Ch.162 I Watch a Loving Couple Holding Hands – and I Remember
Aug 11, 2022.
About two years ago my son Joshua and his wife Patty asked us if they could make a mold of the two of us holding hands. We agreed, not really understanding the significance of this action. Today, as I write, I am looking at the mold, remembering the feel of Pat’s hand in mine. And now, with only this small token remaining of the thousands of hours Pat and I held each other’s’ hands, now I understand.
Last night, I attended a forum given by the Azura Memory Care staff for the families of their residents. Halfway through one of the residents, a tall, lanky man in his late 70’s, wandered in looking for his wife Cheryl, who was there. The staff guided Henry to Cheryl and sat him next to her. Henry doesn’t speak any longer but soon I saw Cheryl reach over and take Henry’s hand. And there they sat, holding hands, for the next thirty minutes. I watched them, remembering.
Remembering the softness of Pat’s hand in mine. Remembering the sense of calm; remembering the warmth; remembering the deep connection uniting us at a far more basic level than words could express.
I never understood before why people often told me how wonderful it was to see the two of us holding hands. But now I realize that holding hands is a palpable way of showing love, indisputable and evident. Holding hands is like smiling; it tells everyone who sees it that happiness exists in this world, hopefully enough happiness for everyone. Happiness and love. I did feel happy, for Henry and Cheryl, but watching them also brought me to tears. Sadness had snuck up on me again, but at least this time it was mixed with a more joyful feeling.
I was envious, too. A childish “No fair” call whispered in my mind’s ear. I wanted MY Pat here holding MY hand. But, of course, that cannot be. She is gone.
However, just for a little while I did feel Pat’s hand in mine, for only a few seconds. Pat was there, comforting me, warming my heart as well as my hands. And that is what I will remember.