A year without Bob

Bob Howard Craftsman Wrench

On the whole I don't pay attention to anniversaries too much. It's not out of principle it just seems to be the way I operate. However, the realization that we were reaching the one year mark of Serena's father's passing melted my brain a bit.

I have described the last 365 days as the longest/shortest year. I remember the final phone call that my sons had with their grandfather like it happened yesterday afternoon. When I stand in certain parts of the house it comes flooding back.

Meanwhile, memories of the many days I spent cleaning and organizing his former residence feel like ages ago.

It's like time has a way of going crosseyed when you're grieving.

Bob had specifically told me which of his tools he'd wanted me to have. If I remember correctly (and I now have no way of fact checking this) it was his first rolling tool chest that he'd purchased. It was right where he said it would be, deep in the back of his basement garage. It was one of the first things that I located and brought back to Santa Cruz.

Back when Bob's health started to come into question he'd regularly say "I don't know what you're going to do with all those tools". We'd laugh about it as that was a problem for another day.

Somewhere towards the end of my college career (potentially even at graduation) my parents gave me a nearly two hundred piece Craftsman toolset. Over the years I have put it through its paces and done a pretty good job of keeping nearly all of those two hundred pieces together. I fixed bikes, built chicken coops and even turned bolts on my car with this set.

Bob’s tool chest stood next to my toolbox for months. It was too much to deal with in a number of ways. I didn’t know where to start with it. Recently, In a message to Bob’s sister Alice I summed it up like this.

"I just recently made practice of using his tools alongside my own. I’d kind of kept them in two silos for some reason. I’ve never really shared a shop space so I wasn’t sure if I should combine our tools or not. It’s a process that I’ve finally begun to work through."

It feels cathartic to move forward on this project. I miss talking to him very much. I miss the way he made me feel like I was doing a good job. I hope he likes how I’ve organized our tools.

Larson and Bob's Tool Chest