Hands Touching Hands

imagesDJ Bryan typically selects songs based on movie soundtracks or songs he learned at camp. He loves Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. He loves to play it in the car and when Neil sings “hands touching hands” he grabs my hand to hold it. Such a little thing, but so substantial. I love holding hands. I love it in all ways. I love holding Bryan’s hand and feeling his little squeeze of connection. Bryan will hold my hand wherever we go and I never tire of it. Another autism perk, at least one of my teenage boys is not embarrassed to be seen  with me or show affection in public.

I love romantic hand holding; my parents often held hands while my dad was driving, and it was such a sweet romantic gesture it always made me feel happy and secure. I love the feeling of being  with someone you care for and they grab your hand. It says so much that they just want the touch, the warmth. If you are sitting at a dinner and your date/spouse reaches over to touch your hand, sparks fly.

For now my dad cannot talk. His voice is basically inaudible since having that damn tube  down his throat for almost two weeks. I walk into the hospital room and hold and kiss his hand. There is an unspoken connection in the hand squeeze that bridges the communication gap. The ‘I’m here, don’t worry you are not alone’ hand holding. I try to put his palm to my face to let him know he is loved. We are approaching week 3 in Cardiac ICU and my sister and I are spent, wiped, frustrated and frightened. This is a very long road; we wanted a direct route and are now faced with a long and winding scenic route not of our choosing. It’s crazy but I feel like if you lose that unspoken connection you will lose so much more.

When my Mom was my Mom and we went to the mall we used to hold hands. I always loved that. People would see us and smile at us, and it made me feel young and fortunate. How I miss that!! Just thinking of my healthy, energetic Mom going shopping with me levels me emotionally. I don’t miss the big things, I miss the small things. We always laughed a lot and had great discussions about the kids, friends, etc. My Mom was so reasonable and so thoughtful and always gave me the boost I needed.  I find myself more now than  ever, since I can’t talk to my dad either, really starting to understand just how tough it is for people without parents. I have so many things I want to talk to with them and my Mom, forget it, and my Dad, it’s just not the right time.

Now I go to see my Mom and we hold hands, but her hand does not hold mine back with the same zest it used to and her always manicured hands are often a drop swollen or discolored. All part of the disease since she often falls or is off-balance and if she even grazes her hand she gets slightly black and blue. Nonetheless I still hold her hand but it sometimes is more upsetting than comforting. Her always familiar hands just seem unfamiliar. Ugh.

I am writing from the hospital now. He is resting and I will leave soon to take Bryan to speech therapy and to get Jason some new sneakers. Can’t wait!!




2 thoughts on “Hands Touching Hands”

  1. Jane – sorry your Dad is not doing well. I’m sure he appreciates the “connection” when you hold his hand. Such a tough time for you since your mom is also sick. Let’s hope for some good things in 2018!

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