It was a special day for Norah, and with her mom, Tara Wood, they headed to the grocery store in Augusta, Georgia to pick up some cupcakes for her birthday. Like every 4-year-old, she was excited.
Sitting in the shopping cart, she seemed drawn to an older gentleman walking across the aisle. In a fashion only a cute preschooler would do, she started waving at the older man saying: ”Hi old person! It’s my birfday today!”
When the older man realized the little girl was speaking to him, his expression softened.
-“Well hello, little lady! And how old are you today?” he asked.
They had a pleasant conversation for a few seconds and both went their separate ways. A few minutes later, she asked her mom if she could take a picture with her new friend. They were able to find the older gentleman still shopping in the store.
When Tara asked if he could take a picture with her daughter for her birthday, his face lit up.
– ”A photo? With me?” He said.
-“Yes suh! For my birfday! Norah excitedly responded.
After taking a picture together, they hugged like they were long-lost friends. They thanked Mr. Dan and with tearful eyes, he said: “No, thank YOU. This has been the best day I’ve had in a long time. You’ve made me so happy, Ms. Norah.”
Later that day, Tara posted the story and the picture of Norah and Mr. Dan on Facebook, saying: ”Sometimes talking to strangers turns into the most beautiful thing in the world.”
One of her followers sent her a message, sharing that the older gentleman’s name was Dan Peterson and that it had been the first time she had seen Mr. Dan smile since his beloved wife passed away, just a few months ago.
Tara was touched by his story and asked for his phone number. She called him a few days later and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
Since then, Norah has become very attached to her new friend. ”They enjoy spending time together and 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. Whether he likes it or not, Mr. Dan in now part of our family (he likes)!” Tara says.
Mr. Dan also thinks about Norah. He told Tara that since his wife’s passing, he hadn’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep, but since meeting the little girl, he has been sleeping soundly through the night.
”Norah has healed me.” he said.
Loneliness and isolation are common amongst seniors. In a day and age where new ways of communication are everywhere, our seniors can’t help but feel more and more removed from society, which can lead to a faster mental and physical decline when compared to their more socially involved peers.
Norah’s mom urges people to take time to talk to older people. ” I think that sometimes we look right through them, like they’re not even there. But you know what? They matter. They’re valuable. They want to be seen and heard. They want to know they’ve not been forgotten. Let’s take good care of them and love ’em all up.”
Please SHARE with your friends on Facebook!