As a writer, I don’t want to ever believe there are no words to write. Sometimes I stumble over what to say, but all-in-all words are very important to me.
However, as I watch my granddaughter grow, I find that I’m reveling in the moments of touch. My absolute favorite times with her have been when she lays her head on my shoulder and falls asleep on me. I could hold her like that for days!
I also love that when she wants to show me something or we need to walk together, she reaches up and grabs my hand. There’s just something so magical walking with her while feeling her hand grasping my fingers.
I remember sitting in the movie theatre during my first date with my husband at age 17. (Yes, we were high school sweethearts). He reached over and took my hand during the movie. My heart beat faster and my breath hitched….all the feelings of young love. I didn’t want him to let go. To this day, I still love holding hands with him. It brings back those giddy feelings of falling in love.
There are not enough words for these feelings with my granddaughter or husband. I believe touch is powerful — as powerful as words.
When I was 20-years-old, and very foolish, I was in a motorcycle accident. I had a compound fracture of my femur, and they had to take me to surgery right away to stabilize my leg. They couldn’t put me under anesthesia, so they gave me a spinal block that numbed me from the waist down. I was awake for the surgery, as the doctors set my leg into traction until further surgeries (four total) could be performed.
During surgery, the shock of the accident wore off, and I realized what was happening. I started shaking, my shoulders convulsing. I was scared!
The anesthesiologist then did the most simple yet perfect thing. He laid his hands on my head to calm me down. Just hands on my head. And guess what? That touch was the most comforting and calming touch I’ve ever felt. It settled me down and obviously, made a lasting impact on me.
There are many times when words fail us. It’s so hard to say the right things when someone is dealing with grief, or a tough medical diagnosis, or even when having a bad day. Sometimes the best thing you can do is sit beside them, hold their hand, or give them a hug. That gesture, that touch, can mean more than words can say.