He was a grieving man.
And then an unexpected friendship happened.
But let’s start at the beginning.
After his wife died, Dan Peterson was lost.
He spent a lot of time in the garden he and his wife both loved.
His wife’s favourite flower, white roses, served as a constant reminder of how much he missed her.
And there was an irony to it all – Petersen was never able to grow white roses, only red ones.
And before she died the two of them did everything together.
And now with her gone – the world was a dark place for Peterson.
“I’m sitting here staring out the back window of my house, just waiting it out to see how long I was going to live,” he says.
And the one day – the dreaded grocery run – something special happened.
“I hadn’t shaved for a couple days and I hadn’t had a haircut probably for three months and didn’t give a you-know-what about anything except ‘Well, what do I do tomorrow? Watch squirrels?’ ” he says.
Tara Wood was at the grocery store that day with her four-year-old daughter. Tara says Dan “didn’t look like the friendliest man” — but that didn’t stop Norah.
“And all of the sudden I come to the end of the hall, er aisle, and here’s this little girl, and she’s sort of bouncing up and down and pointing at me,” Dan says.
“And she said, ‘Hi old person. Today’s my birthday.”