Today, I wished for a chance to go back in time. A chance to whisper a few helpful hints into loved ones' ears as they go about their lives. Today, I missed what I didn't get.
I woke up this morning TOO early. That has been happening a lot lately. I believe it is because I have too much going on in my life right now and with not enough hours in a day...the leftover stuff rattles around in my head while I am trying to sleep. Eventually the rattling gets so loud, I just get up. Why fight it? Such was the case this morning so I started going through files on my computer. You know the ones...because we ALL have them. Those file folders where you place stuff to get to later. Well, there was a period of time when I was taking photos faster than I could upload and organize them. During that time, I stuffed a lot of photos in unmarked or improperly marked file folders on my computer. Not good.
So this morning I am drinking coffee (before dawn), propped up in bed, computer in my lap, and I am finally opening up some of these file folders. There are wedding shower photos from 2009. Videos I shot at The Farm of everyone playing music. I even have the videos I shot of Wesley learning how to embroidery. I mean quite literally his first time to pick up a needle, thread, and quilt square. This is extra special because I filmed it just as his first lesson was beginning, and because he was attempting it for his niece's wedding quilt. It gets better, he has an audience for his first lesson and you can hear them all talking and then he and his brother start telling stories from their Florida Road Trip. It is really priceless stuff. I digress. :)
Then I get to a file folder marked "Family Photo Album Project 2008". I have no idea what it is or was for, but I click on it and inside are photos of me, my siblings, and two fantastic photos with my Granny and Gramps from the early 70's. I have seen these photos before, but I don't believe I have seen them since...well, probably 2008 (sigh). I really pause and take a look at them, and I notice for the first time that in one of them each of my grandparent's have one of my hands. It really shook me because my first thought was, "Don't let go." It was soon followed by "I wish you hadn't let go."
Clearly I am a girl with abandonment issues. Clearly.
I believe it is telling that at one time of our life or another, someone held our hand(s) in theirs. It could have been the doctor and/or nurse who delivered us. It could have been a parent, a sibling, or a grandparent. It could have been a friend, a co-worker, or a customer. What is it about the simple act of holding hands that moves us, soothes us, and even excites us? How many hymns do we sing in church about the Lord taking our hand(s)?
I am sure with all of this in the back of my mind somewhere, today I noticed that Wesley holds my hand differently depending on where we are at or what we are doing. I do the same with him. There are times when our hands are one, firm, equal ~ in sync. Sometimes are hands are clasped softly and they seem to swing like we are two buddies headed to go play. There are other times, like this afternoon, when my hand felt very small in his because without even knowing it, he was comforting me. Even without me knowing it too, and that is what got me to thinking....
Maybe our hands are really leading us. We use them to greet each other, to comfort each other, to love each other, to help each other...our hands are an extension of our heart, mind and soul. I remember a story about a war veteran who had lost his hands in combat, and he missed that simple act of holding his wife's hands to comfort her. Grant it, he could still hold her, but the loss of the touch of her hand in his was devastating to him.
There is a lot that is unspoken in the touch of our hands with another's. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the picture I took of Wesley and his grandson Kayden on Thursday. I followed them around, bouncing like a monkey in the snow trying to get the shot I knew was there between them...finally...
Trust and Love
The other day Wesley and I were talking about the subject of loss. The loss of time, the loss of dreams, and the loss of those we love too soon. Whenever we go down this topic of discussion, he instinctively grabs my hands. Coincidence? Is he even aware he is doing it? I don't know. What I do know is that in his hands I find security, comfort and yes, the strength to grieve. His hands act like a relief valve for my spirt and my mind; I don't have to hold it all in anymore while I try to figure it all out for myself. His hands, even more than his words, assure me that everything is going to be okay.
I am so glad that I have this picture and that it shows my grandparent's hands holding mine with such a firm grip. In some strange way I believe that the love and strength I surely felt that day in their hands carried my spirit through on days when I didn't have those same hands to hold. I hope that you will go reach for the hands of someone you love and comfort or love them with a little extra gusto. You never know how long that touch needs to last them.