Monday, April 10, 2006

My Father’s Hands

I was ready to indulge in one of my favorite snacks this week: apples and peanut butter; when cutting the apple into wedges I pulled the knife through the meat of the apple and into the meat of my thumb. Before I could even grimace my hand was red and the blood was running down my arm. I had forgotten my snack with thoughts of self-preservation and wrapped a Band-Aid so tight the tip of my thumb turned purple.

As it healed and I was able to assess the damage and realized that I now would have a very distinctive thumbprint with my new hooking scar. I also noticed all the other scars on my hands. I have one on my forefinger’s knuckle that I got while a dockworker when I moved a pallet and found it had raked of a large chunk of my hand while setting it down. This was at the beginning of the whole “blood-bourn pathogen” scare and training in companies. I had a bunch of safety white suits appear and surround me and take me to the company nurse who was also covered completely in white. The white-suited figures then went to attack the drips of blood on the floor and pallet, which attacked me. 10 stitches later I was back at work and the white ghosts went back to their hidden places. I also have a thumb nail that is thick and filled with ridges as I had it tore off a few times and slammed in car door twice. My wedding ring finger has a scar right around my ring from my first wedding ring that was ripped off my finger while working. It was a good thing we could not afford expensive wedding rings when we were first married because I would have lost my finger. Other minor scars and scrapes litter my hands along with assorted freckles, moles and wrinkles. After this self-inspection I was shocked to realize … I have my father’s hands!

I remember looking in awe at my father’s hands. They were strong, tanned and spotted with freckles and patches of black hair. He never had graceful thin fingers but was blessed with thick hands and fingers with which he caused fear in his children from spanking. His hands were scared and shaped by years and years of work, providing for his family as well as caressing his wife (after all, they had 8 kids). I look at my think fingers, hairy knuckles, scars and freckles and think of my father. At the end of my life … what will my hands say about me.

What do your hands say about you? Will your hands be known for their skill in your job? Will your hands be known for the trouble they got into? Will your hands be known for disciplined children and a loving wife? What have you touched today and what kind of impact has your touch left? Take a good look at your own hands.

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