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A permanent connection

I just finished the most difficult project I’ve ever made. It was a project I never really wanted to do, but I was asked to do it and couldn’t – wouldn’t – refuse because it means so much to me.

One of my oldest friends died a couple months ago. Riney and I had been friends since the early ’70s, and he was the best man at our wedding. I even mentioned him here in a blog several years ago. His widow (probably one of my second-oldest friends) asked if I’d make a box for his ashes. She intends to continue using the plain plastic box given to her by the crematory but wanted a nicer wooden box to fit it down into.

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Of course, I was happy to do it, and yet found it nearly impossible to get started. I planned it for weeks, looking for ideas, considering wood choices, etc., as you would expect for any important project. But what I was really doing was procrastinating – I simply didn’t want to begin working on it. Because once begun, I’d eventually finish it. And once finished, that would mean saying good-bye permanently.

But in devoting so much time into its planning, and taking several weeks to actually work on it, I spent a lot of time thinking about our friendship. And because all of that went into the process of making it, I realized that once it was done, I wasn’t saying good-bye at all.

That’s because even though he may be gone, the project I made for him is a permanent thing. No idea where it will eventually end up years from now, but I’ll always be connected to that project whether I’m still around of not. And, of course, connected to my friend.

I think he’d like that.

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