You can't take it with you

Last spring my wife and I took a trip to the Caribbean. It was our first foray into the world since the birth of our son - now four years old.

Prior to leaving, we did the responsible thing and drew up our last will and testament to make sure everything was in order. In the event of an accident, we wanted to make sure our son's future needs would be both physically and financially met.

It's an odd exercise, but one that spares family members from the inevitable infighting that results when preparations aren't made.

As we tackled the standard paperwork, our lawyer asked us if we owned any material objects of great importance. Items, he explained, that we would want to see end up with specific individuals. I mulled over the few things I had of value: my car, a hot tub, old baseball cards, etc. Nothing special, just stuff really.

Then I remembered my cherished Gibson ES-335 semi-hollow body, honeyburst guitar with custom gold inlay. That might sound unimpressive for some, but for those in the know, it is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and an even more beautiful sounding instrument.

I know the guitar is valuable because I bought it, but it means more to me than money. I treat it like an infant child, handling it with the utmost care, cleaning it profusely, and on occasion, talking to it like a beloved family member. I've had this instrument for years and yet most of my friends and family don't even know it exists because I rarely leave it out for fear of unintentional damage.

So the question remained: Who would I leave my guitar to? Who would appreciate the instrument for what it was and not what it could fetch from an eBay auction? One would think I would have a musician friend who would embrace such a gift, but I've basically spent 25 years playing guitar by myself in the basement-never played in a band, never even stood up at an open mic night. No one in my family is musical so even if I explained how awesome the guitar is, they wouldn't really "get it."

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