Errand Day

Angel in the Aisle 

Mr. Frederick Williams and I in Lighting
Mr. Frederick Williams and me in one of the Lighting aisles. 

35-Day Author Blogging Challenge – Day 12

There was a light tap on the door. That was Judie, both my friend and driver.

“I was just going to call you to make sure we were still on,” I said.

She came up the stairs. “What’s our agenda for today?”

“Recycling my plastic bags and my pop cans. Replacing some light bulbs. Finding out what this old receipt is for at Staples. Maybe they can scan it  and, oh yes, a visit to Aldine.”

We left my apartment through my back garage, unwittingly walking right past the aluminium soda cans bagged and ready to go. There would be no recycling of pop cans today. We laughed when we later realized it.

“Here’s the car, “Judie pointed out, unlocking the passenger door and opening it.

I felt for the car seat and sat down. “Today for my blog I’m going to take photos of us doing our errands,” I told my friend. “It’ll show my readers what fun we have every time we go out together.” We hadn’t  been out in a long time. Most of the summer, in fact.  Today, we were starting the routine again.

My plan to chronicle our morning didn’t get off to a good start. I forgot to take a photo of us in my driveway. And also at the Dollar Tree. I’ll remember when get to to Lowe’s, I promised  myself.

When we arrived at Lowe’s, Judie carried my small four-tube florescent light bulb into the store along with a single burnt out track light. “Amy, the aisle for lighting is straight ahead.”

She pointed it out three times before I could actually see the sign labeled “Lighting” and that was because she stood under it and pointed up to it. When I looked up, it came into my line of sight. If you are new to my blog, let me explain a bit about my inconsistent vision. I am progressively losing my sight through a hereditary eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. 

What I see is like looking through a straw. I mostly have only central vision left so what I see depends on the amount of light I have and how and where something is located.

I not only can’t see things. What I do see can either be detailed or blurry. I’d taught Judie to give me verbal directions to help guide me places, especially in stores. So once we arrived at the correct area, she told me to turn right–and there we were, smack in the middle of lighting on both sides of the aisle.

She found the track light easily enough. But when it came to my fluorescent light, she searched for some time. “I think you’ll have to special order this one. It’s not here.”

“That’s what I was afraid of.” I let out a long sigh. “I’ll have to look in my Maxi Aid catalog, find it and order it. That’ll be another two months,” I predicted glumly. I’d already waited about three months to replace it. 

“Sorry, it’s just not here,” she reiterated. Judie wasn’t one to give up so for her to make that statement meant it really was nowhere to be found.

I hung my head. “All right. Well at least we tried.”

“Can I help you two ladies find something?”

I turned toward the voice. Standing some distance down the aisle was a tall man in a red vest.

Where did he come from? 

Judie and I looked at each other. Her expression said she was wondering the same thing.

He walked over to us and took the light from her outstretched hand. In less than two minutes, she was holding the four-tubed florescent light we needed.

Everything about this man was smooth. The way he walked. The way he talked. How he held himself. How he knew exactly where to go.

My jaw dropped. “Oh, thank you.  You’re like an angel from the sky.”

“We’re all here to help each other, ma’am.”

Even his modesty seemed somehow fluid. Smooth. I couldn’t explain it.

We left the Lighting area and went to the check out, ending up going to Customer Service. While we were there, Judie handed both the new and old track light to the clerk. She tapped the new one. “This light looks slightly darker than the original. See the blue hue? Why is that?”

The clerk compared the two and finally pointed out the wattage wasn’t as strong in the new one.

This necessitated a return to the Lighting aisle to find the correct one.

The man (my angel from the sky) had just finished helping another customer.  Again, he seemed to move so fluidly. Smoothly. He picked up the correct bulb for us again, like he was drawn to it as iron is to a magnet.

We thanked him again and left.

The box of track lights was much larger than the original so we had to pay the difference at Customer Service.

On our way out of the store, I remembered my vow to take a photograph.

“Let’s go take a picture of that man,” I suggested. “That’s kind of my way of thanking him for his help.”

It still seemed so strange that he just showed up at the exact moment we needed him. I expected to feel embarrassed to explain why I was taking his photograph–but for some reason, I wasn’t.

Neither was he.

“I’m an actor, ma’am,” he said. “I’m used to the camera.”  

He was well-spoken. Curious, I asked him his name.

“Frederick Williams. I do theater work. A place called ‘All An Act Theatre.’ That’s where I do most of my plays. I just did one having to do with anti-bullying.” 

“Really? Wow.” 

Frederick also explained that he’d served as the voice of someone’s conscience in the movie, Angel of Reckoning, produced in Northwest PA.* 

Voice? 

I remember thinking, God brought this man into my life for a purpose.

As a vision-impaired writer, I am always looking for people to read my words.

It seemed an angel from the sky didn’t fit my situation. There’s no sky at Lowe’s. After all, were were indoors. He was really an angel in the aisle. I don’t think he was just there to find me a bulb or two. He is a talented actor who lends his voice to positive outlets. 

 “Use the second photo, ma’am,” he said, after he had seen both.  

“I sure will.” 

As Judie and I left Lowe’s, we talked about how God places people in each other’s lives to accomplish His purpose. This man could simply be a knowledgeable employee. Or he could be someone God placed in my path. A professional connection.  

I’d just had a Facebook message from one of my readers the other day.  He said he couldn’t read physical print anymore and asked me to encourage him in some way. Could this be God’s way of answering that prayer? 

Sometimes my search is wasted energy and I can’t find what I’m looking for at all. 

Sometimes  I look everywhere to find someone to help me meet a goal. It’s like trying to find the Lighting sign. I know it’s there–somewhere. It’s pointed out. But I can only see it when it comes squarely into my line of vision. 

Like the angel in the aisle. 

I’m not surprised at the way God works in my life. Today He made sure I had a camera to capture it. 

Funny how God shines possibility in a dark and blurry world. 

Well, it’s just … I can see clearly every once in awhile.

*Angel of Reckoning was directed and produced by Len Kabasinski of Killerwolf Film Productions. 
**Frederick also performs voice over for the Erie’s Voices Ophelia Project. 

Who have you encountered that you feel God (or fate) has placed in your life for a specific purpose? At what point did you discover the reason? 

You have just read “Angel in the Aisle,” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright September 25, 2015. Please Like and Share this message in your networks. Don’t forget to leave a comment! 

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6 thoughts on “Angel in the Aisle

  • September 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm
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    Loved this post! I love how God works in our lives. We ARE all here to help each other, like Mr. Williams said. And, sometimes, we find ourselves in just the right moment to do so or to receive that help, even from a stranger at Lowe’s!
    Hi to Judie!!!

  • September 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm
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    Melissa,
    It seems like when I live with expectancy, I can see what God is doing more frequently.That’s why it’s often called Adventures in Faith. That first word is one that has been in my vocabulary for a long time. But trusting God in different areas is an ongoing thing. I’m so happy that you and Larry are working with me on that song. Such a blessing! And so … (wait for it!) FUN!
    Amy

  • September 28, 2015 at 12:06 am
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    Enjoying your posts Amy … So many parallels with my own RP journey . There will be too many to mention here, except to say that I am a Christian and currently undertaking white cane training. What a caper!

    So alien to me and in the area where I live, I am so self conscious of using the cane. It’s like ‘coming out’ to coin an expression! The reason being the reaction of others to me suddenly using a white cane. I am sure you have been through something similar.

    I am a very coping person and manage very well on the whole with my sight loss using my coping strategies. I’ve never advertised my struggles so people are expressing real surprise at my sight loss. I am now a victim of my own success in a way!

    The cane training is a means to an end – a guide dog eventually! That’s why I persevere, although I do feel the value of using it and people being unusually helpful.

    I have three daughters, two of whom are at a crisis point in their lives in coming to terms with their own sight loss and its implications.

    And the story goes on! It never ends with RP does it?

    I am sure your book about mobility will be enlightening but I have yet to look into that.

    I am interested to know your thoughts about my battle with self consciousness. I know it’s silly but that doesn’t make it any the less real!

    Best wishes to you and God bless, Linda

  • September 28, 2015 at 12:27 am
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    Dear Linda,
    Do I ever know what you mean!!!
    Yes! Totally understand that about not “advertising” your struggles and then people are so shocked. One of the most difficult places for me to use my cane was church. No one knew, and I felt so strange there. We have a lot of elderly people in my church and I almost tripped people with it. So it took me a long time to be comfortable with it there.
    I think I still feel a little self-conscious but not as much as I used to. I have become too dependent on my cane and I’ve become more accustomed to t. Using a mobility cane is also a means to an end. I, too, eventually want a guide dog.
    It’s such a JOY to read your comment, Linda!
    One way that helped me get over being as self=conscious, I looked at myself as a bridge between vision-impaired and sighted. I decided that using my cane gave me the opportunity to let others see that vision-impaired individuals can be independent and go out and have a life. So, it chips away at the stereotype that some people still believe about those with vision loss.
    Linda, my book is available through Amazon but also through my website and starting Sept 28, I’m having a 25% off sale on both my regular and Large Print books. That is to celebrate the 1-yr anniversary of my book. Coming soon is an updated Kindle version as well.
    I love hearing from others with RP! Thank you for reading my posts and taking time to comment.
    Amy

  • October 8, 2015 at 8:09 pm
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    Wow, what a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing.

    I’ve done some research on Retinitis Pigmentosa for my work. There is a wonderful young lady who worked for Free the Children that lost her vision completely as a teenager from it, and I had the honour of meeting her and writing about her story (which is where the research came in). I’m sorry you have to go through it – what an awful way to lose your vision.

    My husband also has an extremely rare eye disease. I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s abnormal for it to attack young men (it triggered in his late teens I believe). With his illness, a parasite basically slowly eats out his retina and the area around it. We are so fortunate it has gone dormant, but it makes it hard, because he can’t really drive or do a lot of things. He could eventually lose his vision, but for now, we are thankful for it’s dormancy.

  • October 9, 2015 at 7:16 am
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    Hi Tabitha,
    Thank you so much for reading my story and leaving a comment. I hadn’t heard of Free The Children. I’ll have to look it up. It seems to be different for everyone that experiences RP. Although I had problems, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 28. It’s been a gradual decline in vision for me until about 6 or 8 years ago, then it fell apart abruptly. I’m so glad you got to know this young woman and learn about the condition. I can also feel for what your husband has gone through. I recently saw a video on what sounds like the same type of parasite. I posted a VIDEO about it a few weeks back.Thank goodness it’s gone dormant.
    Please stop by again for more stories and experiences on vision loss, and hopefully, more encouragement. All the best to your husband. 🙂
    Amy

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