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norah-woodA friend who doesn’t get choked up easily – if ever – sent me a link to a story saying “this made me pretty teary.”

After reading the story I understood why.

When Dan Peterson’s wife Mary died in March he fell into a deep depression and was searching for a reason to live. Six months later, he met Norah Wood, a three-going-on-four-year-old girl who decided that she wanted to be his friend.

Squirrels and Birthdays

Dan spent his days staring at squirrels and was just waiting to die.

Norah spent her days going squirrely waiting for her fourth birthday.

The two crossed paths in a grocery store. Norah was so excited about turning four that she had to tell the whole world which included an elderly stranger passing by her mother’s shopping cart. She called out to Mr Peterson,

“Hi, old person! It’s my birthday today!”

A Healing Hug

Peterson said he was instantly enamored. He gave in to Norah’s demand for a hug and a friendship was born.

“That day, I was going through a day of self-pity. I was just feeling sorry for myself but she changed it.”

“She just wanted to make him feel loved and give him a hug,” said her mom, Tara.

New Purpose, New Hope

Since that chance encounter in late September, Norah has been visiting “Mr. Dan” at least once a week.

Peterson says Norah’s friendship has quite literally changed his life. The anxiety and restless nights that accompanied his grief have gone by the wayside.

Mr. Dan is one happy guy.

Watching Norah grow up is his new purpose.

norah wood2

A Lot Of Good

There’s a lot of good – and more importantly – a lot of God in four-year-old Norah.

Every so often God comes along disguised as a child.

One time God showed up as a baby, born in a 2000 year old Judean stable and laid in a manger.

A friend is a gift from God.

Who might need a hug from you today?

APPLICATION: Who can you be an angel to? Please leave your comment below.

I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Carole Schlachta says:

    Thank you for the precious story.
    Henry and I have experienced grandchildren.
    All children is precious in the sight of Jesus.

  • bob jones says:

    Pretty special when a child “adopts” a grandparent.

  • Carole Schlachta says:

    You bet! I have learned through my grandchildren including the two African families who have adopted us. Between them we now have 7 more grandchildren ranging from age 7 yrs. To 22 yrs.
    They are so perceptive. Although both are Christian God loving children. It is wonderful to hear when one came home from school asking is Nana still sick and proceeded to get down on his knees in the kitchen to pray for me. He was 5 yrs old. When God is the center of a family, their innocent love and caring for elderly and others are so evident.

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