Tara Wood took her daughter, Norah, to the grocery store to buy some cupcakes for her fourth birthday party. As they were waiting in the checkout line, Norah spotted an older man was across the aisle. Immediately she stood up in the shopping cart and yelled out “Hi old person! It’s my birfday today!” The old man just stared back at the young girl as Tara was enraged that her daughter called him an “old person.”
Then, the elderly man stopped and turned to look right at the little girl. His expression softened as he replied, ‘Well, hello little lady! And how old are you today?’ “They chatted for a few minutes, he wished her ‘happy birthday,’ and we went our separate ways,” Tara said.
They then saw the man again a couple of aisles over and approached him, ‘Excuse me, sir? This is Norah, and she’d like to know if you’d take a photo with her for her birthday?’ At first, the old man was mortified, then his face beamed up with light!
‘A photo? With me?’ he asked. ‘Yes, suh, for my birfday!’ Norah pleaded. “And so he did. I pulled out my iPhone and they posed together. She kissed the top of his hand and then placed it on her cheek. He beamed. I asked his name, and he told us to call him ‘Dan.’
“After a few minutes, I thanked Mr. Dan for taking the time to spend a bit of his day with us. He teared up and said, ‘No, thank YOU. This has been the best day I’ve had in a long time. You’ve made me so happy, Miss Norah.’ “They hugged again and we walked away. Norah watched him until he was out of view.
Later that night, Tara (A writer) decided to post the story of her daughter’s encounter on Facebook thinking other might enjoy it. Hours later, a woman recognized the man and sent her this message: “His wife, Mary, had passed away in March, and he had been lonely since his beloved had gone.”
The next day, Norah called her new friend Dan and decided to pay him a visit to his house. was so nervous he had gotten a haircut and a new outfit all to impress his new friend.
“He’d set out a child’s table, blank paper, and crayons out for Norah. He asked if she’d draw some pictures for him to display on his refrigerator. She happily agreed and went right to work.
“We ended up spending nearly three hours with Mr. Dan that day. He was patient and kind with my talkative, constantly moving girl. He wiped ketchup off of her cheek and let her finish his chicken nuggets.”
Norah asks about Mr. Dan every day and wonders if he’s lonely, or cold, or has cheese for his sandwiches. She wants him to feel loved.
“Mr. Dan thinks about Norah, too. After another recent visit, he relayed that he hadn’t had an uninterrupted night’s sleep since his wife died. He told me that he has slept soundly every night since meeting my girl. “‘Norah has healed me,’ he said. “That left me speechless and my cheeks wet with tears.”
“Norah and I have made a promise to see Mr. Dan every week — even if it’s only for fifteen minutes, even if only for a quick hug and to drop off a cheese danish (his favorite!).”
“I’ve invited him to spend Thanksgiving with us. He’s part of our family now. Whether he likes it or not, he’s been absorbed into my family of nine and just like Norah said, “We’re gonna love him all up.”
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Source: Tara Wood