Hands

This post is for Jen over at Tierd. Jen and I don’t know each other in the “in person” sense. But we know each other in the blogging sense … so I find it appropriate to dedicate a post to her.

Unless you are creeped out, Jen :).

Jen has been writing meaningful posts as she processes her father’s death. For her it’s still new loss – less than a year. The honesty in her writing is cathartic for me (and for others dealing with loss I am sure).

While Jen’s loss is new, my colleague Leanne’s loss is further away. Leanne talks to me about what missing my father will feel like years down the road.

I’m somewhere between old and new. When people ask, I’ve started to say “I lost my father a couple summers ago” instead of calculating the exact amount of time. Sometimes it feels like he’s always been gone and sometimes I pick up my cell phone to call him. Lately, I’ve been having more of the “pick up your cell phone” kind of moments.

Probably because I have a son whom I named Eugene.

And those long fingers. I see my dad’s hands.

Then there was this Facebook comment chain between our old neighbors and my sister:

This week, Morgan’s daughter had the flu for the first time. When I read Morgan’s blog post I noticed that Lacy left a comment with health advice. I wondered if I could help Morgan too. I picked up my cell phone … and put it down.

It is hard to imagine my father not being the one who will get LEGOs out of Ridley’s nose. Sometimes I blame my dad. Sometimes I blame me for waiting so long in my marriage to have kids. Sometimes I blame Ridley for being so irresistibly lovable. I want to share his infectious laughter with my father.

But instead of getting swallowed in the sorrow that loss can trigger, I try to remember that I get to meet with my dad again everyday in my son’s hands. And my dad’s hands have plenty of talented, life-saving stories for me to share.

Thinking about someday telling Ridley about his grandfather pulls me out of these blues. Husbanks and I can’t wait to explain E. Ridley’s name to him.

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  1. #1 by Ginny on February 10, 2011 - 9:14 am

    I love this blog. You know why. I can’t wait to tell my kiddos all about their uncle.

  2. #2 by Ellie on February 10, 2011 - 11:50 am

    Will and I went to DC to tell his family and my family we were having a baby in the Fall of 2008. We went to my Gram and Papa Jake’s and my mom told me later that Papa Jake knew as soon as he opened the door – he could see it in my eyes and face. I was barely 2 months along, if that. He died in January 2009 and never got to meet his first great grandchild. Knowing that he knew that he had one coming and saw gives me a sense of peace. So I can only imagine what you feel when you see your father in Ridley and how special that must feel for you. It keeps him with you always.

  3. #3 by Ingrid on February 10, 2011 - 4:03 pm

    You did it again! You are so much better with words than I will ever be and I appreciate the way you put them out there. It takes a lot of courage. I’m so happy you have all these wonderful memories & stories to share with Ridley.

  4. #4 by Erin on February 11, 2011 - 11:04 am

    My grandpa died just before I was born. I’ve always considered him my guardian angel. God called him up just in time to watch over me from the very beginning. Your dad is Ridley’s guardian angel.

  5. #5 by Morgan on February 12, 2011 - 12:54 pm

    This post is special. It makes me sad and joyful at the same time. Sad that a piece of you is gone, but happy that it lives on through you. Through Ridley.

  6. #6 by Stephanie on February 12, 2011 - 9:03 pm

    My friend Shelley’s father died a couple of weeks ago and I sent this post to her.

  7. #7 by tierd on February 14, 2011 - 12:30 pm

    Oh, Hilary, I want to give you a great big hug. Thank you for your words – they mean so much! It’s hard to “focus on what’s left and not what’s lost” and you do it beautifully, even if there are moments of sadness in between.

    The title of this post made me look twice – I LOVE JJ Hellers song “Your Hands” and often used the image of God holding me in his great big hands to fall asleep on restless nights before my surgery at MD Anderson nearly 10 years ago. I use that image still to think of God holding us all – giving us peace and comfort.

    Peace and comfort to you, my friend.

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