Nora Wood granted someone’s wish on her 4th birthday.
When Dan Peterson first met Nora, no one knew how it would affect their lives. At that time, the chance meeting of 82-year-old Dan and only 4-year-old Nora was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
when Dan met Norah in 2016, he lost his wife and was deeply depressed. He goes to the store for basic necessities, but fate will lead him along a brighter path.
The day of their encounter was Norah’s birthday.
While her mother strolled her around the store, she spotted Dan and yelled out to him.
“I come to the end of the hall, or aisle, and here’s this little girl, and she’s sort of bouncing up and down and pointing at me, and she said, ‘Hi, old person. Today’s my birfday.’ I didn’t know quite what old person she was talking to, but then she kept pointing at me.” – Dan Peterson
Dan stopped in his tracks to say hello to the little girl.
She told him she wanted a hug for her birthday. In an earlier interview, Dan recalled that moment and what it meant to him.
“I said, “A hug?! Absolutely!”
Norah’s mother, Tara, said her daughter also asked for a picture with her new friend. Dan said something that struck her and she noticed he was getting emotional.
“You don’t know…this is the first time for quite a while that I’ve been this happy. – Peterson
After posting the photo of Norah and Dan on her Facebook, one comment jumped out at her. Someone mentioned that they knew Dan and that it had been a long time since they’d seen him smile after death of his wife.
After reading the post, Tara reached out to Dan and planned to get together for lunch.
From that moment on, the two were inseparable.
He was even invited to her Kindergarten graduation.
Dan would visit Norah and her family and Norah would take trips to visit Dan. They saw each other at least once a week.
It was apparent to everyone who heard their story that Dan had found a reason to live.
Dan’s days were meaningful again and Norah’s heart was full of love for her ‘old man.’
“Norah got me out of the loop. Gave me something to live for,” Dan said. “It’s like the sun came out, you know?”
Tara said Norah loved giving Dan hugs.
“It was the first thing she did when we walked in and it was the last thing she did when we left.” – Tara Wood
Norah and her little sister were able to hug Dan one last time before he died.
While the story is heartbreaking, their special bond will live on. Not only did Norah gain a lifetime of memories, but she reminds us all that simply connecting with others can give someone a reason to keep going.
When asked why she hugged Dan on that first encounter, Norah’s response was simple, “I thought he needed a friend because he was sad,” Norah says.
Now watch their amazing and inspiring story below.
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