My Father’s Hands
This thought came to me when I was sitting down next to my father in the hospital.
Dad was in again due to his breathing or lack of.
He had asked me to trim his fingernails for him.
As I was trimming them I saw for the first time just how old his hands looked.
All the wrinkles of time, to all the age spots showing.
I couldn’t get over just how old my dad had become while lying in this hospital bed.
Looking at my own hands and seeing how they’re shaping up now.
The small traces of lines forming from time – the age spots slowly being seen.
As I held my father’s hands it came to me all the things his hands had held throughout these years.
From holding my grandmother’s hand to his horse Major’s reins to the simple thing as a cup of water to his lips.
There is history in all our hands.
From tying our first shoe laces to that first button down shirt.
I started to see the past of my father within those hands.
He would tell me about the farm he grew up on.
Those hands moved dirt and tools to farm with.
Off to war so people like me can live with freedom freely.
From holding his mother’s hands to his first date.
To his wife as they started their life together.
Holding on to my brothers; then to me in the end.
His hands have felt the touch of so many things in life – that looking at them now made me realize how my life or better yet – just what my hands have touched so far in life.
My father told me once that you could tell a lot about someone with just their handshake.
To look someone in the eyes when shaking their hand meant something at one point.
That deals were done upon their word and a handshake.
How much we placed upon that.
When I started my journey in recovery who knew all the things that my hands would touch.
All those handshakes at meetings.
From being welcomed in.
To the one welcoming people in.
To see people bound with just that simple handshake.
You can see the friendships starting up that will last one day at a time.
How easily we can forget to hold on to those hands when we think it’s going too bad.
Looking down at my own hands again and seeing my father’s hands looking back.
Maybe not as much has touched them like my father’s – but God willing they’ll get there.
Trying not to forget that it all started with me holding on to that drink, thinking that my life should be so much better if only “they” would leave me alone.
Never realizing that my life was unmanageable because of that drink.
How much money passed between these hands to pay for the things that ended up destroying my life in the end.
Finishing up trimming my dad’s’ fingernails and really seeing for the first time just where my life was going today.
To knowing just what my hands touch on a daily basis.
The handshakes that greet us to the handshakes that bind us in life.
Being responsible in what my hands hold onto throughout today. Working on my fathers’ nails was just another God shot in how I interact with all my affairs today.
Being mindful of where I’ve been, to now.
As I let go of My Fathers’ Hands…