As for many of us, one of the hardest things about the pandemic for me too has been the physical distance from my close ones. Unfortunately, I am not referring to the all-too-familiar 6 feet/2 meters, but rather 5,000 miles/8,000 km, as most of my friends and family live in Europe. While being so far away from them in such a tumultuous year was at times challenging, it also led to some special moments of connection which I will cherish forever.
When still living in Europe, one of my closest friends who I have known since high school had made it a tradition to gift me a subscription to my (and her) favourite magazine every year for my birthday. I had always loved this kind and thoughtful gesture. Every time I received a new issue in the mail, I felt her close and would send her a funny picture of me reading it. When packing before my move across the world I remember going through the stack of magazines and thinking how much I will miss our monthly tradition. Since I didn’t want the magazines to get stranded at my old address after my departure, I asked my friend to cancel the subscription when I visited her before my flight. We didn’t say goodbye but rather “see you soon”, as I already had my first visit to Europe planned for later that year.
Well, things didn’t go quite as planned. Shortly after arriving in North America, the pandemic started and cancelled all travel plans for the foreseeable future. Despite quickly finding new fun ways to connect with friends and family at home, the physical distance remained. Then one day when I went to pick up the mail I found a large envelope with a very familiar handwriting on it in the mailbox. I opened it and held a kind note from my friend and the newest edition of my favourite magazine in my hands. It turned out that she hadn’t cancelled the subscription, but rather had asked for it to be redirected to her house. As the publisher doesn’t deliver to North America, she took care of it herself. I was touched by her kind gesture which was only the first of many as she didn’t let me miss one issue since then.
The pandemic will pass, but I will never forget these Acts of Kindness of my friend that made the distance between us seem so much shorter.
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