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First Memory

The first memory I have of holding my father's hand for the first time was as I walked alongside him on a path bordered by hedgerows in bloom and white daisies. Birdsong. My father's hand feels big and comfortable like a cavernous eiderdown as it wraps itself around my tiny white hand. We do not speak as we walk and I do not care if we do or not. His hand in mine communicates much more than words. Now and then I feel that he wants to release me but I cling a little more, anxious, fearful of being exposed. This is the first memory I have of holding my father's hand.

The last time I held my father's hand it felt cold and stiff. Ice fragments fell and shattered around me, my own hand hot and clammy.

First time. Last time.

Hedgerows, daisies and ice.


15 Comment count
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Mary P,

Thank you again.

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Dennis!  You are very

Dennis!  You are very welcome. Great to hear from you. Mp

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Mary, have you watched this

Mary, have you watched this animation?

Father and daughter


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Luciana, yes, I love this.

Luciana, yes, I love this. The cycle of life, the circle. It always brings tears to my eyes. Mp.

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Very toching, MP. Last 2

Very toching, MP. Last 2 lines are killers.

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Ron, I am happy to know that

Ron, I am happy to know that my words reached out and touched you across the wide, deep ocean. Mp

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You make me think. I cannot remember the first time I held my daddy's hand. I adored him, but oddly the first memory I can resurrect right this moment inspired by your blog was walking beside him on a sidewalk in Boulder, Colorado, where we spent the summer when I was six. I was playing the "step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back game" and I guess I enlisted him. And he played along although it was definitely not his style. Ha. Finally he got tired and we had to stop. I can't remember what he said or how long he had lasted, but I always smile when I think that he played at all. And deciding he had had enough of that nonsense was also so like him. And I smile again. Thanks for the memories you stirred up.

I do not remember the last time I held his hand. Perhaps I am blocking it. He had been sick so long with Parkinson that I actually sat on his bedside one night and prayed he would die before I had to leave my mother, so she would not be alone when it happened. I was sure he would die that very night. This fear that he would die had happened before and lasted through many episodes after that since he lived some years after that awful night. When he finally did leave us, I thought I was ready because I did not want him to suffer anymore. Consequently, I was surprised to feel my body go into physical shock. I had never experienced that reaction of the body before. I was in his room at the nursing home when he died, but I was on my knees in front of my mother (who also had Parkinson) holding her hand while the medical personnel who had been called over from the hospital ward hovered over him. My mind blanks out after this. Nevertheless, despite being in shock, visitation at the funeral home was quite comforting surrounded by so many people who loved and admired him. One daughter commented, "It was like Grandpa was never sick." All those years were forgotten as people remembered his farming and teaching and his love for music and horses--all the pre-sickness activities--and they told us about things Mr. Martin had done for them. Again, Mary, thank you for the memories. And the gentle tears too--that commemorate that I had someone so special in my life.

Your writing is so thought provoking.

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Sue, your memories are

Sue, your memories are beautiful and precious. Thank you for sharing this very personal, honest writing. Mp

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Thank you

Thank you. I felt like I was in a dream as I read your words and the last lines sent a chill down me and heartfelt sadness for you.

Thanks for sharing.

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Ryoma, you are welcome! I

Ryoma, you are welcome! I see that you lived in Dublin for some time...Mp

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Yes, I lived there for 5 years as a child

The area I lived in was apparently notorious and has been torn down apparently, or so I was told when I was in Dublin a few years ago on business anyway. :)

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Sadly Ryoma Dublin has been

Sadly Ryoma Dublin has been torn down and in my view desecrated.

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That's awful Mary

Not referring to where I was brought up (which I understand were viewed as slums), I thought that the historical buildings of Dublin were a real draw to visitors. Are these being destroyed as well? Or are they being left to rack and ruin?

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Yes, Ryoma, the wonderful

Yes, Ryoma, the wonderful Georgian houses are still a draw for tourists, in selected areas that is, but there are many that have either been destroyed or are in a bad state of neglect.

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That's very sad Mary. :(

We lived in Bath for a few years (4-5 I think) and it's a wolrd heritage site. The council (and I am *not* a fan of local councils in general) do make a lot of effort and spend several million pounds a year to just keep Bath looking the same! I always found that funny but appreciated it too.