When I was looking for images of artists who make wood come alive, I found the picture above. I was suddenly swamped with memories of my dad and the dogs HE carved. They are two of my most cherished possessions.
My dad is gone now, but he is alive in my heart and always will be. My dad was talented in a lot of different ways – but one was determination.
I say that as a ‘talent’ though it was a character trait, as well. My dad fell off a horse when he was 3 years old, shattering his left arm. Many surgeries were done, but back then they didn’t know what they do now. They saved his arm, but he lost the use of his left hand. His left arm was much shorter than his right, as well.
This could – and did – ruin other people’s lives. I remember us walking on a sidewalk somewhere – seeing a man sitting on the sidewalk, asking for money, holding up an arm remarkably like my dad’s. My dad stopped, held up his left arm, and said quietly, “Get a job!”
He carved the two sweet dogs above, holding the wood in his left hand and carving patiently with his right. I don’t remember him actually carving them, but it amazes me that he lived his life so that we actually FORGOT for much of the time that he might have an extra challenge with something.
I feel my dad looking at me from time to time. Sometimes he is challenging me to get off my duff and quit procrastinating – just because I am intimidated when trying something new. Sometimes he tells me to lighten up, see the humor in a situation, or look at it as another of life’s character-building exercises. Sometimes I’m just swamped with love, missing him, but feeling so lucky he was ‘mine’ for a while.