A precious little Four-year-old girl named Norah Wood was in the grocery store and because of her friendly attitude, she said hello to Mr. Dan Peterson, 82 years old and ever since that day, they have spent so much time together.
“Something that she has, draws him to her, it’s like he needs it,” Tara Wood, mother of Norah, told reporters. Norah celebrated her 4th birthday at school and after her mother picked her up, they stopped at the grocery store to pick up some cupcakes for their continued celebration at home.
Riding in the shopping cart, just like every other 4 year old, Norah had seen the elderly man and before her mother could stop her, she had stood up right away. “Hi old person,” she said to Dan, “It’s my birthday today!” At first, it startled her mother, she didn’t expect her to do that. “He didn’t seem very happy about her words,” she said. “But then, he softened up and asked her, ‘Well, how was your birthday today young lady?”
After talking for a few moments, they went their own ways in the store. Then, Norah wanted to take a picture with the man so they had to go and find him in the store. Just a few aisles down, there he was, she kindly asked his permission for a picture and he said to her “You want to take a photo with me?” Mrs. Wood indicated that after that, his face lit up, he looked like a completely different person, his entire day changed after that moment. After chatting for a few seconds, they went their separate ways.
After a few pictures taken, they finally formally introduced themselves. Dan, Norah and Tara. Norah thanked “Mr. Dan,” and his response to her daughter, made her tear up immediately. “His lip was trembling. He said, ‘Miss Norah, sweetheart, you made me the happiest I’ve been in a very long time.”
That night, after Norah had went to bed; Tara had posted that picture on her Facebook page. Soon after that, a woman, who knew Mr. Peterson, commented, thanking her for what her daughter did for Dan Peterson. She wrote “When his wife died back in March of this year, he sunk into a very deep depression, that’s the first time I’ve seen that man smile since his wife died.”
Tara had messaged the women who had commented and got his phone number and called Dan. When he picked up the phone and she told him who she was, “he just busted out in tears, he told me he hadn’t stopped thinking about Norah since the day at the grocery store and hoped he would run into us again.” Tara then asked Dan if they could meet up for lunch that week, he replied “that would be so great, would you like to come over to my house and see my greenhouse too?”
When the two arrived at Dan Peterson’s home, Norah almost didn’t recognized him. He got a haircut, shaved, he smelled so nice, “it was like he was preparing for a date” Tara said. Dan had talked with Norah like they were old friends. He set out crayons and paper for her and asked her to draw him some pictures to hang on his fridge and walls.
“He’s been so lonely in his house, we spoke about things that happened in his life for the past 30 or more years, the good things, the bad things, he was just so happy to have someone to talk to and my daughter was sitting in his lap like she had known him for all of her life, the comfort she has for this man is unreal.”
Since their initial visit, Tara and Norah have been visiting Dan very frequently. Norah helped celebrate his 82nd birthday with cake, balloons and gifts! “They get along so well, it’s like they are both kids and understand each other.” Tara said.
Sometimes we drop by unexpectedly, giving him a call when they are on their way and he’s always waiting by the front door for them. Tara says that she is so grateful and so happy that her daughter reached out to someone, not even knowing, when that person needed love the most.
“What they have together, is truly something magical, they were strangers, in a store, they just happened to meet that exact time on that exact day, it’s the best feeling in the world to watch this all unfold right in front of my eyes,” Tara told reporters.