I remember as a child holding hands with my Mommy or Daddy and the sense of security it gave. There was also love there and communication. Especially with Mom but also other family members, we had a “signal”. A patterned squeeze – squeeze, pause, two quick squeezes – I Love You – the hands said.
Glen was a hand holder so, at the appropriate time in our relationship, I taught him the signal. It was special. Children came and they too were taught the signal. I don’t recall it being used as extensively with the girls but it was known. On the other hand I do remember Jenn “teaching” the signal to her stuffed koala and to Rachel our German Shepherd.
When my Mom was failing there were difficult moments but even in our most difficult moments the encounter would end with the “I Love You” squeeze and a smile.
The last time I was with Glen he could not talk to me and seemed barely to know I was there but when I gave him the “I Love You” squeeze he returned it.
Today my hands are empty.