Four-year-old Norah gives widower new lease on life after chance meeting

By News Corp Australia Network, Staff Writer

In case you missed it: This was one of Lifestyle's most popular stories of 2016

When four-year-old Norah went to the supermarket to pick up cupcakes for her birthday, she crossed paths with an elderly man whose life she would change forever.

She was shopping with her mother, Tara Wood, in Augusta, Georgia, when she walked past an elderly gentleman who she was immediately drawn to.

"Her face lit up like the sun, she waved excitedly, and said, 'Hi old person! It's my birfday today!'" Ms Wood wrote on Facebook.

Four-year-old Norah meets widower Dan Peterson, 82, during a chance meeting at a supermarket. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook
Four-year-old Norah meets widower Dan Peterson, 82, during a chance meeting at a supermarket. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook

"He was brow furrowed but his expression softened when he realised she was speaking to him.

"'Well hello little lady! And how old are you today?' he asked. They chatted for a few seconds and it was super adorable."

Little did Norah, or her mother, know the elderly gentleman was battling a deep depression after losing his wife in March.

Dan Peterson, 82, said he had been going through "a day of self-pity" that October day when he ran into the exuberant little girl.

I was just feeling sorry for myself," he told CNN. "But she changed it."

After the trio parted ways to continue shopping, Norah turned around to her mother and asked if she could have a picture with the elderly man, seeing as it was her "birfday".

Norah and Dan Peterson sharing cup cakes together. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook
Norah and Dan Peterson sharing cup cakes together. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook

The mother and daughter searched the shop and again found the elderly gentleman.

Ms Wood said Mr Peterson initially looked stunned when he was asked.

"'A photo? With me?' he asked.

"'Yes suh! For my birfday!' Norah exclaimed.

Norah shares balloons with widower Dan Peterson. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook
Norah shares balloons with widower Dan Peterson. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook

"And so they posed together and then they hugged each other like they were long lost friends," Ms Wood wrote.

Mr Peterson teamed up after the chance encounter, saying it had been "the best day I've experienced in a long time".

Speaking to the four-year-old girl, he said: "You've made me so happy, Ms. Norah".

Little Norah has proven she has lots of love to give. Photo / Tara Wood
Little Norah has proven she has lots of love to give. Photo / Tara Wood

In the weeks since the trio met, Norah has fostered a special relationship with the man she now refers to as "Mr. Dan".

He plans to spend a day around Thanksgiving with Norah, her parents and six siblings.

"She has shown me a depth of love, a depth I didn't know existed," Mr Peterson told CNN.

Norah and widower Dan Peterson are now best friends. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook
Norah and widower Dan Peterson are now best friends. Photo / Tara Wood Facebook

Norah and "Mr. Dan's" story has since gone viral over social media.

"To go from quiet days with not much going on to suddenly having a fan club with thousands of members must feel pretty amazing," Ms Wood wrote on Facebook.

- news.com.au

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