People say, “Once you’ve killed a man, you can never really wipe off all the blood and that it will always stain your palms.” My grandfather decided to fight for his country and become an officer just so that he could prove that he was a true man. Taking this in mind, he also understood the fact that once he opened that gate, he could never truly close it. The blood stains on his hands tell only one part of all the horrors that he witnessed. My grandfathers’ bloody knuckles covered nearly all features of these complex designs and they take up the most wandering eyes over any feature that makes him who he is and will always be. He gained this quality from pounding at a punching bag to build up muscles to make him have a stricter look, rather than show how soft he really is. The calluses paint my grandfather’s hands from building his power of authority over most men who lose theirs. You are either a leader or you are not. To confirm that he indeed was a leader, he took on this tedious, but boosting task to show that he could take charge when he was needed to and give commands to the followers. Each scar has a hidden secret behind it waiting to be unveiled and show its true colors.
Secrets can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. My grandfather went through a war that never seemed to end. To get through it, he had to keep things bottled up. He pushed memories down into a deep eternal drawer of his conscience. After training for hard times ahead, he went in to the living nightmare where he couldn’t wake up if something horrific happens. The first day of combat my grandpa found himself holding a murderer’s toy. One slip of a finger could kill a human instantly. That day, he approached the enemy line and looked down at the foreign object that sucked the life out of a man. Slowly he aimed it at the opposite side, closed his eyes, and pulled the trigger. His hands took their first life that day and added a deep, black, and binding wound into his soul. He will always be tainted.
Countless expectations are placed in two rough, torn up hands that not even the person possessing them fully understands the potential that even one finger holds. The hands mean different things to different people. To his employer, they are able to take a son or daughter away from their parents forever. To his daughter, they’re holding her as they walk her down the path toward her future destiny. To his admirer, they are in her dream’s holding her through the night and will be the first thing she makes out in the morning as the sun seeps through the window. My grandfather’s hands can be hard as stone or as gentle as a lamb. I remember a time when I was eight where I craved adventure and if I couldn’t have it I truly believed I would transform into a worn out teddy bear that would be in the back of a closet with a missing button for an eye and patches of soil covering it from head to toe. Then after ten years of staring at unwanted shoes, books and other forgotten toys, I finally come to the surface just to get thrown in to a black hole and to go to the place where no one visits because of the foul smell of lost family members pierces the air. So I went out to seek what I thrived on. In the end I failed my quest. What I did take hold of was a lot of heart ache and stress. For that my grandfather’s hands went stone cold and they took hold of the one thing that always made my stomach turn upside down and start to sink down into a black never ending void. The one thing he seemed to have forever, his worn out, black, leather belt. As he would give his lecture on what I did was wrong and telling me the reasons on why it was wrong, they would take the belt and slam it across the most innocent bystander of all, the wall. The wall had to stand there, screaming and wailing in silence. It had to endure the torture until he felt he made his point crystal clear. When an eternity of sweating, screaming, and swinging was finished I turned to leave and the two monsters grasped the strip of terror with all their might and made a final swing toward the wall. Subconsciously I figured I needed to protect the wall from the agony it was about to face. In the end my behind took the blow. When the deed was finally done the hands quickly transformed in to a trusting pair once again and they tried to comfort me as tears dripped down my eyes and on to my face. I didn’t know it at the time but when I put two and two together a long period of time later, I concluded that these hands will always be with me; either to help me with my problems, or to keep me out of them. In any situation, at any given time, they will always be immortal to the ones he loves or the ones who love him.
“Your past is your past; you can’t change or revise it. All you can do is benefit from the experiences. Thank God you got to be part of them, and end up at the other side on your own two feet.” My grandpa emphasized this statement with everyone who would listen, and told us to hear his voice repeating it in our ears. “When life puts bullets through our breast, we are to repeat it and we will never fall because of it.”