My eight-year-old daughter recently performed in her holiday piano recital.
Normally I get teary-eyed watching my children in any type of performance, whether they are singing at the top of their lungs atop a rock at the park or whether they are in a packed auditorium with sheet music and a microphone.
But my child’s musical rendition isn’t what brought me to tears on this cold day in late December. It was a gesture so small and so inconspicuous that it could have easily been missed.
But because I am on a journey to grasp what matters, I am constantly searching for divine signs of inspiration along the way.
This was one such sign …
A radiant five-year-old girl in a white dress with a sparkly burgundy bow had just finished playing her two recital pieces.
She proudly walked back to her family’s row of seats, which happened to be directly in front of me.
Because the child’s parents were positioned in different parts of the room preparing to videotape her brother’s performance, the row was empty … except for the little girl’s grandfather.
What happened next did more than catch my eye; it created an emotional stirring deep within my heart that made my eyes well up with tears.
The little girl sat down next to her grandfather and as they looked into each other’s eyes and smiled, she placed her small hand gently upon his arm.
This was not an accidental motion.
This was not a casual brush of the hand.
This was purposeful, loving connection made in a deliberate fashion.
How do I know?
This precious golden-haired child did not remove her hand for some time. She rested it upon the robust arm of her grandfather as they both attentively watched her brother play his entire recital piece.
And I could not tear my eyes away.
This tiny porcelain hand upon her grandfather’s black coat was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.
What I saw was HOPE.
In that one simple gesture,
I saw hope for the young.
I saw hope for the aging.
I saw hope for those in between.
I saw hope for today.
I saw hope for tomorrow.
I saw hope for the minutes in between.
I saw hope for the distracted,
I saw hope for the hurried,
I saw hope for the fractured,
I saw hope for you and for me.
In one extraordinary motion a profound statement was made:
There is NO distraction in the world stronger than the human connection.
Not when it is up against this:
Daily distraction is rendered powerless when held up against what really matters.
And daily distraction will not win our most valued possessions: our relationships, our memories, and our precious lives …
Not if we take a moment each and every single day,
To put our hands on what matters most.
Put your hands there today.
Put them here …
And here …
And here …
Place your hands on what matters.
And let there be hope.
One year ago, I began this blog, “Hands Free Mama.”
The experience of writing and connecting with my readers has surpassed anything I could ever imagine.
Whether you have been reading for one year or one week …
Whether you have read anonymously or left a comment …
Whether you have kept your Hands Free journey to yourself or invited others to join you …
Whether you are grateful for my messages in your mind or expressed your thanks in a personal email …
I say, “Thank you for being here. You have been my unending gift of 2011.”
Friends, you are my proof that distraction cannot take our greatest possessions: our relationships, our memories, and our precious lives … not if we continue to place our hands on what matters.
I am so grateful you are with me on this journey.
See you in the ‘Hands Free’ New Year,
* If you haven't had a chance to “like” The Hands Free Revolution on Facebook, I would love for you to do so! On this page, I provide daily sources of inspiration to let go of distraction and perfection to grasp what really matters. What a great start to 2012!
Another lovely post. I know what you mean, though. those small gestures that aren’t so small. i think being distracted is easier when we stop connecting with others. if we practice connection (a very small way is looking into the eyes of the person you are speaking with) i think we’ll be less distracted.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Danika, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree totally agree with you about the very small, but powerful action of making eye contact. I am not proud to say that sometimes my eye contact is terrible with my spouse. In the hustle and bustle of the morning rush, I neglect to look him in the eyes. But on the days that I do, I am immediately reminded of what is truly important. I really appreciate you commenting and it has heightened my awareness of how important it is to look people in the eyes. Thank you!
I know this post is over two years old now. Regardless, my first time seeing it and you just brought back a precious memory of my childhood. I always sat next to my Grandpa at the dinner table when we visited him and Grandma. Every time we sat down, he would place his left hand on the table and I would place my right hand on top of his left hand. He would then slide his hand out and put it on top of mine and then I would slide my hand out and put it on top of his. We’d do this for minutes . . . and I can still picture his hands now and feel his soft skin. Thank you for triggering this memory. He passed away in 2003 and I haven’t thought of him much since then . . . (due to unfortunate family experiences) and it is nice to now have a happy memory. Thank you.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
That is truly such a beautiful story, Meg. Thank you for taking the time to share it and make me smile.
relly lozano says
love your posts…they’re so touching and heartwarming..more power!!!
Dawn Holland-Smith says
I am a Registered Nurse at a Rural Health Clinic in Ellsworth Kansas, and I can’t agree more about how important touch is. It can be a healing, therapeutic, reassuring, gesture.
A tender touch can provide a dying patient with a feeling of peace, security, and maybe even acceptance. A gentle touch can calm a nervous or upset patient before or after receiving test results or having a difficult procedure performed. Everyday, no matter what my patients are being seen for, whether it be a simple medication question, or test results, I know there is a possibility that this appointment may in someway alter their life as well as their families lives. These patients all need someone to be there to provide that simple touch that tells them that Someone cares about them and they’re feelings, no matter how small they may seem in another persons eyes. This simple gesture can definitely change the outcome of how a patient feels when they leave the appointment. Will I get a call an hour later from an upset, confused, uncertain patient? Or were they dismissed from Our care feeling confident with the answers We provided to their questions? Did they completely understand any education or instructions we gave them?
A gentle touch along with a soothing voice and a reassuring smile will provide Anyone, not just a patient, with that Hope that we are all looking for…and that connection to something special that we all long for.