Tara had no idea how the man was going to respond. After all, her daughter had just yelled across the store and called him old. she never expected what he would do next.
“If he was troubled by my no-filter-having child, he didn’t show it. His expression softened as he replied, ‘Well, hello little lady! And how old are you today?’"
“They chatted for a few minutes, he wished her ‘happy birthday,’ and we went our separate ways," Tara writes.
“We found the man a couple of aisles over and I approached him. ‘Excuse me, sir? This is Norah, and she’d like to know if you’d take a photo with her for her birthday?’
When they finally caught up with the elderly gentleman he was shocked they wanted a photo with him! He simply didn't believe it.
“He took a step back, steadied himself on his shopping cart, and placed his free hand on his chest. ‘A photo? With me?’ he asked.
‘Yes, suh, for my birfday!’ Norah pleaded.
“And so he did. 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. I asked his name, and he told us to call him ‘Dan.’
Tara said the three of them shared a magical moment in the aisle and kept chatting for a few more minutes. After saying some heart warming goodbyes to the complete stranger, Tara said she was emotional as he walked away.
“I was blown away by this meeting and thought maybe some of the readers on my Facebook page might enjoy hearing about it.
“I posted the story and a photo of the two of them.”
“Later that night, I received a private message from a local reader who recognized Mr. Dan.
According to the person who recognized Dan, Dan's wife had passed away recently and he had been lonely and sad ever since. Tara then used her mutual contact to get Dan's phone number and called him a few days later.
“We made a visit to Mr. Dan’s cozy and tidy house — reminders of Mary still proudly displayed everywhere you look. He had gotten a haircut, shaved, and was wearing slacks and dress shoes. He looked ten years younger.
“He’d set out a child’s table, blank paper, and crayons out for Norah. He asked if she’d draw some pictures for him to display on his refrigerator. She happily agreed and went right to work."
“As we walked him to his front door after lunch, he pulled out a pocket knife and cut the single red rose blooming by his porch. He spent ten minutes cutting every thorn off of the stem before handing it to his new friend."
“She keeps that rose, now dry as a bone, in a Ziploc bag under her pillow.”
According to Tara, Norah constantly asks about Dan. She cares about him and wants to know he is alright and well taken care of.
“Mr. Dan thinks about Norah, too. After another recent visit, he relayed that he hadn’t had an uninterrupted night’s sleep since his wife died. He told me that he has slept soundly every night since meeting my girl.
“‘Norah has healed me,’ he said.
The unlikely friends have become family ever since meeting that day in the grocery store! Dan even comes over for Thanksgiving and the entire family loves him. This truly was a miraculous meeting!
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Tara is a mother in addition to being a writer. To see more of her photos and read her stories about Norah and Dan, please visit her page here.