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All in a touch

August 12, 2013

The home my Nanny and Granddaddy lived in since 1961 was one in which several additions were made to it.  I’m old enough to remember the carport renovation and the subsequent addition behind that.  With those two extra rooms, the traffic flow of the house became like a race track.  Anyone could make laps around and around inside the house, and as kids we often did just that.

My favorite part of romping through the house was when my Granddaddy would come in from work and plop down in his chair, a burgundy swivel rocker/recliner, to relax and watch a little television. Inevitably during one of my laps, Granddaddy would stick out his gigantic hand, riddled with arthritis and aged with years of hard work, with his palm up.

This was my cue.  The ritual was enduring, and it continued right up until his passing.

His outstretched hand blocked the path of my meandering.  I would always stop, waiting for the next line in this well-rehearsed script.  I would squeak out with glee, “Hey Granddaddy!” and then slap his calloused hand with mine, thus giving him “five”.  Then in a booming voice, dripping with a Floridian Southern drawl, he would announce, “Hey Granddaughter!”

As a child, if I had been asked to define love, I would have drawn his hands.  Even today, I would give anything to once again touch his gigantic, but gentle, man-paws of hands.  Every once in a while, I am fortunate enough to see that kind of love in tender moments of others. I think God knows my soul needs to espy those gentle touches.

I was blessed to witness such a moment on my trip to Kentucky.  One of the days, our plans were changed because my friend’s grandfather was sent to the hospital.  Rather than taking in the sites of the area, I offered to ride along with her and her grandmother to sit with “Daddy”.  He was in considerable pain due to diminished breathing capacity with masks, tubes, and machines everywhere.

Quickly, quietly, lovingly, it happened – that comforting ritual.  Her grandmother, affectionately known as Ninny, reached over and gently rubbed his legs.  My breath caught in my throat because the lump lodged there seeing such tender love.  I hoped no one in the room saw my tears.  God’s beauty often does that to me.  Those beautiful hands that had worked for years, raised babies and grandbabies, and had many times folded in prayer were the embodiment of how God loves. I don’t know what possessed me, but I asked Ninny and Daddy if I could capture the moment.  They agreed it would be alright. One click and the moment was preserved forever in image and in my heart.

Ninny's hands

Even though spending the day in the hospital wasn’t what was originally planned, it was where God needed me to be.  After glimpsing love that day, I knew precisely why He had called me to that place at that moment.  For gentle reminders of how tenderly He holds each of us, I am so thankful.

If you enjoyed today’s blog, I would love to hear what you would draw for love.

  1. Wow! What a precious moment. Not sure what I’d draw for love. I’ll have to think on that.

  2. Nancy – if you were to draw an airplane, I think I would faint. But since I genuinely doubt that is what you would draw, I think I am safe. Kandy

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