It’s been said time and time again that angels come in all different shapes and sizes. And for this elderly man’s life, there couldn’t be a truer statement.
Daniel Peterson was a widower, forced to do what he hated the most: grocery shop. The 82-year-old had recently lost his wife and was struggling to pick up the pieces.
In the middle of what he called a “private pity party“, a simple smile and an unusual comment from an unlikely friend changed his life forever.
Norah and her mother, Tara Wood, were grocery shopping for cupcakes on her fourth birthday when she called out to Mr. Peterson from the grocery cart, “Hi, old person!” she said. “It’s my birthday today!”
Norah’s mother was mortified, but to her surprise, her daughter’s unexpected greeting completely altered the “old person’s” disposition.
“[He] didn’t look overly happy but when he realized she was speaking to him he smiled and said, ‘Well hello, little lady! And how old are you today?'”
After chatting for a few minutes, little Norah and Mr. Peterson parted ways. But it wasn’t long before Norah was begging her mother to locate her new-found friend in the store so that she could take a photo with him. When they finally found Mr. Peterson, he was thrilled to take a photo– in fact, he was overwhelmed with gratitude.
“They posed together and then they hugged each other like they were long lost friends,” Wood wrote in a post on Facebook. “We thanked ‘Mr. Dan’ for taking time to spend a few minutes of his day with us. He teared up and 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.”
And their friendship didn’t end there. Ever since Norah met “Mr. Dan”, her mom has taken her to visit Mr. Peterson at his home every week — and have even celebrated big events together like Peterson’s 82nd birthday and Halloween.
The only explanation Norah’s mother can give for her daughter’s unlikely bestie comes down to one word: empathy.
Wood shared, “She worries about him. She wonders if he’s lonely, or cold, or has cheese for his sandwiches. She wants him to be okay.”
Watch the full story about little 4-year-old Norah and Mr. Peterson’s unexpected friendship in the video below. I promise, you don’t want to miss this:
We could all learn a thing or two from little Norah and her mother.
Mr. Peterson appreciates the kindness and friendship from his “angel” more than she will ever know, and is convinced she was sent to rescue him. “If I didn’t have anything else to do the rest of my life,” Peterson told CBS News, “I have her to love.”
This story just goes to show; a little kindness can go a long way. The world needs more kind-hearted people like little Norah and her mother. May we never be too busy to stop and say hi– because you never know what unlikely miracle a simple smile could bring.