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Dear April,

This is my understanding of hands. They hold and contain only when they are cupped. Fully extended, they release and offer up. No longer a physical connection but now a spiritual one. If you grew up in the church, you know that hands extended, stretched away from oneself reach out to God. In times when I was not comfortable in my skin, due to my weight or my skin colour or any other flaw that I threw under a microscope, I was comfortable with my hands. My hands literally and figuratively connect with my fathers’.

Depending on their position, I have a deep vein that pops out and runs from knuckle to wrist that mirrors my fathers’ and in just the right light, a dark dusting of freckles improbably marks his dark skin that, tattooed through time, mark my own.

I mention his hands because my mother told me once, as I sat at her knee, to look beyond the practicality of them and find his character reflected in them. Large as his heart, dark as his truths are light, freckled in fantastical improbability and stable, dependable, true.

His only girl, as a child I could never hold his whole hand so I would curl my hand around his pinkie instead. And this is the image that remains in my mind, even across time, even across oceans, we hold hands.

So, April, as his birth month, you heralded these hands into the world and in turn, eventually, my world began. I thank you for the moments and I remain eternally grateful to him.

Until next time,



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