Christmas in January
I can't describe what it's like to open a box and find a likeness of someone you love staring up at you from a completely unfamiliar medium, and yet instantly to recognize them. It happened to me once before, when Beth and Deb sent me a memorial stone with Beckett's image in stained glass inlaid into concrete.
I brought the box inside and laid it on the table. Crow and Hudson's noses were glued to it. They knew it had come from Suzanne, clearly, and were gulping great volumes of information about their relatives from the outside of the box. They were almost as curious as I was, so I hurried to find my knife and cut the box open.
As soon as I opened it, I saw that there were German Shepherd plaques of some sort inside, wrapped individually in bubble wrap, and securely taped. The first one I pulled out of the box was Hudson. As I pulled off the wrapping, I instantly knew it was him. The impact of the beauty of this thing was so powerful that I had to sit down as I ran my fingers over the grains.
Then, in a rush, I realized that the remaining piece in the box had to be Crow. I felt such an urgency to see it that my fingers fumbled with the tape secured around the bubble wrap. The harder I tried to unwrap it, the more I fumbled. I finally took the exacto blade, slowed myself down, and carefully cut the last bit of tape away. And there she was; just as surely as the first piece had been Hudson, the second was my beautiful Crow.
Suzanne had these commissioned. They were done by an artist out in Wisconsin named Sue Lienau. I think these are stunning. They're much more impressive in person than they are in the pictures. It's worth clicking on the photographs for a larger image. They're done in wood, of course, and each piece is individually shaped and polished. They're substantially sized, about 16 inches tall. There's something so indescribably alive about them, I just sit and run the tips of my fingers over them,
Now I just have to figure out where to hang them. Right now, they're sitting on the mantle in the living room and I've barely been able to take my eyes off of them all evening. Thank you, Suzanne, and thank you, Sue. What an amazing gift, and what amazing talent!