After a particularly long day doing procedures, I found my hands tired and aching. There was also a slight tremor as I reached for my pen.
It struck me that this hand looked familiar. Yes, this hand belonged to me. But it appeared similar to another hand somehow. Like it was my hand, but not completely my own.
I filed this impression away, to examine at a later time. There were still many patients to see.
This morning, after another long morning of procedures, the image of the hand that was not completely mine resurfaced.
These are Dad’s hands, I thought. And the realization felt right.
There were many instances before, when I lay sick in bed, when these same hands would visit, in the middle of the night, offering a cool towel for fever. I remember falling asleep with its loving caresses. I remember how infused with warmth they were. I remember feeling lucky to have these hands touch me during my weak moments.
My Dad does not speak much. But his patients love him. It is not surprising that this is so. He makes up for his quiet demeanor with the love that flows from him through his hands and his work.
Suddenly, I am honored and a little intimidated by the image of these hands.
It feels like a challenge and an awesome responsibility. Like someone saying, Go likewise and do the same, if not do better.
I see my Dad, advanced in years, with still much love from his heart to give. I see his hands shaking, the benign tremor of aging, but enough to stop him from entering the operating room again. I see him touch my children, the yearning to carry them visible in his eyes.
I am thankful that Dad has given me these hands, a reminder of the gentle life he has led, and a challenge to live likewise. Thank you.
I love you, Dad.