He called me in the morning and asked me to get up and get ready; he would be there in an hour to pick me up.  He didn’t give me any information, other than to tell me to dress warm and prepare for an adventure.  When we arrived in the heart of New York City, my mind was flooded with ideas of what our day might entail.  My earnest questioning however, was not awarded with even the slightest revelation.  He grabbed a backpack from the trunk, took my hand and off we walked through the crowded streets until we arrived at Rockefeller Center.  

We got in line for skate rentals and I finally understood our adventure would lead us out on the famous ice rink.  I was a little nervous as I laced up my skates.  I was far from an accomplished skater and was worried I’d be more of a spectacle than a fun partner.  All my fears diminished when he reached for my hand however, as I was reminded that he’d be right next to me.  Before our allotted time to skate came to an end, he brought me safely over to the side of the rink and asked me to stay put as he “wanted to do one final lap on his own.”  When he made it back to me, he took my hand again and asked if I would come out to the center of the rink with him and watch him “do a trick.”  I’d been with him long enough to know I shouldn’t question these things and happily conceded to his request.

Once we made it to the middle, he got down on one knee, pulled out a ring and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  To this day, neither of us remember whether or not I actually said, “yes” through all my tears, but we will never forget the unexpected roar from the surrounding crowd.  Our fellow skaters and the hundreds of spectators that circled the rink applauded and hooted and hollered in excitement as my prince took my shaking hand and placed the ring on my finger.

Dear Joe,

It was on our Marriage Encounter weekend when I first heard the poem entitled, “Hands”. Although I couldn’t remember the exact wording, the beauty of the poem is something that has always stuck with me.  I can still vividly recall standing in front of one another and holding hands as this poem was read to us at the end of our marriage preparation weekend.      

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

After sixteen years of marriage, I have to marvel at the blissful innocence, the charming naivety of the two people we once were.  We knew not of what was to come, but trusted wholeheartedly in the union we were creating with God, knew we were holding the hand of our best friend and the heart of our true companion.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

We’ve done a lot of “work” together over the past sixteen years.  We have put our whole selves into growing our friendship, creating a family and building one life from two.  When I stood on that altar in front of you all those years ago, I would have thought our love would surpass all need to “work” at our relationship.  I now understand that work to be a badge of honor.  You always taught me that “love is a decision”.  I’m thankful everyday that you continue to decide I’m worth the “effort” 😉

These are the hands that will love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

When I’m holding hands with you, all is right with the world.  If even for a few quick moments, the stress around us dissipates, the demands on our time no longer matter and my restless heart finds peace.  

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

We’ve seen our share of difficult times, but I’ve never felt alone in our sorrows.  Thank you for that.  I see that when I’m hurting, you are too.  Your presence alone is healing, your touch comforting, your heart wide open.     

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.  These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

Diapering, calming, feeding, cleaning, rescuing, escorting, teaching, encouraging, loving; I love watching you do it all.  Parenthood seems to have put the demands on our hands into overdrive.  I am so grateful that I can always count on you to fold your hands in prayer as we make our way down this bumpy road together.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch. (author unknown)



8 thoughts on “Hands

  1. A lovely tribute to a truly great guy. Many years to go with the two of you holding hands – facing any obstacles with double strength, and any joy with double the joy.

  2. So I had to choose today to put eye make-up on!!!!! This is so beautiful, it made me cry. You will have to excuse me now as I have some make-up repair work to do.

  3. Nicole, I have read your post more than once, and I don’t usually comment, although I love your depth of thought. Ken and I had a truly wonderful life. In my era, it was not common to show affection in public, however, holding hands became very familiar to us. With his cancer treatments we were in and out of Boston. He volunteered for 3 trials and we took the bus for convenience many times. He was a hand holder and I can’t tell you how much peace I got from that simple act of love to and from Boston. He knew my stress. To be able to touch someone you love is a gift from God. Unexplainable and truly an everyday miracle. My love goes to you and your wonderful husband and family. Keep your posts coming. You make me smile and cry. It all feels good.

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