The last few days have been exhausting and the shop is a hive of activity. We have had well-wishers and workers and everything is in chaos. But it’s starting to look like a shop – with a counter, art, tiling and places to display our wares. We are now into ordering of things and I’m starting to feel a little bit like I’m drowning. It’s all very overwhelming for me but Dan is like an oasis of calm. I’ve had scary thoughts, like ‘will it be worth it?’ and ‘what if we fail?’
But all of those thoughts were quelled today. A gentleman walked into the carnage of the shop and asked if he could look at a book we had in the window – Kind. As he looked at the book he explained that he had just lost his wife and she had insisted that, instead of sympathy cards, everyone must write an act of kindness that they had received and one that they had done. When he saw it in the window, he felt that it was fate. We talked for a long time and he told me all about his wife. We talked about loss and how children’s books are an amazing way to process grief in a simple and straight forward way. We cried and hugged and ordered the book.
I haven’t stopped thinking about this man, navigating his way through a life that is so different to what it was and how just when he needed it most, a book gave him a sign. And this is the reason for it all – for all of the stress and worry and hard work and dust. The reason is because books matter and people matter and kindness always matters.