Woodworking For Therapy #24: THINGS UNDONE?

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Blog entry by Steve Kreins posted 11-23-2014 01:01 AM 1319 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 23: Woodworkers Fighting Cancer - Yes, You Can Help! Part 24 of Woodworking For Therapy series Part 25: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance »

Jim Rochester posted a project titled” “The Hardest Project I've Ever Had to make.” It is a box for his Dad’s remains who just passed away. I can understand how hard that would be. I am thankful that Jim shared his loss and his project.

It reminded me that I have a few things left to do for my family before this cancer gets the best of me. It has metastasized and is now in my abdomen and lungs, so like Jim, I don’t have a lot of time to finish up some projects. I came home from doing a very difficult funeral today and started, “My Box.”

What Jim’s sharing reminded me of is that I don’t want to put more on my family than necessary. Besides, I don’t have a son like Jim who can make a box for me. ;) I am blessed to have had all this time to “get ready.” My soul has been ready for many years since I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and save me, but there are always other things that need to be done or we pass the burden on to our loved ones. Making a box for my remains is just a small thing, but it is one less burden Judy will have. I’ve arranged a plot at the Veteran’s Cemetery, paid for everything and said my good-byes. But as Jim reminded me, there’s always more to do.

Making an urn (box) for my ashes is kind of weird, but I’m actually having fun doing it. I’m using Bubinga, Maple and Purple Heart for an inlaid cross. This may sound like a bit of a morbid blog post, but I want my fellow Lumber Jocks to ask themselves, “Is there anything undone or unsaid that I need to take care of while their is still time?”

Maybe there is someone who you’ve been meaning to thank or say I love you to. Maybe there is someone you need to forgive or ask for forgiveness from. Maybe you’ve been putting off getting serious with God. Take a little time and think about it.

While I still have some time I want to say thank you all for being my friends. This is an incredible website with some incredible people. You’ve encouraged me, prayed for me, sent me wood and tools. I have all of your cards set up and I look at them daily and thank God for all of you. I have been enjoying woodworking for only a year, but it has been the best year of my life!

So again, thank you Jim for sharing and know that your woodworking family is praying for you and your family at this difficult time

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

14 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2727 days

#1 posted 11-23-2014 01:09 AM

Wow, Steve. Words are most difficult to come by to express how I feel and how your situation and fight with cancer moves me. Life is so unpredictable and we never have any idea what is in our path. My thoughts are with you…

View maplerock's profile


521 posts in 1219 days

#2 posted 11-23-2014 01:09 AM

Sorry for the sad news, but you seem to have a great outlook. We all need to make the most of whatever time we have left. As my old friend Clint East wood said, “tomorrow is promised to no one..”

All the best to you Steve.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View lightcs1776's profile


4145 posts in 1073 days

#3 posted 11-23-2014 01:27 AM

Steve, this is not a morbid post at all. You can celebrate the relationship you have with Christ. Despite your struggles, you continue to point people to your Saviour Jesus. I can’t imagine being in your shoes, but hope that my life will be the testimony of Christ that yours has become. Thank you for allowing us to share your journey with you.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2086 days

#4 posted 11-23-2014 01:41 AM

You are an incredible man that can think like you at a time of illness and keep on going .
Your faith is strong and it will see you through and let you have peace .
My thoughts are with you !


-- Kiefer

View NinjaAssassin's profile


629 posts in 1143 days

#5 posted 11-23-2014 01:52 AM

Steve, I’m at a loss for words. Chris (lightcs1776) said it best, I think. My wife and I are praying for you and your family.

Thank you for sharing your story, your faith, and your woodworking journey with us.

-- - Billy

View SirGareth's profile


85 posts in 1619 days

#6 posted 11-23-2014 03:44 AM

Steve, I can’t put into words what an inspiration you (and the Lord working through you) have been and continue to be to us all. Your living example and ministry here have touched many lives. If God does call you home soon, I for one will be looking forward to meeting you in heaven and worshiping together at the feet of our Lord, free of pain and illness.

You and your family continue to be in my prayers.


-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California

View tyvekboy's profile


1307 posts in 2432 days

#7 posted 11-23-2014 04:34 AM

Sorry for you loss. I just wish there were something that could help you. You will be in our prayers. Hope you get to finish your box.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View HerbC's profile


1567 posts in 2278 days

#8 posted 11-23-2014 05:25 PM


Sorry to hear that the medical situation is worsening.

Your faith shines through the darkness of your illness and is truly inspiring.

Your love and concern for your wife is obvious.

I know that when you’ve passed through the Pearly Gates that St. Peter will surely direct you to the Lord’s Workshop…

May your time remaining in this world be blessed with peace and comfort.

Our prayers and thoughts go out to you and your wife in this time of trial.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View alohafromberkeley's profile


257 posts in 1823 days

#9 posted 11-23-2014 06:11 PM

Steve, you’ve really been an inspiration for me. The way you’ve used humor to temper the bad times. What I get from your blogs is the importance of living in the present and facing life on it’s on terms. I wish had half your bravery….I’m glad to have you on my buddy list…...........Wes

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2109 days

#10 posted 11-24-2014 01:33 AM

Steve, Your faith and courage are a shining example all of us should try to emulate. You and your family remain in my prayers.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1050 days

#11 posted 11-24-2014 07:18 AM

This is not a morbid post, rather this and the following posts on making your urn will be a celebration of your life.
Keep posting and building as long as you can and remember – Christ was risen by the grace of God but he has been kept alive in our hearts by the people who told his stories. You have people to tell your stories, and read them even long after you are gone.

Keep building and keep writing as long as you can and thank you for sharing!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View JimRochester's profile


370 posts in 1033 days

#12 posted 11-27-2014 12:28 AM

Well Steve I almost made it a day without crying. We just had my dad’s wake and service Monday and Tuesday so I’m just now getting to read Steve’s blog. I have to say for a bunch of guys that cut wood into pieces and glue it back together, you guys have a tremendous way making things better, both on my post and in Steve’s blog right here. Your words are soothing to an emotionally tired soul. The box received kudos both in picture from the post and in person at the services. My goal was not to receive praise, but to make a final project for my father that he would be proud of.

I waited too long to tell my dad I loved him. Once I finally did I told him every day until he could no longer respond. A day later I was telling his body what he meant to me hoping he could hear me in heaven.

Making this box was in a way torture while at the same time therapeutic. I hope Steve and others on this board receive the same therapy I did by making special projects.

Steve I am praying for you my brother. I know what a difficult journey it can be in the last few weeks. I pray those weeks are a long way off. Keep making your projects and doing what the man upstairs asks. Your faith is inspiring for me.

-- Schooled in the advanced art of sawdust and woodchip manufacturing.

View Roger's profile


19709 posts in 2223 days

#13 posted 11-27-2014 02:02 PM

You are a very powerful and strong man Steve. My thoughts are with you. God bless you. I am actually going to put this in my favs, so I don’t forget to build my own box one day….. there is my morbid 2-cents. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2651 days

#14 posted 12-09-2014 09:21 PM


My thoughts and prayers are obviously with you, but more so with your family at this time. You are a solid man of the word and know where you are going, but will be leaving your family behind. My struggles seem so minor and pale in comparison for sure!

I am awestruck at the love you are showing your wife, and family by taking care of this last, unpleasant detail, and it reminds of of just exactly how selfless we are to be in life. You are taking time that most other folks would use to simply wind down, to take what time and energy you have to relieve your wife of that burden. What a loving act!

I would like to correct you on one bit of semantics though. You said you said your goodbyes. I don’t know about you, but I want to tell everyone I know and love… “I’ll catch you on the other side, do you need directions on how to get there?”...

-- My workshop blog can be found at

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