Those Little Hands...

I remember holding her hand and walking through the mall. I know I heard that something like that wasn't cool but, that never seemed to matter to me. We always laughed at the thought that people might think we were girlfriends. Those little hands...

She cleaned for a living though her favorite job (not surprisingly) was childcare. She had to give that up in order to take care of her mom after the stroke. Those hands cleaned very well. They did a great deal of things well. She was self conscious of her hands because she'd developed an allergy to detergents and her hands peeled which made them feel rough. She would always worry about what people would say when they shook her hand.

Those little hands...

She shook my hand after I got home from my part-time job in high school and said "congratulations" in an accented and excited tone after opening up my acceptance letter to Rollins. She would always shake my hand after I gave her good news.

Those little hands...

They held mine during labor. Straightened my hair afterwards. Held her granddaughter after giving The Man and I sufficient time with her. They changed the first poopy diaper after we brought the frog princess home and they bathed her for the first time. After the birth, they made teas and chocolate for me. Cleaned my house, straightened up. When I went to work, those hands would lovingly care for my child. Her bottles, her diapers, her baths. They held up the phone for my baby girl to listen to my voice from the very first day I was gone.

Those little hands...

She reached for me every time the needle went in the port. I held on strong and looked into her eyes and let her know when it was done. During chemo, we sometimes held hands though now I fear I didn't do it often enough. For every procedure, those hands would reach for me. Even when she was too out of it to really know what was going on. I held it and silently promised that I'd never leave her side. But I didn't have to because she already knew.

Those little hands...

I held them throughout the night as she struggled to breathe and to communicate. I pray she knew I was there. I read to her. I let other people have time with her. Everyone always touching her hands. Those little hands that cared for me and held me. That comforted me and loved me. The hands that disciplined me and held me up. And in the morning, when she took her last breath, I held her hand and looked into her face and smiled because I knew she was free.

Six months later, I haven't felt that touch, haven't felt that love, that comfort that strength. And now, oh how I miss those little hands...