It’s true that kids say the darnest things. But every once in a while, someone else surprises you. Tara Wood, a stay-at-home mom who works as a freelance writer recently posted a touching story about her child on TODAY Parenting.
Tara picked her daughter up from school the day before her fourth birthday. While in the car, Tara’s daughter, Norah, pointed out an elderly person walking across the parking lot. Norah told her mother to be careful not to hit the person, then explained that she has a soft spot for the elderly. “I like old peoples the best ‘cos they walk slow like I walk slow and they has soft skin like I has soft skin,” Norah told her mother. “They all gonna die soon so I’m gonna love ’em all up before they is died.”
Tara was immediately struck by her daughter’s kind heart. The next day, on Norah’s fourth birthday, Norah asked her mother to stop at the grocery store on the way home to buy cupcakes. Tara gave in to the birthday girl and the two made a detour to the grocery store. As Tara remembers, “I popped Norah and her younger sister in one of those enormous and cumbersome grocery carts shaped like a car and headed toward the bakery. After we picked up the cupcakes, I stopped at a ‘clearance’ shelf that caught my eye.
While I was distracted picking up and then dismissing the bottles of almost expired Ranch dressing and cans of Ensure, Norah was busy standing up in the cart, excitedly waving and gleefully proclaiming, ‘Hi old person! It’s my birfday today!” Tara describes the elderly man as stone-faced and furrow-browed, but to her surprise, the old man turned to Norah. His expression turned soft as he replied, “Well hello little lady! And how old are you today?”
Norah and the elderly man chatted for a few minutes, he wished her a ‘Happy Birthday,’ then he continued on his way. A few minutes later, they ran into each other again and Tara asked the man if he would take a photo with Norah, at her birthday request. The man looked stunned and asked, “A photo? With me?
Norah anxiously replied, “Yes suh, for my birfday!” Tara snapped the photo while Norah held the old man’s hand, studying his weathered skin. She then kissed the top of his hand then placed it on her cheek. The old man beamed and the two chatted away for a few more minutes. The elderly man told Tara and Norah to call him Mr. Dan. He teared up as he said, “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 day, Tara posted the photos and the story to her Facebook page. A local reader recognized Mr. Dan and sent her a private message. It turned out that his wife, Mary, had passed away in March and he had been lonely ever since. Tara asked for Mr. Dan’s phone number and called him a few days later. Tara and Norah made a trip to his home where he set paper and crayons our for Norah, and they talked for hours.
Tara writes, “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.” Tara and Norah visit Mr. Dan every week. Mr. Dan told Tara that every night since meeting Norah, he has slept soundly for the first time since his wife died. “Norah has healed me,” he said.