Monday, November 18, 2013

His Hands

Many times, I am asked what I loved most about Thad.  The truth is so are so many things, that I cannot choose just one:

His amazing laugh
His romantic spirit
His velvet voice
His fierce protectiveness
His ability to use words and language in such an eloquent way
His love for me and my daughter
His love for his family and the desire to feel like he belonged
His kind heart
His sensitivity
His passion for politics and sports (OK, these drove me nuts from time to time)
His willingness in the beginning of our relationship to open up, let me in.  Let me see the soft spots, the damaged spots, the hurts, the desires and the dreams.  It made it so easy for me to do the same and to fall in love with who he really was.  All of him.  
His desire to make me feel safe
His willingness to try and learn how to be happy
His perseverance
His bravery in fighting his demons
His strong chest that comforted me so often
His playfulness
His passion for me
His way with animals
His adorable backside..  :)

I could go on and on.  He was an amazing man with so many layers. So many qualities that made me fall in love with him over and over, more and more. 

But, one of the things I miss the most and want to always remember are his hands.

His hands were flawed.  Because if his nerves, his nails were always chewed to the quick.  I tried quite a few times to give him at home manicures, or took him for professional ones, but he always ended up chewing the life out of those fingernails.

His hands were freaky strong.  Seriously.  There was never a jar he couldn't open or anything he couldn't get unstuck.  There were times I would struggle to no end to open a mayonnaise jar he absentmindedly put a bit to much twist on. I'd would have to wait until he got home to open it. 

His hands were so gentle.  Although he sometimes didn't know his own strength, when he took great care, his touch was so gentle.  They stroked my face when I was sick, stroked my hair when I needed comfort, cared for me when I was physically hurt.  His comforting touch is what I miss most late in the night when it is quiet and my grief overwhelms me.

His hands gave me pleasure, joy and excitement just by running his fingers over my skin. I miss his tickles, his foot rubs, even his awful massages and pulling on the excess skin on my elbows.

His hands fit me perfectly.  Every time he took my hands into his, it felt like home.  He loved to hold my hand in the car, in bed, watching TV, in church, sitting on our porch, on walks, at the movies.  Many times I would turn over in the middle of the night to find our hands intertwined.  

His hands looked amazing with his wedding ring.  The day I placed that on his left hand, I knew he was mine and I was his.  It stood as a symbol of our commitment and love. I used to love to touch his finger and wiggle the ring. I loved how it looked, what it stood for and how it made me feel so loved, wanted and secure. Nothing would give me a smile like the smile I wore when I saw that ring on his hand.

The day he died and the medical examiner brought me his personal effects, his ring was among them. I placed it on my hand and left it there until we met with the funeral home to make his arrangements.  I was so numb those first few weeks.  I don't remember much.  But, I do remember the private viewing and being distraught that although his ring was on his hand, his right hand was over his left and I couldn't see it.  And I needed to.  I needed to see his ring on his hand, touch it, wiggle it like I used to.  I don't remember asking or how it happened, but his hands were changed and at his public viewing, I couldn't stop touching his hand, his ring, him.  Longing for the warmth, strength, and gentleness that I used to feel when I touched those amazing hands. 

I now wear his ring around my neck on a chain, along with mine, on a heart shaped pendant.  I wanted them together, intertwined like our hands always were. Touching my heart.   On my finger I wear a band he gave me for Christmas one year.  The words "I love you" are inscribed several times, on the outside in a never ending message.

I love you too, Baby.

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