My Dad’s hands. I can remember them without him being present. I can remember when I was a child they were always caloused. His fingers were wide and his nails normally dirty from work. The callous is the part I recall the most, my husbands are somewhat that way too. Both have working man’s hands, that’s what I call them.
Tonight as I sat next to Dad’s hospital bedside, I didn’t spend it looking at his face, his dark eyes, his thinning, gray hair or our trademark nose we have. I sat looking at his hand that was on the bed rail. The large fingers. The fixture in my mind of when I was a child.
My Dad has viewed death’s door many times in his life. Eight heart attacks in all, cancer, and now lung issues has brought him back to the ICU. Some would say it’s from the life he chose to lead years ago. Drinking, smoking, living it up all the day long, yet he worked hard too. The family life we had wasn’t the Norman Rockwell photo or Mayberry scenes. It was not the pretty picture that most have, and it wasn’t as bad as some have it either.
My Dad came from a somewhat large family and they were the poorest of the poor if I have my story straight. I couldn’t imagine living in the manner that he had to or losing my Mother at age 9. So those “vices” as he called them tonight, I somewhat understand why he took to them. But I’m glad he gave them up 15 years ago too. I don’t believe he was raised in a church going, faith teaching family. I’ve never asked directly, I probably should, but my guess is it wasn’t. But I’m thankful he was baptized and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior in 2008. It gives my heart peace.
Now those hands. I keep coming back to them. I keep thinking how solid and wide and large they are. Strong. That’s it,. They seem very strong to me.
I guess they will continue to be the fixture I think of when I think of my Dad, even as an adult. Those and his hugs.
He never lets go first.
Grace is a gift,