A week from now...

Middle fork of the Salmon River, 2004

Portland, 1997

Actually, a week from yesterday....

It looms. I have broken down in tears numerous times the last month. It's always this way approaching this date, for the last 3 years.

April 2nd. It will have been 3 years since my father, Harry S. Chandler, passed away. On that day 3 years ago, I worked at the gallery, went to the gym, went for a hike, and thought about how proud he would be of me. We had had a very strained conversation only two days before that. I expected him to call me that evening. I went to sleep in preparation for my night shift that started at 10 pm. At 6 pm the phone started ringing. One call, I'll call them back. Two calls, my brother, I'll call him back. Three calls, my mom, I answered.

The lawyer, the cowboy, the die hard downhill skiing fanatic, the hiker, the father, the husband, the brother, had had a heart attack and died before he even fell over. My father was not perfect, but then again, none of us are. He was the only father I had. He was a soul mate to me and my best friend. We had a special connection, complementary energies. And lots of fun "debating" about politics (more fun than serious).

Why am I writing this on my blog that should be about metalsmithing? Because it has grossly affected my work and myself.

In 2005, I went to the Oregon College of Art and Craft to finish my credits and my degree. The only reason I was able to do that was because of the money my father left in his will for me after he passed away. Bittersweet, huh? Most of my work that year was about him. In my Time & Sequence class, we had to choose an action to do every day for two months and a way to record it. I thought and "spoke" to my dad every day so I decided to take a photo of whatever I was looking at at the time and record what I'd thought or said. It was extremely difficult facing each day knowing that my dad was no longer in his office on SW 5th or that I could no longer call him. But, the process I went through was highly beneficial to my healing.

In July of 2005, my two brothers, sister, stepmom, and myself went to our family cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake, CA, and spent about two weeks there. During that time, we hiked up Mt. Tallac and spread my dad's ashes over the mountain and lake below. In the fall, I used soil I had collected on the mountain, with water I collected from the lake, and made a piece of jewelry for each person present at that ceremony. I guess you could call it memorial jewelry. It may or may not have ashes in it. I wear my earrings frequently.

Henry, 2005

Catherine, 2005

Ben, 2005

Beth, 2005

Sharon, 2005

So, what will I be doing this year on April 2? I will go for a hike, possibly go get a tattoo (of a quote from one of my father's letters to me), and gorge on sushi and whiskey sours.



  1. Very touching post. I wish you the best.

  2. what a moving post, beautifully written. so sorry you have lost your dad, he sounds like a wonderful man. thanks for all your support of my highs and lows, it means so much to me, Catherine!

    You are such a loving, lovely person.

  3. I hope that you have a great day on April 2 because I know that your father would want you to celebrat e the life he gave you.


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