Holding Hands after Fifty years of Marriage
I am sure that the day their hands finally touched for the first time was an amazing experience. Fifty years later and they still hold each other. Always together in good and bad; against war and chaos; against fury and storms.
On November of 2011 I had the privilege of attending my parents wedding vows. My siblings, nieces, nephews, other family members and friends were also there. It was an extraordinary event (all of us knew) because my parents learned years ago the real meaning of holding each other hands. It was not a surprise to any of us to see them walking side by side ready to renew their vows; they have done this for so long teaching others the beauty of togetherness.
My parents discovered during the first years of marriage that the only way to succeed was to use their hands to caress, reach, work and heal instead of destroy, hit and push. The same hands that once were angry and lonely started to look for love, companionship and closeness. My mother says that at times marriage requires sacrifice, but at the end is a sweet one. She also says that when a couple gets married is to support each other and make the best decisions for the family.
My mother says that she loves to touch my father's hands because, although they have changed over time, they are the hands of the one she has always loved. "Your father has worked all his life, since he was a child. By holding his hands I am able to thank him for all he has done for us". Yes, my father has worked a lot, his hands have the story. There was a time when his hands were the tools that held the smelly shots of cheap alcohol; The same hands that years later pushed away the life as an alcoholic and embraced his family to never let go.
I ask my father about my mother's hands and he tells me: "Your mother has done so much for me. Have you seen that although she works a lot in the garden, her hands look beautiful as always? I do not know how she maintains her nails long". He likes to say (as a joke): "In reality, when your mother and I are walking holding hands is because we are trying to distribute weight to remain upright".
I currently do not see my parents a lot (maybe every year or so). Every time there is a chance, I hold my father's hands and kiss them. I place them on my face and tell him how much I love him. His hands have thick skin and old scratches and indentation, but they are so kind. Oh! I hope I have many opportunities to keep touching his hands. Better to kiss them now when they are warm.
My mom? Well, she has long fingers and beautiful nails. You will find my mother doing something most of the time; planting flowers, working with her vegetable garden, painting some wall, among so many other things. Her hands have this magic touch of healing. Those same hands used to punish me and my siblings for misbehaving; but she also learned to soften her ways. When we both go somewhere we hold hands as well.
The day of their anniversary, my father and mother walked again ready to keep their promise of love. We were witnesses of this moment. We were so proud of them when they put the wedding rings on each other's fingers.
I love your hands mom and dad. I love what they mean to us as a family. Your hands worked for us, held us when we were weak, play with the grandchildren, ease our pains.
I have always kissed my parents hands; I am so proud of them.