In fact, I had practice building my bed since moving to Austin 5yrs ago when I found an antique king bed that someone had discarded in my apartment complex recycle room. I was able to cut and redesign the large bed into a more modern piece that fit my smaller mattress at the time. This classic bed would later become my guest bed in my larger 3 bedroom home.
After moving into my house last year, I decided to buy a new mattress and build another bed using scrap wood that I re-purposed into a platform bed frame. While I searched for a new mattress I had discovered my dream mattress which was beyond my budget at the time and settled for a comfortable more practical selection.
With time and savings I was finally in a position to purchase my "dream mattress". I wasn't really looking; however, everything seemed to fall into place as these things sometimes do. I had yet to furnish my second guest bedroom and was begining to stagnate in renting out my available rooms. Several months back I purchased a second hand headboard for $50 from a couple who downsized into a place that was too small for their enormous king sized bed set. They said it was a wedding gift they received from Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel. I was shocked when I looked up the original design and discovered the price. These bed frames usually sell for thousands!
A few months ago I decided to finish remodeling my home before the SXSW film festival so that I could finaly rent my extra bedrooms to higher end guests that would have disciminating tastes for luxury appointments such as wood flooring (as opposed to stained carpet), a comfortable bedset, and possibly even a TV.
I had a little over a month to complete the work in time to capitalize on the opportunity. I began by removing the old carpet, baseboards, and repainting walls as needed. Next, I set to work installing the flooring. I decided to use the same wood flooring that I had installed in the downstairs entry when I first moved into my home. Luckily, the flooring store had plenty in stock and it was even on sale! The wood flooring in the bedrooms would make cleaning a breeze as well as reduce headaches associated with carpets such as trapped odors. I worked on one room at a time which took about three days to complete for each.
Once all the wood flooring was installed in the bedrooms, I was able to replace the well worn carpeting in the hall and stairs with new extra thick carpet. It was both satisfying and highly cathartic in ripping up the old stained carpet with years of trapped dust, allergens, and debris. The flooring professionals asked why I simply didn't install hard wood everywhere to which I answered, "Price, for 1) since I was doing the work myself I was able to install wood in the bedrooms for the price of carpet, and 2) carpet is both softer, more quiet, and safer for people walking up and down the stairs."
After a long and hardworking month, the house was ready for guests! I leased my extra rooms to people visiting the city for the film festival which earned me enough income to purchase the mattress of my dreams. Besides that, it was on sale for a fraction of the original price. Now with the dream 'King' mattress in hand it was time to begin construction on my bed frame.
I set to work developing designs and made frequent trips to the neighborhood home improvement store for ideas. I bought some heavy duty timber and started 'cutting'. I discovered that fresh lumber needs time to dry because the sap makes the wood difficult to sand, stain, and retain a level shape. Professionals use kiln dried wood which costs much more; however, I decided to make do with what I had available to me. I noticed how much heavier sap-filled wood is than a drier piece.
After meticulously sanding each piece of wood, I stained the lumber to match the high-end headboard. I also employed the use of a portable heater and fan to circulate the warm air in my garage as this helps to cure the stain and dry the wood. I re-sanded the wood after each stain / polyurethane coating with a higher grit sand paper until the finish resembled store-bought furniture.
Once the finish was complete, I began putting the pieces together and slowly the heavy cuts of wood started to resemble a bed. The whole process took place in about 4 or 5 days during a rainy weekend with neighbors often stopping to admire and inquire about the project.
Please look after Ryan. Help him to find his way back home to you, oh Lord.
This past Easter weekend we celebrated the life, death, and ressurrection of our Lord, Jesus, which coincided with the passing of our Ryan, who was also around the same age as your Son. Father, I thank you for the gift of your Son who taught us to have faith, to forgive, and to believe in the ressurection. Please send your spirit upon us in this time of mourning to help us remember that through Christ we too share a baptism into the ressurection, and that all those who truly believe in your Son may come to share eternal life.
I know Ryan was suffering, Lord, as Jesus suffered on the cross, so I am grateful that he is no longer in pain. I also know that despite his suffering, Ryan would always light up when he talked about his Nephews and Niece (his face lit up when he told me about the time he took them for ice-cream). I hope he lives forever in that same light.
Lastly, I won't forget that Ryan was never shy about saying "I love you", which reminded me that life is truly short and to let people you love know how you feel no matter what.
As Jesus said, "whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in glory..."
He who was first and the last, The Alpha and Omega, like Ryan who was youngest may he also be the first to see your sweet face Lord, Amen.