Most of my friends know that my family lost a dear member recently. This man and my mother were the best of friends for 35+ years. We will forever miss him. In many ways, he was the only father that I have ever had. The void that he has left in our lives will forever leave raw edges and waves of grief that spill out of it.
I have found that during this time, I'm drawn more to my craft.. drawn to creating jewelry, and losing myself in the process. I've made several necklaces for mama to commemorate their relationship. I made a necklace for his sister.. tossed out several in the process because, for a while, none of them seemed good enough to convey what I was trying to say, what I was trying to represent. How do you express such a deep love and loss in a little bit of metal?
But, what I am finding as I hammer, wire wrap, bead and polish is that there is healing in a craft. It doesn't matter what your craft is, if you have pain, a craft will help heal it. I find myself remembering the good times, the funny times as I stamp his name in metal. I find myself smiling at the relationship that I am able to represent through making mama a pea pod necklace out of his favorite color. When I see her wearing it, I know he is close to her and watching out for us.
So, Randal.. this is my public goodbye. I love you, I will always consider you my father. I miss you. But when I pull out beads in your favorite color of blue, I will remember you. I will find solace for my pain in the process of creating art that makes other people happy. Rest in peace my friend, my father.. you were one of a kind!