Father’s arms embraced my Mother,
held me as a baby, lifted me as a toddler,
picked me up when I fell, carried me when I hurt.
Father’s arms steadied my bicycle,
taught me to throw a ball, spanked me when needed.
Father’s arms drove him to work,
steered a tractor, maneuvered a lawnmower.
Father’s arms moved me to and from college,
into an apartment with my bride, into our new home.
Father’s arms worked with wood,
inlayed leather tops, created beautiful things.
Father’s arms moved him, holding a cane,
pushing a walker, propelling a wheelchair.
Father’s arms quivered holding a cup,
trembled when he no longer could hold me
over for my Mother to do wound care.
Father’s arms climbed to Heaven today.
By: Michael Williams / February 16, 2020
My father passed away on Sunday, the date shown above.
The photographs show three of the many beautiful things he crafted. The first board was made for the man who was the plant manager at the time. The wood is figured maple, also called curly maple, and the dark stripe is an Ebony wood inlay. The squares are dark blue and dark red leather. The wood is coated with a clear finish.
The second board was made for me. The wood is walnut, with a special story behind it. My grandfather on my father’s side owned a planing mill and made a number of boards of walnut, which he stored. Decades later, my father took one of those boards and made the frame for this chessboard. The squares are dark green and cream leather. The finish is again a clear coat finish.
The third board is also mine, and was made earlier than the other two. On this one the frame is leather, same as the squares. The light squares are cream leather and the dark squares plus the frame are dark green leather.
Among other things, one project my father worked on for the company where we both worked was a large football-shaped conference table for the Green Bay Packers, with the leather in Packer Green. Other items included leather folders to hold legal pads of various sizes, leather mousepads, and leather covered pencil holders. I have several of the leather folders, one made out of a remnant of that Packer Green leather.