Harmonious Hands | Teen Ink

Harmonious Hands

March 20, 2015
By AWriterOfWords DIAMOND, Hamburg, New Jersey
AWriterOfWords DIAMOND, Hamburg, New Jersey
59 articles 13 photos 9 comments

Every time I picture my Grandpa, I can make out his hands as his dominant figure, despite his inquisitive brown eyes or his distinctive nose, it was always his hands. Perhaps because from my earliest memories, our hands were always intertwined- always one when we are together. From a young age, his hands always seemed massive compared to my small ones. I would only be able to grip onto his thumb, but I held fiercely never letting it go. By holding hands, I always felt a deep connection to him.  When I was younger, we would measure our hands against each other, which we still do, but his hands still easily encompass mine. Unfortunately, his hands have changed in appearance, while at the same time my own did.

As old age set in, his skin became more tenuous, allowing me to make out the veins and tendons beneath. Still not adapting to his older age, he will do any task without fear or bruising the skin underneath, but proudly show off his bruises when he acquires them. Despite the thin skin, he still possesses more power in his hands than me, seasoned from years of use and experiences. The same hands that had held a gun while in the military, the same hands that had been stained purple annually in the process of making wine, the same hands that wore boxing gloves, but the same hands that raised numerous children.

Despite the past that he had, his hands have become experienced with the gentleness required around children. His hands carried me from when I was young, taught me how to draw, but also held butterfly nets in hopes to catch butterflies, which was so important to me when I was younger. Now as he is older, he still keeps the same light-heartedness he did as when I was a child, always wanting to shield from the harsh reality that he is getting older.

He jokes about his arthritis setting in, making his hands often immobile, but that does not change anything. We will still hold hands- our roles reversed. Now I am the one who needs to be gentle, instead of him. His joints swell easily, and his middle finger has trigger finger that he jokes because of the times he fired guns. Without him admitting it, I could see the difficulty he has in it, but as his usual stubborn self, he refuses any assistance for his ailment.

Often we will sit next to each other, not talking, but enjoying one another’s company with our hands intertwined. As he always told me, hands are a form of expression and can say a lot about a person. When he passionately talks, his Italian blood shows as he uses his hands to emphasis his points. I would often mimic his hands as he spoke to others; to deter me he would grab my hands in a loving manner and hold my hand once more. With his hand and mine together, I would be content as I listened to him talk once more, using his one free hand to talk.

From a young age, my Grandpa has always known of my fascination over his hands. One time as we sat on a chair, him in the chair as I rested on the arm of the chair so that our hands were together that I asked him, “Can I have your hand when you die?” Instead of being alarmed by my odd request, he squeezed my hand gently as a small smile curled the sides of his mouth. “You can only have my thumb,” he responds, wiggling his thumb under my embrace for emphasis. At that age, I was satisfied with the response and dropped the conversation, but it is a memory we both fondly remember to this day.

Even to this day, our hands more in harmony so accustomed to one another through the years. There is not a time that we sit in the same room not holding hands to express both our affection to each other and the realization of the limited amount of time we have with each other. His hands have provided him with more wisdom that I have yet to acquire, but his hands make up who he is. His hands have changed throughout the years into the hands of a fighter, a soldier, a worker, a father, and a Grandpa.

The author's comments:

For the biggest role model in my life. 

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