My Hands

img_0534-2I looked at my hands today. That’s not all that unusual of course, but today I really looked at them. I’ve always sort of liked them. Not because they are beautiful by any means. But, more because they are, well, so utilitarian. They resemble a feminine version of my father’s hands, which is a bit odd to say as my father had big beefy, strong hands, with thick fingers and calloused palms. I guess what I mean is that they serve a purpose like my Daddy’s hands did.

My hands have done a lot. As a veterinarian they have performed surgery, given injections, palpated abdomens, any number of technical jobs like clipping toenails (maybe a million or more). They have done important things like helped ease a pet over the rainbow bridge, played a role in resuscitation of newborn puppies and kittens or attempted to ease the fear of worried patients. They can be tough, but gentle at the same time.

At home, they serve to clean up litter boxes, stalls, and dog poop. Over the years they have groomed many animals, held the reins of many horses and the leashes of quite a few good Labradors. They have rubbed bellies, scratched ears and tossed toys. They have been the maker and distributor of treats and the recipient of a vibrating purr. One of my favorite activities is simply to lay my hand on one of my pets, to have that special connection.

I think I will appreciate my hands more now. They have been broken, bitten, scratched, and cut. They have worked hard. They continue to work hard. They sometimes work through pain. Yeah, I think maybe I should stop taking them for granted.