Ryan built a shelf last week. The cabinet above our stove is very tall. Like most everyone, it’s where we store Pam, oils, sugar, flour, cocoa, vanilla, etc. We have always had a hard time organizing everything up there. And some of us who are shorter than others, I won’t name names, would always knock stuff out while trying to reach for other stuff. One time, the vinegar took a flying leap out of the cabinet and all over the kitchen floor. That smelled lovely for a while! Good day to mop the floor, vinegar makes for a very good cleaner! Anyways, my clever husband decided it was time to build a shelf.
Ryan had some extra wood pieces in the garage. So he went out and used a small circular saw from his cordless tool kit (cute) and cut it to fit. After he got it installed and everything arranged, both of us looked at each other with tear-filled eyes and one thought in mind – Dad would have been proud.
Dad used to take care of this kind of stuff for us and was always happy to do so. In fact, we had a cabinet door that fell off in our bathroom, right before he passed away. He was going to fix it for us. That cabinet door sat on the floor of our bathroom for months after June 4th. Not because Ryan didn’t know how to fix it, but because both of us were sad that Dad wasn’t here to fix it. We finally got around to fixing that just a couple of weeks ago, which was a big step for us. Ryan also hung the door to his studio this week, which was another “Dad project.” Ryan always enjoyed doing these kinds of little projects with Dad for many reasons way beyond the task at hand.
Dad was a talented carpenter. One of his favorite things to do was to take old, random pieces of wood (what most people would consider trash) and turn it into something beautiful. It was amazing actually. “Beautiful things for people that I love” is what he would say. Sort of reminds me of what Jesus does in each of our lives.
The shelf in our kitchen, although small & insignificant to most, was meaningful and special to us. We miss Dad so much and the pain in our hearts of losing him will always be there. But with each “shelf” that comes up in our lives, we just smile, shed a few tears, and remind ourselves of everything beautiful he taught us and how he loved us. And we strive to continue the legacy of “leaving a place better than the way you found it.”