Monday, June 22, 2009

Daddy's Hands

In 2006, we made our annual trip to Burt's Pumpkin Farm. A picture was taken of our family by the father of a my friend Jen. They gave us an edited copy, and it hangs in our mudroom by the backdoor. I love looking at it. Shortly after Brock died, I noticed for the first time that Drew and Brock were holding hands.

I got in my mind that I wanted to blow up just that part of the picture for Drew for Father's Day. After several attempts of my own Photoshop tactics, I headed to Wolf Camera for some help. I had the nicest guy, Jason, that helped me. The resolution on the picture was low because it had already been Photoshop'd to remove a lady in the background. Trying to blow up such a small area kept coming out 'not so good'. Jason continued to help me for three days. When I picked the picture up on Saturday, I took a quick look and dashed to buy a frame. As I slipped the photo in the frame at home and propped it in a chair to look at it, I started to sob. The thought that Drew was holding the hand of a child that we can no longer hold was too much. We live with that reality every day but sometimes it comes and slaps me in the face. In that moment, I can't think of the hope of Heaven or even how thankful I am to have had even one day to hold that precious hand...all I can feel is the ache in my empty hands and arms.

I called the boys in to look at the picture. I asked them if they knew what it was. They all immediately answered, "Daddy's hands holding Brockie's." I asked them to go write Daddy a Father's Day card and use the theme of 'Daddy's Hands.' I asked them to think of things they like to do with Daddy and his hands. (After a brief time of trying to convince me they would do it on Sunday morning), they went off and wrote their cards for Drew.

My card included things like carrying all the boys from a young age. They were all big babies and so, after a few months, they got so heavy that when it was the two of us, Drew was usually carrying the little one. Etched in my mind is the silhouette of Drew carrying Brock in his arms to and from church. With his hands he taught them to throw a ball, swing a bat, whittle a stick, build a car(boxcar), ride a bike, mow the lawn. His hands have brushed their teeth and pulled their teeth. His hands have picked them up when they were too tired to walk. Hands that have embraced them when they were hurt. His hands have protected them from harm and provided for their needs. His hands have held the pages of a thousand books for exciting bedtime stories. His hands have brushed back their hair so he could kiss their forehead. Most of all his hands have loved them and pointed them to the One who loves them more than he does. I love the man that these hands belong to.
With permission, I am including part of what our Mason, age 11, wrote. He wrote a note and then wrote a poem. Here is the poem:

My Daddy's Hands

At the age of zero,
soft and loving when I was just born.

At the age of 2 holding my hands up and
teaching me how to walk.

At the age of 5,
showing me how to throw a baseball.

At the age of 7,
holding my hands as we walk through a
Georgia Football game so I don't get lost.

At the age of 9,
showing me how to do math problems.

At the age of 11,
clapping whenever I make a good play or score in baseball.

In Heaven,
wrapping your hands around Me, Mom, Asa, Barrett, new baby, and Brockie.
Then we will be one big family with a Daddy with big loving hands.

Indeed when we get to Heaven we will all be together and we will also get to see the hands of our Heavenly Father. The one who put the stars in place, painted the sky beautiful shades of pink and blue at sunset and gives the flowers their magnificent beauty. The hands that grew from a little baby to a young boy working with wood like his father. The hands that healed the sick, the blind and the lame. The hands that multiplied the fish and the bread to feed everyone. The hands that were pierced with stakes as they stretched out on a cross because he was thinking of me...and you. The hands that welcomed my Brockie into Heaven. The hands that hold him now until I can again. The hands that held me after Brock died when I could not stand on my own. The hands that reached in and soothed my breaking heart. The hands that provided for our every need when we could not think for ourselves. The hands that took me by my right hand and guided me ever so gently through this dark valley. The hands that preserved my life. The hands that lately have been knitting a new life in my womb....Oh, how I love the nail scarred hands of my Savior!


Henley on the Horn said...

Once again, your precious post has brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing this, What a precious gift you gave Drew for Father's Day!! We continue to pray for all of you.

{ jamie's cottage } said...

Beautiful. ((hugs))

Lynn McCray said...

Nita - OMGoodness. This was almost too much to bear and I am at work reading it!!! I had to shield my eyes from everyone else, cause I can just remember Brock's cute little dirty hands after playing for hours at the ball games and how it did not matter. Thank you for noting again how precious life is.

Love to you,

Paige Stanfield said...

Beautiful photo, beautiful poem. Your posts continue to bless me.

Nita, I don't want to give you any more grief to bear, but I want to ask if you will pray for my friend Angela Maxwell and her husband Jason, who lost their 2 1/2 year old son Aaron suddenly yesterday. They have a 5-year old daughter who had some serious health problems when SHE was 2 1/2 - she nearly died and it turned out that it was some kind of genetic condition. She survived, but evidently Aaron had it too and died suddenly yesterday. They have a baby boy as well. I debated sharing this with you, but I really felt like you could pray for them more personally than I can. Today I was driving and listening to the radio and thinking about whether I should tell you or not, and the song "Praise You In The Storm" came on, and I remembered hearing it during Brock's slide show. So I felt like God was telling me to let you know. This family is very devout and godly (Angela was in CBS leadership with me) and I know that God will bring them through this, as He is you, but I also know that they can use as many people lifting them up as possible. I hope that it's ok that I have shared this with you. I love you guys.

Victoria said...

You are such an excellent writer and very creative - your idea to blow up the portion of the picture of them holing hands is brilliant.

Jodi Reddock said...

Nita, I "happened" up on your blogspot via facebook. I had no idea... your story has brought me to tears over and over. I am so moved by your faithfulness and your strength. I can tell that you have a special annointing on your life, and I look forward to receiving your new posts. About a year and a half ago, my mom and Grandmother were hit "head on" in a car accident. My Grandmother was killed, and my Mom has permanent injuries in her left leg (walks very carefully with a quad cane), and spends a lot of time in pain from nerve damage. We have always been so close, so it has been rough emotionally for all of us. I believe that God brought me to your blog/story so that I could share it with my Mom too... You are truly and inspiration. I will remember you in my prayers. Much love,
Jodi Reddock