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I was alone in labor, as we are in life. There is no one else who can do this living, birthing, for us. Yet I had as a constant companion my husband’s hands.

 His hands are thick, like a trustworthy rope. You know you can put your weight into them and that they will hold you. His fingers are sturdy, round, and brown. His hands are soft as he has not known fields or labor, but books and classrooms. He bites his nails. He wears our wedding band everyday without fail, and this too, makes me love his hands.

My husband nobly, quietly, sacrifices so much for me. He listens to me complain about copious, timeless banalities never making a verbal judgment just smiling, listening. He takes care of the aspects of life that escape me, namely details, ensuring that somehow my work continues somewhat unimpeded. He cooks casseroles without recipes, washes poopy diapers, ensures the loyal dog has her walk every evening. He gets up to bear the thrashing of our newborn son’s evening witching howls, and does so without complaining or resentment.

For thirty hours his hands held me through the rolls of thunder of childbirth. Giving me a place to find the solid ground I needed, and the courage to let it go when I needed to. These hands made room for the time when I would need to rise above it all to let the pain roll through me. They held steady when we decided that it would be the surgeon’s tools that birthed our son, not my bones, not his hands. His hands did not waiver once with doubt, fear, or trouble throughout enabling me to sit, rest, and trust that all was right with this, with us. When the waves of labor left us Adam held our son in his arms. I looked at his hands and wept. These hands are now our son’s hands. They will teach him to walk, share, guide, and support. Our son’s hands already look like his father’s, strong and stable. Just like Adam.

Adam’s hands have touched me in ways I didn’t know men’s hands were capable of. Softly, gently, without a rush or care in the world. Selflessly. Giving for the sake of giving, not with the hope of receiving. His hands provide me refuge from numerous storms, from myself when I need to be still. They have loved with with knowledge I doubted a man of his young years possessed. During the days when he is away, I miss these hands, and anxiously await their return to our home, to our son, to me.

He now cares for others with these hands, healer in training that he is. His hands bring comfort to others and I am having to learn to share his hands. Not my strongest trait, yet I know that the world is a safer, kinder place because of Adam’s hands. When I am most alone, sinking, spinning away, I think of Adam’s hands and know I am safe. These hands bring me back to the shore and remind me that I am loved.