Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Big and Small of It

"I don’t remember your hand being so small," he commented as he reached for my arm and engulfed his hand in mine.

"It’s the same size it’s always been," I replied.

We were walking down the church aisle. Jerry had moved back to Michigan two years previous returning to his job at Burroughs Corporation and now living in a rented house in Royal Oak, Michigan. Son, Tom, graduated from high school, had returned with him.

And here we were:

Time: 5:00 p.m., October 19, 1984, rehearsal of son John’s wedding.
Place: Franklin, Tennessee

It is now twenty-nine years since that event, seven years longer than our marriage of twenty-two years and five years since his passing in 2008.

His comment that evening – and any time since that the memory surfaces – wrenches my heart as I think of the significance of his comment and the thought and emotion that always surface in my own heart and mind.

Yes . . . my small hand in yours, Jer. I was small; you were big.  And strong. At least on the outside. On the inside, not so much. But I didn’t understand that when we were married. 

If I had . . .

Instead, as always, the memory of this seemingly casual exchange wrenches and squeezes my heart in painful remembrance and I wonder . . . 

If I had . . . 

maybe you would have . . . protected . . .
                                         defended . . .
                                         cherished . . .

that small hand . . . and the person attached to it.

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