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I Stand Higher Because of His Hands

Do you ever look at a person’s hands, and make an impression about them?

What gestures are they using, how do they “hold” their hands, how much do they use them in conversation? How do they cut their nails, what shape are they, and are their hands soft? Or full of dirt, embedded in the dry crevices and cracks of the skin? Do they wear jewellery?

I find hands to be such a gateway into the ways of a person.

At medical school you learn how to look deeper by observing and examining the hands for clues on the inner “biological” story. Is there a tremor? What is the nature of the pulse? Is the palm pink? Or slightly pale? What is the shape of the nail? Does it have marks? I could go on. The stories to be told are often overlooked.

My dad had big hands, they held a lot of power and simultaneously held a lot of love. Rough and scarred on the outside, you could light a match on his hands they were so worn with use, but they were also so soft and gentle.

With those hands, I stand higher. Because of those hands.

I remember the shape of his hands. I remember the shape of every finger; a scar here, a broken nail there, coming together as a whole to create his life.

I remember the shape of his fingernails, unique to him. His strong nails always meticulously cut so as to never collect dirt underneath them despite being a farmer, a man of the earth.

The way he looked after his hands and the way he used his hands were such a reflection of who he was, his values, how he gave of himself to life and how he chose to use the time he was given.

The last photo I have with, and of my dad is of his hand, but it was a photo caught 24 hours too late. His hands were already swollen, his fingernails grown, his skin slightly paler than his normal sun-kissed hands, telling the story of death waiting at the door. He died a few hours later.

Look at your hands now. How much have they given? How much have they loved?

Isn’t that all that matters at the end of the day?

Remembering my dad on his birthday earlier this month and looking at the photo above left me thinking about what story I want my hands to leave every single day.

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So beautiful written and so close to home. They are so very precious to us. Thank you for sharing xxxx


The love for your father came through in your testimony with the beautiful pictures showing that love. How blessed you were to have each other. Cherish the memories.


Oh my heart! This is a beautiful testimony to the life of your father. Your words made me feel as if I had met him and knew him. His love for you must have been great! I will never see hands in the same way again! We miss you lots!

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