Holding Hands - Holding On
Holding Hands – Holding On
By, Phyllis Becker June 1, 2010
When my mother died, my first thought was that I wished I could just hold her hand one more time. To feel her gentle squeeze of my hand, to remember times she would tell me a story and trace the lines in my hand, trying to predict the course my life would take. She held my little hand in hers, polishing my nails with light pink, barely visible but oh so beautiful on my little girl fingers. I would dance my polished nails across the table and compare my hands with hers, as mine kept growing and hers stayed the same size, only the skin became looser, like gloves that were too big. Now, I sometimes pinch that wrinkled loose skin on my hands and see Mom's ring on my own finger and remember her hands. My daughters now compare hands and I see the firm flesh around their knuckles and remember having had those hands.
There is a magic about hands; you can always tell whose hand is touching you, even if you can't see the person. If it's a parent or grandparent, a teacher or boss, lover or friend, their hand leaves its own impression on you, recognizable. When I went out with boys and then men, I would know if their hand felt right in mine, I would be conscious of their hand stroking me and know if it was the right touch or not. I have always looked at people's hands for clues to their personalities. My children know that with each grandchild, the first thing I look at is their hands. That first grasping hold, new baby reaching out to know her world and find safety and comfort holding on binds me to those babies. Long fingers and strong hands appeal to me and excite me. I have enjoyed the touch of amazing hands and still enjoy quietly sitting, holding hands with my husband or one of the kids. Our best talks usually happen when we are holding hands. My daughter would only go to sleep if I held her hand for a few minutes and I'm sorry she seems to have outgrown that need.
As I grow older, the firm squeeze of a friend's hand warms and strengthens me, fills me with memories of times we've shared and has the power to comfort me. Facing the world, we mustn't forget to lend a hand, give a hand and hold a hand. It makes the world a much better place.