Tara Wood shared a story online that has reached and touched the hearts of thousands. It’s a heart warming story of her daughter and an unusual friend that she made though a remarkable event.
Tara starts off by saying that a few days before her young daughter, Norah, was due to celebrate her 4th birthday, she foreshadowed something incredible about to happen.
Tara picked up her daughter from pre-school, just like any other day, when her daughter stoped her for a moment and warned to be weary of the elderly man walking across the parking lot moving at a snail’s pace.
Her daughter started talking about how she really liked old people because they shared so many similarities. “They walk slow like I walk slow and their skin is soft and spongy just like mine”. She said she wanted to show as much love as she could to every old person she came across because “They’re all going to die eventually” so why not show them some love before they do?
Tara was surprised by her daughters thoughtfulness and sense of care she had for the elderly but wasn’t aware of how much her daughter really meant it.
On Norah’s fourth birthday, after school she quietly asked if they could make a quick stop at the local grocery store to get some cupcakes to celebrate her birthday with. Her mom happily agreed and took Norah and her younger sister off to the bakery aisles.
After picking up some delicious looking cupcakes, they made a quick stop at the ‘Clearance’ shelf to see if there was anything of interest there. While she was busy looking through the cans and bottles, from the corner of her eye she noticed Norah stood up and said, “Hello old man, today is my birthday!”
As Tara turned some more, she noticed an old man, pale-faced showing no sign of emotion. She wanted to quickly cover Norah’s mouth and to shush her, but she was already too late, the old man turned around and looked directly at Norah sitting in the shopping cart.
His expression quickly turned from a poker-face to a warm gently smile and replied, “Well hello little lady! And how old are you today?”
They made small conversation for a short while before ‘old man’ wished Norah a happy birthday and continued on with his shopping.
A few moments later, Norah turned to her mother and asked if she could take a picture with the old man. Her mother found it adorable and was happy to let her daughter take a picture, if the old man was willing though.
She pushed the cart around searching for the man again and found him a couple aisles over. She went up to him and asked if he would be willing to take a photo with Norah for her birthday. It was at this point his facial expression said it all, he went from a perplexed look into a happy and cheery face.
He bent over to Norah sitting in the shopping cart and and asked, “A photo? With Me?”. She nodded her head up and down, replying “Yes sir, I’d like one for my birthday!”.
He took a few seconds to fix up his hair and look at neat as he could and leaned on the shopping cart slightly so he could get into the picture with Norah. Mom Tara pulled out her phone and took a photo of the two smiling and holding onto each others hands. Just after the photo, Norah kissed his hand and placed it on her cheek and giggled.
At this point Tara asked him what his name was, and he replied with “Dan”.
Other shoppers were looking on and some were unable to get past in the aisle but they didn’t care, they were all standing there smiling to what they just witnessed. Little Norah and Dan were talking to each other like they were old time pals having a catch up.
After a few moments, mom thanked Dan for going out of his way to spend some time with Norah to make her birthday extra special. She noticed tears growing in his eyes and he replied with, “No, thank you Ma’am. I’ve not had a joyful day like this in a very long time. It feels good to smile and be happy again”.
Norah and her new best friend Dan hugged one last time before they had to part ways again and continue on with their day, with mom trying to hold in her joyful tears after that encounter.
Some time later that night when she got home, she posted the story of what happened on Facebook, knowing that a few readers would enjoy the story and possible brighten their day. A few hours after she had posted it, she received a private message from someone who had read the story claiming to know the old man, Mr. Dan.
Dan had a wife, Mary, who had passed away not too long ago in March and was feeling awfully lonely ever since. He had no family or friends left that would take their time out to spend with him and he felt unwanted, counting the days as they passed until he could see his wife again.
Mom Tara asked the reader if she could get hold of a way to contact Dan and got his phone number. She called him a few days later and organized to visit him in his house. She felt it was the least she could do after what she had heard he had been though.
When she got to his house, she noticed how well kept it was and pictures of his wife Mary were placed in frames almost everywhere, he clearly loved and missed her very much. He looked different that day, he had gone to get his hair cut, he was wearing a dress shirt and polished shoes. He looked like a younger version of himself!
Mr. Dan had already made a table for Norah to play on, coloring pencils and books were set out. He asked Norah if she would be willing to draw him pictures that he could use to stick around the house and she happily started drawing anything that came to mind.
They spent over three hours with Mr. Dan and it seemed like the time just flew by. “He was patient and kind with my talkative, constantly moving girl.”
As he was walking them out, he grabbed a multi-tool from his pocket and used the little knife to cut a rose off from the bush n his driveway. He spent another few minutes carefully cutting off all of the thorns from the stem before bringing himself lower to the ground to present the rose to Norah. She still keeps that rose, sealed in a Ziploc bag, under her pillow.
Not a day goes by without Norah asking her mom about Mr. Dan. She wants to make sure that he isn’t still feeling lonely or unloved, or if he needs any help with his groceries. She has a huge heart and just wants to make sure that her best friend is living happy.
“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 Dan had a staggering 78 years age difference but despite that their hearts and souls were connected in way words couldn’t explain.
Now Norah and her mom have vowed to visit Mr. Dan at least once a week, no matter how busy they are. Even if its just a few minutes, it would make them comfortable knowing that Mr. Dan feels happy and loved.