Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's In A Box?

Did I ever tell you that whenever Ron and I did anything a story always spawned from the event?  While Ron is no longer in this world, this trend has not ended. 

When Ron and I were at Yuquot, we met a master carver, Sanford Williams.  Ron had suggested we purchase a bentwood box.  I suggested a bowl as it would be more useful on the boat.  The bowl idea won.  Ron picked the hummingbird to be carved.  This bowl was our last anniversary gift to each other.  Needless to say, I cherish the bowl. 

The idea of a bentwood box never left my mind.  When Ron passed away I knew he was to be cremated.  It was a natural progression for me to find a box for his ashes.  Meghan and Kirsten helped me on my quest by searching the internet.  The perfect box was discovered in Chemainus.  Passing through Chemainus, I telephoned (pulled over) from the car.  The box was for sale by online purchase.  I did not know this prior but did manage to convince the lady to let us into her home to actually see the box.  It was what I was looking for.  The transaction was completed then and there.

In my humble opinion the box was stunning with its wolf and whale carvings.  It was the perfect vessel for Ron’s ashes.  Ron and the box were on display at his celebration and soon thereafter our way to Hawaii. 

Ron and the box accompanied me inside the aircraft on the way to Hawaii.  Both were on display at the Hawaii condo.   The box and ashes accompanied us for Ron’s last sail off the coast of Honolulu.  It was a stunning sunset sail; warm and windy.  This was Ron’s last stop.  We spread his ashes, as he wished, somewhere warm.

The box, on the way home, for some fickle reason (size matters one way but not the other) was not allowed inside the cabin with me.  I had to repack and felt that I cushioned and padded outside the box enough to protect it.  I had not.  To my great disappointment the box was broken.  Damaged to the point that if repaired it would never be a true bentwood box. 

I had purchased it on Mastercard so knew that insurance would cover it.  This spawned a dilemma – to have the box replaced with a new and true bentwood box or have the original repaired.  I toyed with the decision and the consequences or rewards of my choices.  I procrastinated, I dawdled and I deferred.  It did not seem right to replace the box.  On the other hand, the value of this First Nations art piece had plummeted.  I still could make a decision, so I didn’t.

I cannot tell you why or how I came to my brainwave but let me say that I do believe that I was led down the path to my choice.  I have a friend neighbor who has had his own unique relationship with Ron which had transitioned to something more profound than either would have thought.  Enough said.  My neighbor is both private and modest and I have the highest respect for him and his family.

It came to me to ask him to fix the box.  My epiphany felt so right.  It was a forehead slapper – why didn’t I think of this before.  I asked the favour.  He took the box. The box was repaired with great respect and care as he is a fine craftsman.  I was moved to tears by this act of kindness for something that meant more to me than even I knew.  I am grateful.

For my friend and neighbor it was a personal journey repairing this box.  We shared a few words about Ron and then he said “You know, that box is not empty.” I felt the shivers cover every inch my body.

1 comment:

  1. Janice, (Harry here... I'm guessing that you know Sevastian is my pen name) while we are connected through our families, the truth is, that we don't really know each other well, so you would not know that when it comes to evaluating writing, I am all Simon Cowell and I feature no Paula. I am ruthless and I am truthful, and I've done enough of my homework to know what I'm talking about. When I tell someone their writing is good, it means something. Your writing is good. I don't know if you've ever considered trying your hand at writing a book...either fiction or non, but I know natural talent when I see it. Truth be told, you are better than 3/4 of the aspiring authors that I know. I am leery to share this link with you, because I don't want you to think I'm just milking my contact list to sell my books, but I recently released a book that I think you might find of value.... so I'm simply going to suck it up and give you the link and trust that you know that a single sale is not going to make me or break me, and that I truly do share it out of an honest, heart-felt opinion that you might find it valuable. :-)


    It's a Kindle book. If you don't have a Kindle, that's okay.... Amazon provides free software to support the Kindle format, for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry.

    Anyhow... I really enjoy your stuff. I'll stop monopolizing your wall now. :-)