Five Minute Friday~ Hands

I walked into the nursing home by my sister’s side. She took me there to show me where our Daddy had been living for the past 10 months. When you live hundreds of miles away from your loved ones, you can accept that certain things need to happen. Logically. I knew my Daddy needed to be in a nursing home. But walking into the place that he had determined NEVER to live in, stabbed me in the heart.

We walked towards his room and a wall covered with beautiful black and white photos of hands captured my attention. And then…

…it took me a moment, but I realized that the picture in the middle, the centerpiece of the wall, was a picture of my Daddy’s hands. My sister was watching me intently and I willed myself not to cry. I haven’t always been able to contain myself since then.

His hands, beautifully displayed. His words, recorded for all time.

Head bowed and hands folded often as I prayed for my family and congregation that I pastored for over 30 years.

My Daddy had Alzheimers, yet somewhere in the midst of the fog in his brain, he was able to articulate his legacy. His life of prayer.

To his dying day, his hands folded in prayer were a gift to his family. No matter where I was in the world or what decisions I was making, I knew my Daddy was praying for me. Besides the actual physical loss, that slow, creeping knowledge that he would no longer be praying for me was the hardest part of the losing of him.

But his hands folded in prayer have also held the hands of every single one of his 11 grandchildren. His strong hands faithfully intertwined with one woman for over 40 years. His hands wiped away tears, disciplined out of love, held his girls close to his chest, clapped for every performance, always so proud of us.

And his hands faithfully wrote out over 30 years of sermons, forever recorded for us.

While I no longer get to hold the hands of my dearest Daddy, I am so blessed to see his legacy continue in the hearts of his family.

I wonder~ what story will MY hands tell? 

Writing through tears on this one and linking with the Five Minute Friday community on the prompt “Hands”.