Today was flat. Flat, grey clouds overhead, flat grey light, flat grey feelings inside. After the wrenching emotional rollercoaster of yesterday, I feel exhausted and encouraged all at the same time. That paradox. I experienced several acts of kindness today that touched me deeply. The simplest of things make such a huge difference now.
I went to get a haircut. My barber, Steven, had cut Jake’s hair on a few occasions and knew him a little. He asked me how I was doing. I told him. The news shocked him. He said, incredulously, “I’m 24 years old”. We talked a bit about Jake, about Steven’s life, about his mother’s illness that sparked a reformation in him. He is on track to open his own barber shop in a few weeks. Bravo. He cut my hair and shaved off my 30 day growth of beard. Carefully, delicately, as he muttered, “We’re gonna make Ed Colman look like a million bucks”. Afterwards, he refused to accept any money. “This one’s on me,” he said. The smallest acts of kindness.
Returning home I found Jake’s elementary school had made a book for us, “PS 1 Remembers Jake Colman”.A beautiful hardbound book with Jake’s poetry, art, photos of him throughout his days in school and several moving tributes from teachers and parents who had the privilege to know him and to teach him. Terry and I read the book with eyes and hearts overflowing. The smallest of acts, unlooked for.
Yesterday, in the midst of the turmoil, we received an unexpected parcel from an old friend containing several packets of different teas, with a note that said simply, “For warming your spirit”. Tea. No big deal, right? But it is what the tea represents. This from the same person who sent us several books on grieving only days after Jake’s passing. A special and dear friend. Simple acts.
Terry and I talked about our plans to honor Jake and to create a living legacy in his name. We have an idea. When we are clearer on the details and the action going forward, we will enlist everyone’s aid in bringing this project into being. We will need a lot of help. It’s gonna be huge. He was such a big thinker, nothing less would be right. Since he was a person of such diverse interests and great passions, what we have in mind will encompass that diversity and passion. Stay tuned for more on this.
And so the day wore on. It is evening now, feeling drained from the past 48 hours. Will tomorrow be different? We’ll find out tomorrow.