Monday, February 16, 2015

What Lies in Your Hands?

My earliest memory is being in the crib in my parent’s bedroom and crying when my dad drifted off to sleep and his hand fell away from mine. I was a toddler then, with no room to move into with a small home and large family.  All of my life, I have wanted to hold someone’s hand (or paw) as I floated off to dreamland. From my dad and mom, to my sister, to my stuffed turtle’s neck, to my dog, to my husband, that contact has always been so important to me.

It’s no wonder that the thing I remember most about my loved ones is their hands. I can picture my dad’s scarred hands with the funny-shaped pointer finger he ran a drill bit all the way through while up in the attic installing our first swamp cooler. The many times he rushed home from work and used his big hands to pour his hot coffee into the small saucer to cool it quicker in order to get out and do chores.

I remember my mother’s hard working hands as she kneaded bread, cut-up chickens, and hung clothes on the clothesline outside. And all of the times she bent down to tie my shoes while I stroked her back.

I remember my older brother’s scarred, crippled hand that the well head crushed which forced him to use his left hand, and the way he held tools when we built wood projects together.

But that isn’t all.  It wasn’t just how their hands looked.  It’s a whole host of emotions they evoked.  I remember the love I felt as a knelt by my mom’s chair at the kitchen table and held her hand after my dad passed away.  Her hands exuded the love, kindness, and dedication she had given him. Then there was the way she lovingly stroked my long hair as she brushed it, and the times she ran a needle through her finger sewing clothes for the family.

There was the time when my brother stayed up all night long holding his sick dog, Blue, who passed away in his arms, and how I held his trembling hand afterward as he told me how much he loved his faithful companion.

I remember the touch of my dad’s hand as he consoled me after the loss of my first pregnancy and how gentle this tough man could be.  I remember his shaking finger as a warning, his hand signals the rest of us couldn’t figure out, and the tremble of his hands with impatience at something I’d done wrong.  But rarely did he raise a hand in anger.

In my teens, a song came over a country radio station, sung by Holly Dunn and written by Patsy Cline called Daddy’s Hands.  I’ve never connected with a song so deeply in my life.  Tears immediately sprang to my eyes.  This person knew how my heart felt.  My mom heard it, too, and told me I should sing the song and play my guitar at funerals.  Being the tender-hearted person that I am, I was never able to do that without crying, so it never happened.  But, the song has always had a special place in my heart. Here are the lyrics:

Daddy’s Hands
Written by Patsy Cline

I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.
I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back, for something done right.
There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

I remember Daddy´s hands, working 'til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

Listen to the song at:

Aren’t those marvelous words and thoughts? I hope I will be remembered for my hands and the love, kindness, concern, and empathy I have tried to give to everyone I meet, including four-legged friends.

Photo by Isaac Montoya
This photo was taken by my friend, Isaac Montoya.  He asked me to go to his website and tell him what I thought of his work.  What connected with me was the number of photographs he has taken of people’s hands.  I commented on it, and he was very surprised that I noticed.  Take this opportunity to go over to his site and bond with his work.  You won’t be disappointed!  Isaac Montoya’s Portfolio:

Study your own hands and think about what lies within.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at:

Isaac Montoya’s Portfolio:
Hand and Paw photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo 

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