Bob’s guitar is gone.  She sold it last week.

Janet told me “I struggled with selling it.  I waited two years.  But  his guitar  wasn’t doing me any good.  I don’t play.  I wanted someone else to have it.  Someone else would appreciate  what it was and what it could do. Someone like Bob, who needed to own it, someone who could play it.”

Bob was her husband.

He died a month after their twentieth wedding anniversary.  That was two years ago.  Janet still misses him.

Every. Single. Day.

It’s hard for her to talk about their life together. Together, they watched the sun come up, until it set that final time.

“My life will never be the same.”

Bob loved his music.  He was an natural musician.  He picked up his first guitar when he was thirteen.

His Dad was a professional musician.  He played jazz on the piano.  Bob was next to him, playing bass guitar.  For forty years,  the two of them  played jazz together.

Janet still calls Bob her Renaissance man.  He was an artist.  The music he played, well, that was his passion.

Musicians are like that.

“Bob couldn’t make any money  playing jazz in those days, so he taught music lessons and worked in a music store.

When he had enough  money to buy a new guitar, he ordered a Fender Stratocaster.  A classic.” she said. “He bought it in 1979.  That was before I came into his life.  It was number 3855 out of ten thousand.”

Bob loved to play for people.  He hauled his guitar to a thousand bars, dances, weddings and a few sock hops.  Bob would sit on a stool, the guitar across his lap, pulling the notes off the strings.  Or he would stand and make the guitar sing to a crowd.

And,  he made music for Janet and himself.  Humble.

“After Bob died, I didn’t know what to do.  The guitar was a part of the man I missed every day.”

Her Renaissance man was gone.  The guitar sat in the corner.   She looked at it for a while.  It was well-worn.

“It needed to be rebuilt.  It’s like new now.”

A friend came by.  He helped Janet hand it on the wall.  She liked that.  She saw it every day, still thinking about the music Bob made.

“But, a guitar, especially that one, doesn’t need to hang on a wall. I don’t think Bob would have put it on the wall, just for someone to look at.”

“It needs to be in someone’s hands.  It’s still full of music.  Someone needs to play it again.  I had to come to grips with letting someone else have it.  Someone else needed to play it.  I put it up for sale.”

Last week Janet sold Bob’s guitar.  It hurt to let go.  But, she says, someone else is making music with it.  Another person has given Bob’s Fender Stratocaster a new life.

Janet thinks that’s just what Bob would have wanted.


Please feel free to share.  I welcome your comments and thoughts.  Contact Mike Windham at  You can follow my blog at


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