You never know when someone is about to make your day.
This was true for Tara Wood and her daughter, Norah. Tara and Norah were at the grocery store getting supplies to celebrate Norah's 4th birthday. The day before, Norah had been telling Tara how much she loved elderly people. She loved their skin, their calm movements. Norah described this to her mother saying, "I like old peoples the best ‘cos they walk slow like I walk slow and they has soft skin like I has soft skin. They all gonna die soon so I’m gonna love ‘em all up before they is died.’
While they were at the grocery store buying birthday supplies, Tara found herself headed toward the clearance section. In this section, there was an old man that had caught Norah's attention.
"Hi old person! It's my birfday today!" Norah yelled, excitedly. Immediately mortified that Norah called the man "old," Tara wanted to apologize to the man and get out of the store as quickly as possible.
To her awe, the man responded! He said, "Well hello little lady! And how old are you today?’” After continuing to chat a bit, he wished her a very happy birthday and they both went on with their days.
A few aisles down, Norah had told Tara that she wanted her picture taken with the man for her birthday. Naturally, the man was delighted.
Tara got out her iPhone and took a picture of Norah slowly resting her soft hand on his soft hand. The moment was truly heartwarming.
After a few moments, Tara knew it was time to say goodbye. She thanked the man and he replied saying, "No, thank YOU. This has been the best day I’ve had in a long time. You’ve made me so happy, Miss Norah."
Later that night, Tara posted the story to her Facebook wall. To her surprise, someone in her social network recognized the man! He said that he knew that the man, Dan, had a wife, Mary, that had recently passed away earlier in the year. He said that he had been lonely for quite some time and that Norah must have really made his day.
Immediately, Tara asked if she could have Dan's phone number. She said that they coordinated a visit to Dan's home, and when they arrived, he was all dressed up for the special occasion. Dan had set up toys and coloring books for Norah, gotten his hair cut and even put on a pair of dress slacks.
While Norah drew pictures for Dan to hang on his refrigerator, Tara and Dan chatted and ate chicken nuggets. When it came time to leave, Tara said, "“As we walked him to his front door after lunch, he pulled out a pocket knife a cut the single red rose blooming by his porch. He spent ten minutes cutting every thorn off of the stem before handing it to his new friend." To this day, Norah has that rose in a Ziploc bag under her pillow.
When asked about their relationship today, Tara 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. 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 had healed his heart.
Today, Norah and Tara consider Dan a part of their family. He joins them for Thanksgiving and they visit him once a week for their special bonding time.
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