cross posted on my blog!

Hands.

Hands that hold, hands that protect.

Hands worn, torn and sunburned from months spent in the deserts of the Middle East yet still so gentle.

Cuticles caked with permanent grime. Nails cracked and stained with the blood of his fellow soldiers, never even bothering to fiddle with gloves; hands that possessed a certain delicacy as they plunged into broken, bleeding, dying bodies in a desperate attempt to save a life.

This delicacy, this tenderness, is found only in hands that often hold the little hands of a child—a father’s hands. Of course, such gentle hands went unnoticed in such a horrid place as was war, but it was this tender touch that often gave dying soldiers one last piece of comfort as they closed their eyes and finally found peace.

Despite the horror these hands had touched, they were never harsh. For hands that had known so much death, they couldn't stand to be anything but loving when holding the little hands of children.

Strong, kind hands forever tattooed with the horrors of war never allowed such things to impede their ability to love. Hands that never shook outwardly with fear; hands that had been taught to fight yet never razed a loved one’s cheek. Uncontrolling, careful, encouraging hands seeking only to guide—to love.

Hands that tell a story of fear, despair, loss and bloodshed and still a story of unconditional love. The story of a father’s hands. The story of my father's hands.