those hands

Today I’m remembering the pudgy fingers and round little toes. Even at five years old, he had the best little hands. Hands that scarfed down the sweet treats as fast as he could swallow. Hands that gripped tree branches and legs strong enough to climb. His hands hid vitamins inside couch cushions and underneath table tops. His hands found tiny spaces and hid candy wrappers in backs of closets. His hands gently pet his dog and wrapped around his blankets tight. His hands chose stuffed animals and rest on top their fuzzy heads at night. His hands pulled on shoes, left in dragon costumes for me to find. His hands.

I can still see the dirt under his fingernails as he laid still in the hospital bed. Dirt that was proof he was an adventurous boy. He had fun. He had a childhood. At one time those hands fought me hard. Many times those hands wrapped around my legs at just the right height for me to bend down and kiss his head.

I sat next to the hospital bed, willing his hand to squeeze mine. Waiting for just one sign, clinging to every single breath. His hands lay still at his sides. I tenderly placed his hand in mine. Rubbing it as I read to him. Holding it tight as I reminded him of all the adventures we had planned. Kissing it softly as I said goodnight.

Sometimes we just have to write things down to remember. Sometimes we just have to share them to make them feel real again. Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever foroget. And sometimes I’m terrified I already have.

So today, I remember his sweet little hands. The hands that scratched up his face as a newborn. The hands that held him up as he crawled. The hands that helped to steady him as he learned to walk. The hands that learned so quickly how to pick up food and pull it into his mouth. The hands that held a pencil and a baby brother. The hands that wrote his name and a Christmas list seven years ago. The hands that worked so well.

Lord, thank you for giving my sweet boy hands that worked. Hands that moved the way he willed them to. Thank you Lord, because we didn’t have to think twice about any of those things. We just knew he was able. He got into a lot of mischief and he showed a lot of love. Thank you for those chubby little hands.

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