Monday, April 16, 2012

Everlasting Impressions

This rose was carved for my mother and was the official start to my new addiction in woodcarving. Something about being in the shop, the music up, the lighting, the smell, pushing a sharp blade through a so called "uncarvable" piece of Cebil and just losing myself in my work. I knew this would be something I'd do for the rest of my life. 

The idea was to make her something truly one of a kind. A gift that would have meaning and symbolize our life struggles together as a family. A symbol of strength, foundation and love. And most importantly a gift that I could give, to tell her, that I now understand. As a father myself, I understand how hard it is raising kids. How every decision, both good and bad, shapes your children. Every time they are disciplined, every time they see something they shouldn't, every time you take them out for a walk, every good and bad experience molds them. Every decision you make as a parent, leaves an "Everlasting Impression."

My life may not have been great as a child. I may have seen a lot of things most will never experience but it was those things that made me who I am today. It was all of those experiences that make me a good parent, husband and friend now. This rose was to tell her that I understand and most importantly to tell her it's ok. Although we might have gone through some struggles early, she turned it around for us. She gave us a better life and she did it on her own. Raising two boys is hard enough as a single mother, raising two pain in the ass boys is even tougher.

The rose pedals symbolize two things: One being me. I found this block of wood before I ever got the idea to carve the rose. I fell in love with the grain pattern. When the idea came up I did some research on Cebil and it's workability. The "experts" told me it couldn't be done. "The wood is too hard for cheap tools, be prepared to replace your tools, too difficult for a novice carver, etc"...... Riiiight.... Example A. If you tell me "it can't be done" I'll spend every bit, of time and energy, to prove you wrong. I live my life by challenging conventional wisdom. If you told me a few hundred years ago that the world was flat, I'd sail my ship into the abyss. You see, my mother gave me that strength. With her decision to turn things around. To take the terrible childhood she had and turn it into a better life for her boys. The pedals symbolize the both of us. Me as the student and her as the teacher.

 The stem is Basswood. Simple and easy going, like our relationship now. The base is purpleheart or blood wood. As the foundation or base of this piece it represents family. As a kid, I didn't see much of my family. No grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins... With out getting too far into that story.... they just weren't around. My stepbrother ran away at an early age and my brother was always locked up or in rehab. So my holiday dinners consisted of my mom, stepfather and myself. I have spent the last 10 years of my life reaching out the family that matters. Last Thanksgiving we had 11 people at my dinner table, I'm sorry 11 family members at the table.

I teach my boys this lesson of life. Family is incredibly important and I learned this lesson from my grandmother, on my father's side. An incredible woman. I only got to see her maybe once a year but she always greeted me with a huge hug and kiss. When she passed, after a long battle with cancer, I noticed the only people at her bed side, was family. No life long friends or acquaintances. Family, that's it. Filled with grief for not making more of an effort to know her, I learned a valuable lesson. Life is too short. I couldn't cry at her services and it crushed me. Was it because I didn't know her well enough? This bothers me to this day and I vowed not to make that mistake again.

My stepfather had the glass case made and the letter I  sent with it is hidden in my mom's dresser somewhere, at my request. I glued and braded the rose and stem to the base. Thanks for reading!!

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