Saturday, December 29, 2007

Grandma Thiessen's box

I was honored to be asked by my mom to build Grandma's final resting box. After consulting with my uncle Ernie I started the project the day after I received the news that Grandma was going to be with Jesus. I had a pile of beatle killed pine boards that I had set up in our house that had been drying since the beginning of December. (who knew that I would be using them for my Grandma) These boards had been milled in the spring from trees that I had logged off a neighbor's property.

After much thought I decided to go with the classic "toe pincher design" with an integrated tongue and groove lid.

The centre board was a piece of Russian Oak that was imported to our local woodshop. The concept that I had envisioned is this board would sympolize the tree trunk and along the edge I would drill holes to accept 7 branches representing her children.

I would like each of Grandma's children to select a branch that has meaning for them. The butt end would be around 1/2 an inch (the size of a normal pinky finger uncle Dave) It doesn't have to be exact as we will make it fit prior to the grave side service.

The bottom of the box was lined with aromatic cedar strips.

My kids had the opportunity to help me with the box at home.

After 4 days of labour the box was ready to be transported to Williams Lake. I had borrowed a trailer but we decided that to minimize road grime we would put it on our roof rack.

We packed up the van and just as we hit the highway we came upon the scene of an 4 vehicle accident. As I was the first responder on scene I had to complete a quick triage assessment to several victims. Fortunately no one was significantly hurt. We thought about the scene later and had a chuckle as we should have taken a picture with the box on the roof in the midst of the accident scene with fire trucks and ambulances (I have heard about lawyers being ambulance chasers) I turned over the scene to my fellow fire fighters and continued our trip to Williams Lake.

Once we were in Williams Lake we had put the word out that the box needed finishing. There was numerous people that came together to put the final finishing touches on the box in order for it to be ready for Grandma.

Here is the final picture prior to the funeral director picking up the box

The box was lined with a goose down duvee which had a floral inlay cover. The final touch was placing a "travel pillow" at the head for Grandma's final trip. We can take comfort at this thought knowing that her spirit is already gone.
I will send the blog password so that anyone can post on this site. Please include any thoughts, prayers, verses or pictures to share with the rest of us.

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