This man I married…
Is the gentlest man I’ve ever known. Though his love is strong and brave and gargantuan: it’s served up on a silver platter filled with delicate pastries and the richest of chocolates. A little champagne to symbolize his effervescent ways. Within the perimeter sits a single beautiful bud, so as not to overpower the rest. And a napkin lays waiting for whatever falls from my plate – always there to catch my abundance or tears.
He possesses the single-most greatest gift of all. A quiet gentleness so loud it can’t be missed.
His hands are forever guided by the enormity of his heart. The hands that first slipped a ring onto my finger went on: to hold a dying baby and pass him into my arms, while holding on to me. They held my face and told me everything would be alright. The same hands that caught a healthy baby girl and held her little face, promising to always make things right for her. His hands proudly pushed his son’s first wheelchair as joyfully as they pushed his little girl, as she learned to ride a bike.
His hands bathed, clothed and lifted our sons (helpless) body so naturally, as if it was imprinted into the lifeline on his hands. The same big hands that awkwardly, yet lovingly brushed his little girls hair when I was away.
The hands of a loving father…have fixed broken bicycle wheels and mended broken hearts. They’ve sculpted play dough and snowmen. Changed diapers and flat tires. They’ve clapped at lacrosse games and silly homemade skits. And silently clasped together to pray for those he loves.
And as life sped up faster than he could follow at times, his hands waved good-bye as his daughter went off to college. Still, his hands remained open and waiting to hug her hello.
His hands fell to his side as he learned of his son’s death. They turned cold and lifeless at what they couldn’t grasp. White knuckled tight, they shook outwardly against the cruelty of the world. Then they turned to me, to hold me and tell me once again, it would be alright…one day.
His once idle hands learned how to feel again. They opened wide, they reached up high, and became nimble at life once more.
These are the hands that never give up.
The hands of a house builder, a beer brewer, a thinker, a mechanic, a furniture maker, a “fixer”, and a baker to boot. How is it that the hands that bake the most delicate pie crust I’ve ever had, also mix mortar like a pro as they shape wet cement into an oven mold. These are gentle, adaptable hands.
Hands that have remained open as life molded them over time.
Rough and callused, soft and warm. Open and giving. These are the hands of love.
Hands of the gentle man I love.
The hands that will forever hold my heart.