Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Grandfather's Hands

(If you haven't read yesterday's post, please do. And, please consider donating).

It is my grandfather's 97th birthday today (Monday). We celebrated at his house this evening. As always, there was food and cake and a lot of laughter. Dylan helped him open his gifts, which always makes grandpa laugh. We talked, ate, and played a rowdy game with balloons. I gave my grandpa something I wrote, and it made him cry. This is it...

My Grandfather's Hands

As a kid, I used to love when my grandpa would take my hand. I loved the way my tiny hand felt in his big, rough one. As I got older, I would look at his hands, and think of all the things those hands had done. I pictured those hands working day after day alongside my great grandfather to build the home that he still lives in. I pictured those hands tending the big garden he grew in the backyard. I pictured them holding my mom and my aunt when they were kids, after his very long, tiring days at work.

Now, when I look at my grandpa's hands, I think of all the games that he played with me and my cousins - T-ball, Uno, Mr. Mouth, Ping Pong, and Chinese Checkers. I think of those hands so frequently reaching into his pocket for his handkerchief, to wipe his eyes, since he always laughs until he cries.

I think of the way in so many pictures I have of my grandparents, my grandpa's hand is resting lovingly on my grandma's shoulder - her protector. I think of the one and only time I saw my grandfather cry (before my grandma died). The doctor told him that he needed to go to the hospital, and he wiped away a few tears with those big, strong hands, telling her that he needed to stay and take care of my grandma.

My grandfather's hands tell a story, not only of all of these things, but of the man he was and continues to be. A man to admire. A man to respect. A man to love.

I love you, Grandpa. Happy 97th Birthday!



Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a wonderful gift you gave him--I can't imagine any better gift.

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

That is beautiful! And it will no doubt be treasured by your grandfather for the rest of his life.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

That is so beautiful. 97 years. That's amazing and so wonderful. I bet this meant more to him than anything else he received that day. Did he hug you and say, "Oh my Jenny?" Because I can just hear something like that being said by a man so sweet.

Feather said...

i love this post. i have a huge thing for hands. particularly my mother's. i have her hands and see hers everytime i look down. what a wonderful story you told today, my friend. well done.