July 15, 2009

The Hands of the Father

These are the hands.

The hands that held me when I was little. And brushed away the tears every time my cousins tried to make me pick up a garter snake… and I thought my world was ending. The hands that dusted off my skinned knees and tousled my blonde, bed head hair, as I rubbed my sleepy eyes and bent my head back further to look up at him. These were the hands of a giant, a superhero, keeper of the stars….hands that could do anything. Because they were the hands of my dad. And I knew he could do anything.

These are the hands.

The hands that embarrassed me to no end when I was a teenager. And brushed away any chance of me pretending to be richer or cooler than I ever really was in high school…and I thought my world was ending. The hands that clapped the loudest from the bleachers and gave me an “R” every time I asked for one, as I rolled my eyes & laughed and squinted through the Friday night lights to look up at him. These were the hands of a logger, a working man, keeper of long hours …hands that would do anything. Because they were the hands of my dad. And he knew if he worked hard enough and long enough, *I* could do anything.

These are the hands.

The hands that I’ve finally gotten old enough and smart enough to be proud of. Because these are the hands of my father. And I want the world to know. Every scar, cut and callous is a badge of honor. Every grease-stained line, a tribute to a hard-earned life. Because these are the hands that built my life. And the work they did, was always for me.

So dad if you’re reading this (hey, you text now so ANYTHING is possible), I want you to know that I’m sorry for ever asking you to wash away the proof. Proof that you worked all of your life to build mine. And that everything I have is because of you. And I promise that I will never, not even for a second, ever be embarrassed of these hands again.

  1. Tiffany Marcy

    Thank you for posting this.. These are the hands of my father as well..:)

  2. Andi Walpurgis

    Your words warm my heart…thanks for sharing….

  3. J's Dad

    Those hands did one hell of a job.

  4. Spring

    Mary~ This is absolutely beautiful. Stunning and perfect. I can’t even find the words. The picture is perfect as well and I know he’s proud.

  5. Abigail Smith

    This is my Dad as well… I really enjoy your writing.

  6. Bett


  7. jenberry

    gorgeous. it’s wonderful for you to honor your father. really.

  8. Tara

    tears in my eyes…

  9. Michelle Sidles

    Every father wishes he had a child like you! It’s a great reminder to be thankful for how much our parents have done for us. Beautiful.

  10. Lauri

    This is beautiful. I’m so teary eyed! I think so many of us can relate. What a heart warming post!

  11. Tira J

    Beautiful words to honor your father. Off to wipe my tears now. Huge hugs to your Dad for raising such a wonderful woman!!!

  12. Mich

    Absolutely beautiful! always be thankful that you have those hands to be proud of and thankful for..

  13. Linden

    That is so touching :) I’m glad you shared that! You should frame that picture of his hands :)

  14. gina amin

    it’s funny how our perspective changes as we get older. Love that! I’m going to remember to thank my dad for all he has done for me!

  15. Leslie Roark

    This made me cry!!!

  16. Janetta

    I’m so glad that as we get older, we realize how much sacrifice our parents make for us. I’m so grateful that I was fortunate enough to have the kind of parents who never, even for a second, put their desires above my own & worked double overtime so that I could have the life they dreamed about. I pray that I can be the kind of parent to my son that I had. Looks like you were one of the lucky ones too!

  17. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    that was SO incredibly beautiful!

  18. Amanda


  19. Amanda


  20. Lora Carr

    Amazing! I can’t wait for the book. You know, the one you are going to write that will have one image per page like this with a story to accompany it. Call the publisher, tell her she must see you now!

  21. Joy Moody

    *tears* Geeze! Its so wonderful that you can come to appreciate all those things and that your dad is around to hear it. I never got to tell my dad those things. I figured out all that stuff after he died.

  22. michelle

    OMG- if your dad doesn’t read your blog, you need to print this out and give it to him. I am in tears, and I don’t know you OR you dad!

  23. Becky Dissinger

    Wow, and I’m crying. Beautifully said.

  24. Alisa Greig

    just another tearing fan, that was amazing–I feel so much of the same for my own father, thank you for sharing.

  25. Cathy Crawley

    I have goose bumps! What a beautiful post, thanks for sharing :)

  26. Rachel

    Beautifully written, and Beautifully captured.

  27. Stacey

    Wow! You should be so proud….. Beautifully written…..

  28. imthiaz houseman

    wow, so beautifully written.

  29. Crystal Molina

    I absolutely love the picture! Beautiful… and the post too is awesome!

  30. JC

    very heartfelt, M…speaks to so many of us who have come to recognize/appreciate our own father’s seemingly boundless tireless efforts.

  31. Lesley

    Tears….you brought tears to my eyes!

  32. Heather Corporan

    For most of us it takes many years to appreciate all that a Father IS and DOES for his children. But the part I love about your post the most, is that rather than just acknowledging it to yourself, you are acknowledging it to the world, to the man that needs to hear it, and to daughters who desperately need to express it to their own dads. Lots of tears and admiration for your open heart. : ] I can only pray that one day My children will share a similar expression of love for their father and all the hard work he is doing. P.S if you ever have children, this admiration you feel towards your father will like quadruple ; ]

  33. Esther

    JEEZ! I just read this amazingly beautiful & heartfelt post WHILE listening to the song above. Tears. And now I’m calling my dad. Thank you Mary!

  34. Jessica Del Vecchio

    What an amazing and beautiful post. So touching and honest. It says so much about you, who you were and who you’ve become. And so much about the father who guided you. Thank you for sharing this.

  35. michele bowman

    what a beautiful post. you are a lucky lady to have such love for your father. he is a lucky man!

  36. Amy Clifton


  37. Vanessa

    Way to make me cry! How touching.

  38. Terry

    Beautifully said – you have such a great way with words – And photos!!

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