I will always remember her hands. I remember how they caressed the cello when I first fell in love with her. I remember how she used to squeeze her fingers when she was upset. I remember when I saw her crying and squeezed her fingers so she wouldn’t have to squeeze her own. I remember the way she ran her fingers through my hair on our first date. I remember how her hand grazed my chin when we first kissed, and the way her fingers touched my neck when we’d hug after she hadn’t seen me in a while. I remember how she wiped away my tears after the tragic death of my parents when I was only 17. I remember how we’d hold hands after every date as I walked her home. We lived in a small town, so taking the car was a waste of gas. I remember she pointed when we neared our university for the first time, and how she wrote ferociously during that first exam, her fingers working the mechanics of the pencil efficiently. I remember the way her fingertips peeled back a page of the many books she read. Everything she did was elegant. I remember kissing her fingertips as I slipped our engagement ring on her finger. I remember how good it felt to hold her hands as we kissed on our wedding day. I remember the way she smoothed every shirt before I left for work, every tie that needed straightening. I remember how I held her hand tightly as she gave birth and how our first child’s hand fit perfectly in hers. I remember the way she held my son’s hand to help him walk for the first time. I remember the way she wiped away every tear, the way she held his bike steady. I remember the way she and I held hands as we brought him to school for the first time. I remember how her fingers gently touched the top of her lip to hide a proud smile on his graduation day. I remember how I squeezed her fingers when we first heard the news of her terminal disease. I remember how her hand lingered on my arm as she took her final breath. I remember how I tucked a lily into her hand before kissing her goodbye for the last time. As I take my own final breath, it is her hands that I remember. I will always remember her hands.
July 17, 2013