I don't have his wedding ring anymore. I had the gold - along with some of the small diamonds from my mother - made into two memory bands for my daughter and my niece. Once again with help from the fine folks at Russell Korman.
For my daughter especially, who was incredibly close to her grandfather, the ring is a way to keep a piece of him with her all the time.
I do still have the watch. Mom didn't give it to him on an occasion, but "Just because I love you" - as she had it inscribed on the back. That's how my parents went through their 45 years together - doing things for each other just because.
I've also been stopping at a local place called P. Terry's - right across the road from the Creative Side studios - to grab a burger and a milkshake for dinner before I go to my four hour fabrication class that starts at 6 p.m. two nights a week.
Every time I order, I can hear Dad's voice in my head saying "oooooh, a milkshake", because the combo of a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake was one of his absolute favorite meals (I'm sort of partial to their caramel or peppermint versions).
The evening of the day he died, our family out went for dinner - and we agreed everyone should have milkshake. And that was the beginning of a tradition to honor him and keep his memory alive by toasting him with frozen treats.
Something else happened in the days after he died. People began sharing their photos in texts and on my Facebook page with notes saying they were having a shake for him - and me. Now, a twice a year, it has become a tradition to have a milkshake for Granddad. In October, to celebrate his birthday, and in March to honor his life and memory.
This year I invite all of you, dear blog readers, to join us by enjoying your favorite frozen confection. Because as the folks at Amy's Ice Creams here in Austin say, "life is short, eat dessert first."
Until next time.