I did not do a very good job of taking a picture, but this image should illustrate reasonably well what the urn I had made for Janine’s ashes looks like. Her favorite color was purple, so I had the urn made with three bands of purple heart. The other wood is ambrosia maple, any of various varieties of maple that have been stained when beetles bore into the maple and leave acidic trails. I think she would have been extremely impressed by the work of Craig Annen, who made the urn, and June Lamoureux, who painted the dragon fly. Dragon flies were Janine’s favorite insect creatures. She had t-shirts with dragon fly motifs, she had garden art depicting dragon flies, and she had wall art with multiple dragon flies shown in multiple “shadow box” type displays. And more. Craig is an incredibly talented wood-turner and June is an amazing, well-regarded and well-known artist. I haven’t thanked her yet for the dragon fly art, but I will.
I asked Craig to make something elegant, but simple. Janine like clean lines, simple presentations, and superior quality. That’s what Craig produced for us. He was Janine’s friend, too, and he was happy and honored to craft her urn. He spent many, many hours on the project. In an ideal world, I would have paid him $50 per hour for his work, but this world, I’m afraid, is not ideal.
In just a few days, it will be three months since Janine died. It is a tiny bit easier, but at this rate, I’ll be a very, very old man before I can accept that she’s gone and I am completely alone. Friends, as wonderful as they are, can never take the place of a spouse. I guess no one can. But maybe one day someone will find a way to me; someone who can accept and understand my perpetual love of my wife and someone for whom I can provide the same protective anchor. The likelihood, though, is slim. Very, very slim.
I do need to try to adjust. Not get over it, but adjust. I don’t know whether that will ever happen, either.