Aloha Comes From the Heart

Coming up on the one year anniversary of my mom’s passing, and it’s made me think about a lot of things; one of which are these keychains I made.

Nearly a year ago I started playing with inlay projects, nothing too exciting, just keychains. After my mom passed away, my Glowforge ended up having issues and I was stuck without being able to make anything for weeks (the GF team was slacking a little around then). When I got my new machine, I picked the projects back up and started to make new things, but my heart was still hurting, so I was less enthusiastic about most of my daily functions.

My grandma had asked my siblings and I to wear a black ribbon everyday to remember my mom, which turned out to be incredibly hard. Not hard because I had to remember to wear it, but because when you wear something like that, people become curious why it is that it’s there. So everyday, a few times a day people would ask, and again I would have to remember why it was I wore it, but I also had to say it out loud. Most people were uncomfortable after asking, a lot of people said the typical “sorry”, but a few showed honest compassion, and they were the ones who inspired me to make these.

Made from engraving out the aloha on both the wood and acrylic so that the acrylic doesn’t stand off of the wood too much. I slowed the laser down on both parts to get a decent depth, but this makes the acrylic leave a melted slag around the edges when cut, so I sand those down as well. These are actually my favorite thing I’ve designed and made, probably due to the emotional attachment, but also because white acrylic and cherry ply look really nice together.

Thanks for checking them out and if you read down to here, thanks for reading part of my story :ok_hand:t4:


Very nice hearts. Sorry for your loss.


I loved reading your story. I can relate. It’s been 4 years now since my own mama died and there are actually still times when I think that it can’t be. But, then I come back down and realize that this is part of the story of life and that no one is ever exempt. One thing though is that I was very fortunate that my mother was in my life for more time that most are allowed. She didn’t pass until she was 103. None of that really matters though…the loss remains and always will be. Time is the great healer …but never the cure.

And last but not least…love the keychains. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for sharing your story. I’m so sorry about your mom.

The keychains are lovely. Hopefully they have helped your healing process, if only a tiny bit.


Can just feel the love coming off these, I understand why they’re your favorite. So sorry for your loss.


Very nice. I like the offset hole it them—gives them a nice tilt. I hope things are getting easier for you now.


The keychains look great. Honoring your grandmother’s wish regarding the black ribbon must have been hard, but helpful for her. Losing one’s mother is very hard. Losing a child - even an adult child - is equally devastating. Thanks for sharing your artwork and story.


Heartfelt sympathies. One year is still painfully fresh.
(The keychains are a lovely tribute.)


Really nice work Ray. She lives on, in every one’s lives you touch, and everything you make - like these!

Afterward there are moments when the reality comes at you - out of the blue. Sometimes shadowed in the sorrow, but sometimes out of the joy you shared. Usually both intertwined.

I think it was about 8 years after my mother passed, I was at my jewelry bench, engrossed in the piece I was making that was turning out even better than the plan… I was almost giggling.
Suddenly, I had the clearest image of her, looking at me with a loving twinkle in her eye, and the biggest smile her face could hold. I was stunned.
That same smile she would give me when I ran up to her in the kitchen and thrust my tiny fist out with every little dandelion and weed flower I could find in the yard.

No one can ever love you like your mother.
The pain dulls over time, but the perfume of her love will linger around you for the rest of your life.

Thanks for sharing that piece of your heart, and the heart you made with her in mind. :purple_heart:


These are lovely. There is no one like our Mom … Thank you for sharing your story.


Thank you for sharing your story with us, sorry for your loss.


Thanks for sharing a part of your story. I can see how warring the ribbons was hard. Death of my grandmother and father in law are hard for me to deal with too.

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Thank you everybody for the support! I’d say it wasn’t easy until our baby was born almost 5 months ago, then it got easier. The joy of having new life is greater than the loss of one, at least I’ve felt that. My mom always wanted us to have a boy, we wanted a girl, but of course mother knows best and that’s what we got.