It's coming up to two years since my Dad died and in a way I'm more aware of his presence that ever before. Memories of Dad and tools go together like 'Spear' and 'Jackson'. As those two years have passed I've had numerous reasons to reach for one thing or another. My Dad came from the look-after-your-tools-and-they'll-look-after-you school of hard knocks, as opposed to our use-it-and-throw-it-away kindergarten of fluff.
These tools feel like they are engrained with the imprint of his hands. That bradawl and the carpenter's pincers down below go with the mallet I posted ages ago. That serious looking steal contraption below is a ratchet brace. I have no idea what I'll use it for but I'm itching to put holes in things with it.
I have a friend whose Mum died this week. That's terribly sad. Everyone's experience of loss is different so I can't imagine how he's really feeling right now. He shared a beautiful photo of her and (I hope he doesn't find the comparison offensive) it connected with what I'd already started to write here.
Whatever you believe or don't believe, I think it's a blessing that the memory of our loved ones live on not just in our minds but in the artefacts they leave behind. Photos are vivid – for me, my Dad's tools say as much about him as anything could. My friend is unlikely to feel this right now, with his Mum's passing so sharply in focus, but these things can bring great comfort as they conjure warm memories of the times we spent with those no longer here.