MY FATHER’S HANDS by Carrie Bobb
We often hear parents say how proud they are of their children, but I am one daughter who is proud of her dad. My father is an orthopedic hand surgeon. But it wasn’t until I grew up that I began to realize what he really did for a living; as a kid, all I knew was that Dad left in the morning to go to work as every grown-up had to.
To me he was cool because he taught me how to ride my bike and he would put a Band-Aid on my skinned knee when I fell. Dad barbecued the best hamburgers and cheered the loudest at my volleyball games. He also helped me study for biology tests and brought home donuts on Sunday mornings. He’d even get up early just to wash my car before I woke up. Sometimes before school, I’d peek through the crack of his office door and find him buried in his Bible. Every time I see the coffee rings on his desk blotter, I picture him during his early morning devotions.
Mom says that as people get older they become more of who they truly are. That’s true for my dad. And now that I am older, I have a deeper appreciation not only for what he does but for the man he is. His depth of character and gentle heart have only grown stronger through the years.
When I went away to college, our relationship became more of what it already was. I sent postcards to his office, and he flew out on weekends to watch me play volleyball. I so enjoyed getting his e-mails with motivational quotes at the bottom that I saved them. It’s funny: You can live with a person all your life and begin to see who that person truly is only when you move a thousand miles away.
Dad has let me make mistakes in life, but he has loved me regardless of my bumps and bruises. In his own subtle way, he has guided me in my relationship with God, encouraging me to develop faith as something that is mine, not something merely given me by my parents.
It seems almost ironic to me that he is an orthopedic hand surgeon. The steady hands that held the back of my bicycle seat and washed my car are the same hands that fix other people’s hands. People’s lives are different — they can again play the piano and paint and build sandcastles and take pictures — all because of my dad. God uses my father’s hands to create miracles.
Yet all of his awards and accomplishments seem more significant to me because he was a father first and a doctor second. I take delight in what he does, but he’s what makes my heart swell with pride.
You see, everyone else calls him Doctor. But I get to call him Dad.