Sunday, July 10, 2016

I wear you around my neck..and a dream

I woke up this morning from a beautiful dream, my first positive dream in 23 days. It wasn't anything particularly detailed or long. Sharry and I sat on a beach, she was dressed in white dress similar to a photo I posted recently and I held her and played with her hair. As I remember it (I hardly remember dreams) not a word was spoken but we just sat with each other and watched a tremendous and vibrant sunrise full of amazing colors rise over the ocean. I woke up feeling very emotional, a measure of peace and aching for Sharry.

JJ rocking some nice bling. Actually this is a necklace that I just put together with some Sharry mementos so in a way I can have her close to my heart often. Two rings and a pendant.

The first is a cheap turquoise ring I purchased at the Grand Canyon gift shop the day I proposed to Sharry. She always loved turquoise jewelry and often would want to visit jewelry shops on vacations to try out new places and her favorite was to visit M&S Turquoise in St George on the Blvd. They have a lot of great stuff check it out sometime in memory of Shar!

We LOVED visiting national parks especially those in the southwest and so in the summer of 2006 we decided to visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I was particularly nervous for this trip because I was going to propose. We had visited on and off as couples do about possibly getting married at some future date so I was very nervous that Sharry knew I had something up my sleeve. In fact this is how amazing and unique Sharry Buhanan was and is. She was insistent that when the time came that if I did propose I was to avoid two things. I was not to ask her dad for her hand in marriage (nothing against her dad of course but more about the whole practice of “property transfer” haha). I was also not to buy any kind of diamonds but rather she wanted an engagement guitar and she had a very specific one picked out. A Yairi Alvarez acoustic/electric cutaway guitar. I had the guitar in the trunk, a “proposal song” that I had written very poorly on my banjo but I needed some kind of ring, right!? So while Sharry was warming by a fire I slipped off to the bathroom and to the gift shop to purchase her engagement ring. I wear this one to remember. To remember a wonderful twelve years of simplicity, love and adventure.

Second is Sharry’s actual wooden wedding ring. My matching ring is around her neck in the Santa Clara cemetery. We decided we wanted to do something where we could feel connected to each other and to nature so we explored how to do this. Ultimately we decided to make our own. We consulted with Sharry’s woodworking brother and a shop owner in St George and decided on three layers of wood, cherry sandwiched by outer layers of mahogany. We glued these flat pieces together, drilled down the middle approximately the size of our ring fingers and then sawed a rough, wide circle around our rings. From this point we had hours and hours of sanding. Sanding down to size on both the inside and outside and sanding for a nice relatively circular shape. We sanded while watching Gilmore Girls and Wonder Years (two of our faves). We would lacquer our rings, sand again. We would sand while listening to Cat Stevens, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, James Taylor, The Bouncing Souls,  Rancid and much more. We would stop for school, to make out or eat and then sand some more. Finally we had our beautiful finished products and they were awesome!! They lasted a good 3-4 years before cracks started appearing, as with all things natural the name of the game is impermanence. I wear this one to savor and connect with nature and impermanence. The natural world is full of beauty, solace and peace but it is important to remember that sunsets, trees and relationships no matter how beautiful are dynamic can disappear in the blink of an eye.

The final piece to my Sharry memento necklace is a goddess pendant that I gave Sharry for a recent birthday or Valentine’s or something. She often wore it around her neck. The goddess ideal was very important to our family. Every night we would pray to our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother for gratitude, for help, for love. In our patriarchal society Sharry was a feminist who longed to connect with her divine mother and talked and wrote about her female pioneer ancestors. As we struggled with fertility the idea of a loving goddess who could intervene to bring about our little JJ was especially magical...and it worked! I wear this pendant for mothers and remember my Heavenly Mother and JJ’s.


  1. Love the story and resemblance of each one of those! So unique and so special.

  2. So special. Love reading your blogs. What a wonderful way to honor your beautiful wife.

  3. Another amazing story of the strength of your bond! Praying for you all.