PreschoolerÂ Norah Wood has a realÂ soft spot for "old peoples."
The day before her fourth birthday she told her mother:
"I like old peoples the best âcos 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 âem all up before they is died."
The very next day, Norah wanted to celebrate her birthday with some cupcakes. Not one to deny a birthday girl her wish, Norah's mother, Tara, agreed to stop at the local grocery store in search of the birthday treats.
While in the store Norah saw Mr. Dan.
"Hi old person! It's my birfday today!" she said to him.
Like all of us when our children say something cringe worthy, Tara put her head down and geared up for a red-facedÂ apology. But, Mr. Dan smiled and greeted the little girl with a "happy birthday."
A few minutes later, at Norah's request, Tara found herself snapping photos of her daughter and the old manâwatching their new friendship blossom. She wrote about the sweet moment on Today.com.
I pulled out my iPhone and they posed together. 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. She kissed the top of his hand and then placed it on her cheek. He beamed.
A few minutes later, the new friends hugged and said goodbye. Mr. Dan told Norah, "This has been the best day I've had in a long time. You've made me so happy."
Naturally, Tara was a "weepy mess" after this encounter, so sheÂ decided to share theÂ sweet story along with a photo of the new friends on herÂ Facebook page.
Later that night, she received a message from a local reader who recognized Mr. Dan from her post.
Turns out hisÂ wife, Mary, had passed away in March and he had been really lonely. The message said that Mr. Dan was touched by his encounter with theÂ little girl, saying "he needed it and likely would never forget it."
So, Tara asked for his phone number and called him a few days later.
After a wonderful first visit, there have been many, many more. Tara writes:
Norah and I have made a promise to see Mr. Dan every week â even if it's only for fifteen minutes, even if only for a quick hug and to drop off a cheese danish (his favorite!).
I've invited him to spend Thanksgiving with us. He's part of our family now. Whether he likes it or not, he's been absorbed into my family of nine and just like Norah said, âwe're gonna love him all up."
And, Norah we are gonna love you all up. Your big heart inspiresÂ us all to smile at strangers a little more often.