Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Daddy's Hands

If you love your Daddy, you love his hands.  I was thinking today about my Daddy’s hands.

Daddy’s hands were long, very white, and very handsome. 

Daddy was a doctor, a pediatrician.  He had gentle hands.  I loved watching him when he checked a sick baby. He’d stroke the baby’s chin with his long pointer finger, clicking his tongue at the same time.  That helped to warm the baby up to my Daddy before he checked the sick little one.

When I was a little girl, I loved to stand next to him as he applied shaving cream to his face, ready to shave.  I thought he had such an interesting way of taking his razor and shaving under his chin.  I loved watching him stretch his neck to get the hard-to-shave places.

Being a doctor, he had a particular way of washing his hands.  He’d apply soap and pass them through the water.  Then he’d hold his hands up until he reached his towel, letting the water drip down to his elbows.  I loved watching him wash his hands.

I was only three or four years old when he became ill with Parkinson’s disease. At the beginning, his illness did not affect him very much; but as the years passed, the illness debilitated him to the point where he could no longer drive, ride his bicycle, or play basketball with us.  But even with Parkinson’s, his hands always looked so very handsome to me.  He’d rest his elbow on the arm rest of his rocking chair, put his pointer finger on his forehead and his thumb under his chin and read his Bible that way. I loved watching him sit that way, lost in thought, often planning and dreaming.

He disciplined me in love, and he wept the last time he had to spank me.  It broke my heart to hear him say through his tears, “It breaks my heart to have to spank my children.”

I sat next to him many times and took those hands in mine as I cut his fingernails for him.  Sometimes I had to hold his hand quite firmly because his shaking wouldn’t allow me to cut his fingernails properly.  He told me one time, “You’d make a good nurse.”  (I never had a desire to be a nurse; but his sweet words built up my self-esteem.)

I remember lying next to him the night he died.  He was lying on his bed, and I put my head on his chest.  It felt as if he were only sleeping.  I took his hand in mine one last time, wishing I could feel him shake, another part of me so glad his illness tormented him no more.  I cried because I missed him.

My sisters and I used to sing to him, “Daddy’s Hands…there was always love in Daddy’s hands.”  I remember on more than one occasion seeing tears in his eyes as we sang that, and knowing that he was thinking of his daddy’s hands.

If you are close enough to your daddy to hold his hands, stroke them lovingly.  Our daddies worked so hard to provide for us.  Their hands helped to provide our living, put food on the table, provided us with a warm bed on which to sleep.   We can thank him by taking his hands in ours, looking in to his eyes with love, and thanking him.

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