Filush-Glaze: Daddy’s hands
Over the years, I have watched adult children sit attentively beside their fathers as they were actively entering into the stage of dying. For most, stories of lessons given and morals taught were commonplace, and recollections of “Daddyisms” or favorite quotes uttered by the man that raised them have warmed my heart in their telling. From first learning how to ride a bike or to navigating a stick shift; from understanding finances or how to balance a checkbook and to growing up in awe of an individual who role modeled “fatherhood”, all of these recollections have been an inspiration. So, it is no wonder that when we begin to approach Father’s Day, the overwhelming sense of grief builds in those who are filled with loss over the father that is no longer physically present to help pick them up when they fall down.
Additionally, there are those who suffer internally due to “absentee” dads, never knowing the warmth of their embrace or hearing the words of encouragement on how to grow up in an ever changing world. People ask me all the time whether or not it is possible to grieve someone that they never knew, or maybe they had them in their lives for just a brief moment before they suddenly disappeared. Of course the answer is yes, and keep in mind that grief comes in all forms, some obvious and outspoken, while others are kept hidden within the depths of their souls, never spoken aloud or addressed with others.
But death has a way of reminding us of time that we have lost or memories that were never created. We view these “strong” men as being invincible and yet when they are struck down by illness or disease, we struggle to witness their slow demise.
There is something unique about a fathers love for his children and vice versa, and one thing that so many people have in common when facing the death of their dad, is how much they study their daddy’s hands. Sound strange? It shouldn’t because think of all of the hard work that was placed into those hands.
Daddy’s hands have numerous stories to tell, and hearing the outpouring of love from children that feel thankful and blessed to have been raised by a man that taught them so much, is an ongoing privilege that I will never get tired of hearing.
On this Father’s Day, we honor the men that we have lost and we remember the impact they have had on our lives.
From graciously accepting gifts of new socks or underwear, to homemade cards and desk ornaments, dads are just special, and it is ok to miss them- especially those hands, a symbol of strength and courage that will continue to live within us all.