My Father’s Hands

Yesterday after work I sat absentmindedly at a stoplight. My mind was suddenly distracted by the present. But not before I found myself thinking about my father “just out of the blue”. One sturdy hand outside the truck window caught my eye. I consciously realized my father thoughts were based on this stranger’s hand.

It was like my father’s. It moved like my father’s in a steady random movement of the fingertips. Like his hands moved prior to his illness. I looked at the features, a truck, a roofing company logo, longer but just as sturdy fingers. Yes, it was the movement that brought the memory. A random flicking of fingertips. Perhaps a recovered smoker, the flicking of an imaginary cigarette. Or perhaps the laborer worrying the leftover glue or paint. Or the older hand with numb spots . . .

A visual memory that reached across eleven years of absence to bring my father’s hands back into my life for a brief moment of comfort, security and the realization of how rich life has been.

Author: Cate
Passionate about dementia care and quality of life throughout the last days of life----sums up Cate McCarty, Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach. With close to forty years of long-term care experience in nursing and recreation, a Master's in Thanatology and a PhD in Aging Studies, Dr. Cate seizes every opportunity to translate research into quality of life for individuals with dementia and all of us who have the honor to "rub elbows" with them.

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