Ever since I was little, I loved my fathers hands. They helped me learn how to tie my shoe laces. They showed me how to put bait on a hook, to angle, to catch the fish, to hold a knife, to use tools. They showed me the world of books... They were always there. Strong. The strongest hands on the planet, I imagined. Yet soft. Warm and caring . To hold, and to be held by, forever.
I grew up. My fathers hands disapeared from sight and touch. Years went by, and I missed them, the strongest, yet warmest, softest hands. And from time to time, I could really use a hand. I’m not sure with whom I were more angry, him or me. Probably me, for losing touch. I think he was a bit angry too, at first.
More years went by. We became friends again. The last time I saw him, I had this funny, sore feeling. I wanted to take a photo of my fathers hands, but couldn’t bring myself to ask. I held his hands for an hour. We talked. His hands, warm and even softer than before... grip still strong. Old caring hands. Then I had to leave. There was something about having to be on the other side of the country. Apparently.
A couple of weeks went by, during which we spoke on the phone. Talked about everyday life, him getting better, going back home. Celebrating Christmas with my sister and her family, seeing each other again. I tried to call him on a Sunday, but missed him by a minute or two. He was busy. I was busy too. It was a busy day.
I got a call from my sister the next morning, and we agreed to meet. It was a long drive. I got to hold his hands once more. This time, I did all the talking. His hands still soft, my hands still warm.