I would like to welcome my sweet husband Jim back as a guest blogger this week. I hope you enjoy reading about his memories of his father's arms and the longing he has to have his arms filled. You might want to have a box of tissue close by.
Although it was many years ago, I still remember it better than yesterday. I was probably five or six. We had been out past my bedtime and I had fallen asleep on the long ride home. Upon arriving home I awakened, but did not stir. Instead I did what is sometimes typical of children: I played "possum." I pretended to be asleep so that someone would carry me into the house and put me to bed.
Dad was a genuinely kind man. He had an active work life as a postal carrier, delivering mail and walking typically 4-5 miles each workday. It wasn't in his nature to say many cross words to another person. Even though he had worked hard and was probably exhausted after a long day, Dad still picked up his tired son, carried him into the house, and put him to bed.
There was something gentle, soothing and reassuring about Dad's arms. When he held me I felt cared for, loved, even protected. When Dad held me, for that moment my world was at peace. I had seen him use the strength of those arms in plowing a garden by hand, in splitting wood and in other chores. I loved him. I miss him.
Dad had no memory of his father's arms. His father died when Dad was a year old. Dad readily admitted that he didn't know how to be a father because he couldn't remember having one. More than twenty-five years after losing him, my heart still aches for Dad, for his loving arms. He did alright by me.
Lately my arms have been aching. I do miss Dad's hugs, but that isn't the only ache I have been feeling. My arms ache for the child we conceived, but wasn't born. They ache for the baby promised to us by a birthmother, but lost to us when she walked away. I ache from the longing to be a father when I am daily reminded by the sight of selfish men who have abandoned this role for temporary gain. I ache to channel the love of my Dad through my own arms to my children. I look forward to carrying my son or daughter and putting him/her to bed. I especially look forward to doing this when he/she is just playing "possum."
So where are you? I have been aching to feel you in my arms for years now, and you have not yet been born. Whenever you come, know that my arms are ready. And whenever you do come, know that your arrival will be the only medicine that can cure the ache in my arms. Carrying you will never be as heavy as carrying this incessant longing for you. Please come home to us. Your Mom and I have been waiting for you.