.’ and I didn’t argue with anybody that said that because it’s the kind of thing my dad would do,” Daniel said.

Daniel said the act of kindnesses not only impacted his family, but others who read about the story.

“It’s this incredible act of kindness in this world that has been so mean, for so long that it is this heartwarming twist,” he said.

The flowers brought a shining light in a dark and difficult year for the Brown family.

“It just gives you a good feeling. You know we made it through Christmas without too many tears,” Sherrie said.

It was a random act from a nameless stranger whose paths crossed during a time Sherrie needed it the most.

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“I don’t know if he was in the store, I have no idea, but I’m glad it was me,” she said.