Professionally, I am a dentist. But moreover, I have always thought of myself as a woodworker. My father was a carpenter and a very good one at that. He instilled a love of all things wood in me from a very young age. I love taking a raw, rough piece of lumber and turning it into something beautiful, a fine piece of furniture for example. This seems magical to me. I have made a lingerie chest for my wife, two Morris chairs and a bookcase for my youngest, a dining table for my eldest, another for my sister-in-law, and many, many other pieces for other family and friends. If any of you have any interest in seeing examples of some projects I have completed over the past few years, they can be seen on my Pinterest page in a folder called Completed Projects. And therein lies my latest adventure with DLB.
I recently found a plan for a dining table in one of my woodworking magazines that I really liked. I thought, man, how much fun would that be to make. So I ordered the plan. But in the back of my mind I was chastising myself for wasting the money. Over the past year, my skills have seriously deteriorated as the dementia has progressed so I doubted my ability to complete this complex project. Besides, I had no need for this table nor knew anyone that needed it. Yet, I persisted.
The plan soon came and I was immersed in the project. I found I was spending much more time trying to understand how to do familiar tasks than actually working on the table. Cutting a complex joint, normally a 5 minute task, is now taking me 45 minutes. And so goes the entire project.
As I sat looking at the nearly completed table this morning, I started thinking back to the time of my father's passing. Not only did I remember the loss of a remarkable man, a friend, and an awesome father, but I remembered an overwhelming thought. I was saddened at the tremendous amount of knowledge that had just been lost and would never be recovered. He had done an amazing job of sharing that knowledge with my brother and me but there was no way we could absorb all he had to offer.
As I continued to study my new creation, it dawned on me why the melancholy had set in and I was thinking of all this. Subconsciously I had been thinking this is probably going to be my last big project. And I realized that was what was bothering me. My end is drawing near. I don't dread that but it dawned on me that it saddens me that what knowledge my father passed to me will then be irrevocably lost. Much of it already is. And I have had no one show a true interest to whom I could pass a majority of that knowledge. It will just be gone. The end of a long line of the love of wood. And it saddens me. But as with all things concerned with DLB this will soon pass as well.