Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Bright spots in the darkness

 His name is Kyle and he was my angel this week.

This pandemic has been hard on just about everyone. While I know in my heart that I have had it easier than most - I am not working from home while trying to home school my children, I am not a nurse  working on a Covid unit or any unit in a hospital right now, or any number of hard situations - still, my anxiety has been worse than usual and I have struggled.

I am grateful to friends and therapists for getting me through the past year. And now, with both vaccine shots on board, I am looking forward to more freedom very soon.

But I would be remiss if I didn't recognize the unsung, almost anonymous angels who have helped me, too.

As part of my isolation for safety, I have had everything I need delivered. And, of course, that included groceries. I joined Instacart and I love their service. I am able to get groceries from my favorite store right here in town and that keeps me sane and healthy.

I have been blessed to have had several shoppers who went above and beyond. The Instacart shoppers have an open text chat that they use while they shop so that they can make substitutions if necessary and this part of the service has become a highlight of the experience for me.

One woman noticed potato pancakes were out of stock in the freezer so she hunted down a manager and he brought some out from the storage in back. Another time, I had asked for sun-dried tomatoes but my shopper couldn't find them and asked me if I knew where they were located. I couldn't remember so I Googled "Safeway and sun-dried tomatoes" and actually found the answer which I passed on to her.  She texted back "I found them!". 

This personal connection has touched my heart but this past week I experienced this to an entirely new level.

My shopper Kyle texted me as he started and told me he would be in touch as he shopped if he had questions, etc. Sure enough, one of the requested items was not available. But instead of just asking me what I wanted or making a suggestion from what he saw, he took a picture of the related shelf and asked me if I saw anything else I would like in substitution. I was actually able to look over the items as if I were in the store and pick out what I wanted. He did this a couple of more times - once in the freezer section and another time in the dog food section. This man went above and beyond and I told him how much I appreciated what he was doing. And I made sure Instacart knew as well.

I don't know if these shoppers know how much they are treasured by us shut-ins. I hope they do.

It might seem like a little thing to be treated as an individual instead of just an anonymous faceless customer. But in this age of distancing and lack of human interaction, the smallest gesture is gold right now. I felt like a person in someone else's eyes for a few minutes that morning and it was so appreciated.

I hope you have Kyles in your life. We need more of them.


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