When four-year-old Norah went the supermarket with her mum on her birthday, she was drawn to an elderly man named Dan. The chance encounter has now blossomed into a beautiful friendship.
Writing about her daughter’s kindness in an article for Today, mum Tara Wood said: “Norah asks about Mr. Dan every day. She worries about him. She wonders if he’s lonely, or cold, or has cheese for his sandwiches. She wants him to be okay. She wants him to feel loved.”
Popping into the supermarket to pick up some cupcakes to celebrate Norah’s birthday, the little girl introduced herself to Dan, saying: “Hi old person! It’s my birfday today!”
“Well hello little lady! And how old are you today?” he replied.
Norah insisted on having her photo taken with Dan. "She placed her soft hand on top of his soft hand. He wordlessly stared at her with twinkling eyes as she kept his hand in hers and studied his skinny veins and weathered knuckles," Wood wrote.
Going their separate ways, Dan told Norah, “This has been the best day I’ve had in a long time. You’ve made me so happy, Miss Norah.”
Deciding to share the encounter on Facebook, Wood was contacted privately by a friend of Dan’s. She found out his wife, Mary, had died earlier this year and “had been lonely since his beloved had gone.”
Wood asked for Dan’s phone number and arranged to meet again.
“We made a visit to Mr. Dan’s cozy and tidy house — reminders of Mary still proudly displayed everywhere you look. He had gotten a haircut, shaved, and was wearing slacks and dress shoes.
“He looked ten years younger. 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.”
The pair now visits Dan once a week; even it’s only for 15 minutes.
After the visits, Dan revealed to Wood how much he appreciates his new friendship.
“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,” Wood wrote.
“I’ve invited him to spend Thanksgiving with us. He’s part of our family now,” the mother finished.
“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.'"