I knew I wanted to do something special for Ben as a wedding gift, but for it to be a gift we could both cherish forever. Without worrying myself to death, I quickly remembered a piece of art I had created a few years back that featured an old couple (self portraits plus years of wrinkles) with a single cane and the words “as long as we both shall live…” The piece originated from the idea of a lasting marriage, which seems few and far between this day and age. I wanted the focal point of the watercolor art to be the cane with two handles to symbolize their walk through life together. That’s exactly what I want with Ben and thought this piece best put my feeling towards him into view so I decided on making the cane my gift to not only him, but us.
After quickly throwing out my idea of attaching two sticks together that might resemble a “We’ll make it through life one way or another, but we might fall apart” look, I started researching cane companies and stumbled upon Brazos Sticks. They are the largest cane company in the US so I sent them a brief email with a photo of my art in hopes that they could make something just like it.
I received the following quick reply from a nice young man named Eric Guel:
“That’s a neat idea. I had never heard of that until just now. 🙂 The challenge would be getting a crook to go both directions like that. Let me talk to our production mgr. and see what he thinks. We’ve done a lot of challenging projects in the past, so we might be able to do something for you.” And they did just that. They even made the handles into the shape of a heart just like my art.
Eric would send me updated pics throughout the process. I was terrified Ben would have my phone when a picture would come through, but thank the Lord that never happened.
I asked them to engrave our names, wedding date and “as long as we both shall live…” which they did perfectly.
On the morning of our wedding, I snuck the cane into bed with Ben and watched as he awoke to find something unfamiliar in bed beside of him. The smile on his face and intrigued eyes made the moment that much more special.
We used the cane in the end of the ceremony and walked down the aisle with it after we were pronounced husband and wife.
Every year on our Anniversary, we carve a tally mark in the edge of it. One day, it will be of much use. But today, it’s just hope for tomorrow.