Big, good, strong hands

My dad died over five years ago, and it took it’s toll on me. Like most things, I internalized his death. That’s just my nature. It’s who I am and it’s part of what makes up my character. I don’t “let things out.” I take things, like death, and hold them inside.

I find it interesting that, to the best of my recollection, I haven’t had a dream of my dad until recently. I had a dream about him a few weeks ago, and then another dream of him last night.

Last night my dad and I were talking something about guns. I told him I was going to go outside and use his .243 because he had more shells in his rifle. This was some sort of jab, insinuating that I fired rounds from my rifle while my dad didn’t, so I was going to put his gun to use.

I went outside onto some sort of easement, patio or alley. There were wooden shelves affixed to a brick or concrete wall. High upon the top shelf was a large scorpion, at least the size of my hand. The scorpion was purple and/or green. I can’t remember vivid details, but it was an unnatural color. My dad came out onto the patio and indulged me in a stern warning about the scorpion. Then he threw his pocket knife at the scorpion in his father-like way of protecting his only son. He missed. His knife went over the scorpion, hit the brick wall and landed on the shelf, somewhere near the arthropod. I unclipped my $1 Wal-Mart knife from my pocket, opened it, threw, and pierced the scorpion’s left side, fatally injuring it.

As I knew it was going to die, I immediately walked up to the shelf to pick up the scorpion with my two hands. My dad was at my side the whole way, telepathically telling me to wait, to not touch the scorpion as it was still alive and dangerous. I was still reaching for it, as was my dad. We were both going for the scorpion – my hands for the scorpion, my dad’s hands to protect me from the sting. Our four hands fumbled upward toward the dying beast. The scorpion knew we were coming for it, and it struck.

That’s when the dream started to get scary for me, and my mind began telling me to wake up. The last thing I remember, the scorpion struck with it’s stinger multiple times. I remember seeing my dad’s strong, tanned hands on top of mine. I remember his hands the same way they were when I held them and cried goodbye to him more than five years ago. The last time I held my dad’s hands, he was 70-years-old and I was 30. Before then, I can’t remember the last time I held my dad’s hand. It was probably when I was a little boy, when it was still okay to hold daddy’s hand. I don’t know who the scorpion stung.

When I awoke from my dream, it was 1:30 a.m., I was scared, and both of my hands were asleep.

One Reply to “Big, good, strong hands”

  1. That just brought tears to my eyes, Josh. Your dad is always with you. He will always come to your dreams to help comfort you when you need him most.

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