A first name and a generous act of kindness are the only clues to the identity of a stranger who helped a North Texas doctor at a grocery store this week.
Between telehealth visits with patients, Dallas-based dermatologist Dr. J.B. Foshee, rushed to the Whole Foods in the Shops at Park Lane to pick up groceries for herself and a neighbor on Monday. After the cashier rang up the groceries, Foshee realized she’d left her wallet at work.
“I think we can all relate to these moments,” Foshee told NBC 5. “I don’t know if I’m the only one that sometimes feels like you’re on the verge of tears and nothing’s really changed, just the constant anxiety we’re all wearing around our neck.”
“So, I started crying. More so, because I was mad at myself,” Foshee explained.
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A stranger in line stepped forward and paid for the groceries. The total was $250.
Foshee tried to repay the woman through a mobile payment app, but she refused. Foshee even offered to mail a check, but the woman insisted she didn’t want repayment. The woman would only give a first name, Linda.
“I was feeling really guilty because I, unlike so many people, am doing OK financially through this. I know so many people are struggling,” said Foshee. “I thought about that sweet cashier who had tears in her eyes as I had tears in my eyes and I thought, I’m going to help her.”
Foshee said she returned to the store and bought gift cards for the cashier, the bagger and a third employee who helped take her groceries to the car.
Foshee wrote about the experience on social media, asking neighbors to help her find Linda.
“I would say thank you and let her know that she touched someone’s heart,” said Foshee. “In turn, they tried to extend her kindness to others.”
“She helped me in a really panicked moment and while I didn’t need the money, I think I really needed the kindness. I think we all could use some kindness right now,” she added.
Foshee was in her scrubs and a mask at the store when she met Linda. Foshee regularly sees patients, draining abscesses and diagnosing skin conditions like poison ivy, but said she tried to explain to Linda that she is not on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight. Still, Linda insisted she wanted to do a good deed.
What Linda couldn’t have known is Foshee was extra stressed while at the store. Her father, recovering from a recent surgery, had to see a dentist for an emergency procedure that day.
“I was so worried about him going into a doctor’s office and his appointment was at 1 p.m. and I was at the grocery store at 12:30 and just thinking about him,” Foshee said.
Even if she doesn’t get to reconnect with Linda, Foshee hopes her story serves as a reminder to everyone to lead with kindness.
“Give everyone a wide berth. Everyone is not themselves, everyone is wearing their emotions on their sleeves.”