The importance of having good mentors in your life. Most children are initially mentored by their parents. Some parents are not the best mentors a child can have. In fact for some children their parents are the worst mentors, a child can have. Some parents make the biggest mistakes in mentoring, a child, so much so, that is then difficult to undo later, for the child to have a decent chance in life.
I am constantly paying tributes to both my parents for being such remarkable people, and for being such great mentors to their children. Their mentoring, training, and education has enabled me to be a very independent person throughout my entire life. Independence was acquired by learning the skills one requires to become independent.
I have often referred to my life as being like Superwoman. I look back in awe sometimes at the achievements I made, and the enormous effort put into the juggling act to achieve same.
My parents taught us to learn any skills we felt we needed, to be independent, and to employ or subcontract out the work and jobs that we were not capable of, or skilled to do. We were also taught to be thrifty with our money, to save our funds, and to invest wisely. They also taught us to have a go, to do the smaller jobs around the home. To use our brains and hands as much as possible. A ‘Can Do’ attitude in life, was an excellent trait to acquire.
I practiced the same mentoring methods on my own children. Melissa had many interests, was a very fine athlete, horse rider, speed skater, and also loved Woodworking amongst other skills and interests.
I was inspired by my late daughter’s Woodworking skills. Melissa had renovated the timber floors in a couple of old houses I had purchased, resulting in beautiful stained timber floors that looked fabulous.
Melissa and I had been buying odd bits and pieces of timber with a view to making various items around our home, and or renovating some very beautiful old dining tables we had both collected over the years. She had many of the tools required for these projects, and would teach me the skills I would need.
It was as a result of some items of a Woodwork Project that Melissa had not finished at the time of her death that brings me to the balance of this story.
Melissa had left behind a very beautiful piece of timber, together with an old school desk. I believe the timber was Cedar, and she had intended it to become the new top on the very old child’s desk, as a conversion into a coffee table. The piece of timber was too long to fit into the Tool Shed, so I had it cut in half for easy storage. These items had sat on the back porch for a couple of years after her death.
I really did not know what to do with them, until I woke one morning and figured it out. It was simple really, remove a layer of damaged timber from the top of the desk, sand the whole piece down, and place the new timber on the top.
I believe that was what Melissa had intended for these items. The finished coffee table looks gorgeous, with the glossed top and black legs. It was also a very clever idea. Using the Child’s School Desk as a frame, with the addition of the new timber on the top, saved me a load of time in trying to make a frame, with the complications of ensuring it was level and squared at all corners.
Remember, Melissa was the one with experience and interest in Woodworking, not I. I had only attempted the one project, working with timber before , making a Garden Seat for my home.That project was not all roses, and the learning experience, to use some of the tools took some tolls on my hands and fingers for several months.
The ‘can do attitude’ that I have always applied in life, usually holds me in good stead, with a successful result in most cases.
I have named it the Melissa Desk, in a legacy to her, and for her memory.