Monday, July 27, 2009

Memory Monday: Hands covered in prayer

I'm going to try something new, to make each Monday a memory post. Since I'm concerned with my dad right now, I'll make this one about him. Maybe the next ones also. I don't know.

But I've been encountering an enduring memory of him from my childhood. There's no photo of it, just the way it looks in my mind, just the feel of it on my hands.

We went to church every Sunday. There was Fellowship, a brief service for everyone and a few hymns which began our day, then Sunday School, then church service. We had a family pew, a preferred seating spot that no other regulars would bother and Daddy wouldn't let us say a word about if a visitor did. As best I recall, the pews were very long anyway, the sanctuary of the pre-1900 building being wide and curved, but not deep. So if someone was already seated on our end of our pew, we could scoot elsewhere.

I don't remember much about the sermons or the choir until I was old enough to join it, but I do remember prayer. Standing to say The Lord's Prayer, my sister and I on either side of Daddy, we'd put our hands on the back of the pew in front of us and Daddy would cover our hands with his own. His were so big and ours so small. Even as our hands grew (and mine are quite large for a woman), he would still cover them.

I look at his hands now as he twists them in his lap or reaches to tap me on the leg or as they shake as he sips coffee from a plastic mug. His fingers are still straight, his nails tough, his hands incredibly strong. And I want him to cover my hands once more in prayer, but I feel it is now the other way around.

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