05 February 2011

Gathering Gratefuls - Holding Hands

This post is dedicated to the memory of the wonderful Mary Mac, the greatest hand holder of all.


Holding hands is something that I love to do.
Now that I'm an Auntie and have Cpt. V and his Gifts in my life I get to do it a whole lot more.
But what if you don't have children (big or little) or a loving partner?
How often would you get to hold the hand of someone special?

As an early childhood teacher many aeons ago, I would have the hand of a little person thrust into mine many times a day particularly when I did playground duty. I would be walking along and all of a sudden someone would skip up beside me, grab my hand and start to swing it as they told me a story about what they'd been doing.  It never ceased to warm my heart and I would often twirl them around in front of me to return the joy.

If you are a nurse, carer, emergency worker or chaplain, you will no doubt get to gently hold the hands of many people to reassure, guide and comfort.
What about 'everyday' people though? Once we become a certain age it's not 'the done thing' to hold hands with someone of the same gender, or even someone beyond our family group. 
So when do we get to connect in this most special way?

We hug and give a cursory kiss as we greet and farewell someone. 
We shake hands with colleagues (new and familiar) and we might give someone a jostling nudge or playful slap, but holding the hand of someone is a truly special level of connectedness that we don't often experience.

I'm sure you've been thinking about your own hand-holding moments.
Mine are definitely monopolised by Cpt. V who is the kind of bloke who's proud to hold his partner's hand. 
He has often told me that one of his favourite moments of our courtship was when he first got to hold my hand as we walked down Hastings Street [the main street where we live].  
He seeks out my hand, whether it be on our daily walks, as we enter a social gathering or simply drifting off to sleep.  The Gifts are a bit big to hold hands, although I still grab the Smallest Gift's as we cross roads much to his great embarrassment.


This week I would like to share the moments when I have had the pleasure of having my hand held metaphorically in the Blogosphere.

My amazing and gorgeous friend Jane who lives with her beautiful family on Planet Baby, has held my hand quite often this week.  She has guided me, answered my many questions and generally reassured me about queries to do with making this space a more welcoming one for you sweet friend.  
Thank you Jane, I hope that one day I will get to really hold your hand and tell you just how special you are.

Another person who has held my hand with patience and generosity is Katrina.
Katrina is the whizz responsible for the design of this blogging space of mine which I'm thrilled to share with you. 
I wanted an easy way for you to be able to connect with me and Katrina has added the hyperlinked icons which you now see at the top of my sidebar.  
Thank you for doing this Katrina and thank you Jane for suggesting that they needed to be more visible.

Someone who has held my hand as I ventured into the scary waters of step-parenting is Naomi who is raising her own seven cherubs with thoughtfulness and love. 
Naomi was the the inspiration behind creating my 'Reflection Folder' which I shared with you earlier this week, particularly the section on 'Relationships'.  Several of Naomi's posts have been printed off and placed in the pockets of my folder to help guide me as I traverse the tricky steps in my parenting 'dance'.

Two more friends whom I have the pleasure to connect with several times each week are Posie who is building such a rich life with her children and hard-working husband and Cate alias 'Super Cate!'.
Both of these amazing women are huge inspirations and role models for me and whenever I find myself flagging through the week I just have to think about them and I'm given a burst of 'can do' and carry on.

Finally, but no less wonderfully, Maxabella.  
Not only do you create this terrific time in the week for us to gather and chat but I love your clever, witty notes which never cease to put a smile on my face, thank you.
Ms Bella and I are collaborating on something which I know you'll love, keep an eye out in the coming week.

So, you can see I have been very fortunate to have such wonderful hands to hold this week.
These are incredible women and I want to thank them for not only reaching out, but holding on tight when I needed a hand.

And to you sweet 'Gifter' thank you for stopping by and writing lots of lovely notes.
There are over 240 of you now including my first bloke, welcome Dan!
I hope that you get to hold the hand of someone special this weekend.

Biggest of hugs,

28 comments:

  1. THank you for reminding us to count our blessings, and hold their hands if possible. :)

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  2. I am sure this will be the best thing that I read all day.

    I love your wonderful sentiments towards others and how you mixed it with your joy of hand holding.

    I love it when one of my cherubs slips their hand into mine. It is like a tingle of love is passed into me and it really is a sweet moment.

    I love how there is wonderful support in the blogging community and that you are feeling supported and loved.

    I am super excited to see what you and Maxabella are up to and hope to participate for sure.

    Thanks so much for your kind words...you are wonderful and are doing a far better, more organised job at 'mothering' than I am. I draw strength from you too. You remind me to appreciate what I have and to see my children as 'gifts' each day.

    big hugs and hand holding
    Naomi x

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  3. We are hand holders in our little family. Friends have commented on Huzz and I holding hands. We do it without thinking. I'm holding my mums hand as much as I can these days - she is in the UK and I'm in NL - doing what I can to make her feel loved as she fights against cancer. Wishing you lots of hand holidng and fun this weekend.

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  4. Very lovely and kind of needed by most at this time as Mother Nature holds all of us in her hands and reminds us that she calls the shots. Good always comes out of bad and this month the good from the floods and cyclones and flooding in the south is that we became a little more caring on a community level and we became a little more humble in the presence of such a truly remarkable thing our planet.
    I love to hold my husband hands warm and soft and strong.

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  5. What a lovely topic. We're big on affection in this house. I feel sad that the general culture of Australians is to stop holding hands, hugging and kissing as teenagers.. unless on special occasions. My husband who wasn't born in Australia, still kisses his Mum and Dad as an adult everytime they're together - on the lips! I feel very lucky to have someone who loves so freely for myself and children.
    Again lovely discussion Felicity. Hope you enjoy this sunny weekend with all the 'good stuff' up your way.

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  6. Thank you once again for such a relevant and poignant post (hmmm, could that be your next word?)I met someone the other day who 'didn't do blogs' with her nose wrinkled like it was distasteful. I thought 'poor you'. I have come to 'know' quite a few wonderful, inspiring women and definitely need a daily dose to maintain my sense of self. I'm sure there are other experiences out there but so far I have only met amazing people. I am grateful everyday for this beautiful world and feel sometimes it is more 'real' really. I am looking forward to seeing what you and the heavenly Maxabella are hatching AND I l-o-v-e your list! Good luck...

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  7. very thoughtful post, I will make more of an effort this weekend to hold hands or maybe for that little bit longer

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  8. How did you ever get to be so wise and so kind, Felicity? I love your blog and I love your sweet heart.

    Now, holding hands. Holding hands. Why have I never stopped to think what a fantastic thing that is? You are so wise. I'm off to hold a few. x

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  9. I love the way you have with words and when I thought about it I realised how blessed I have been with my hand holders this week. It can be just as powerful and precious if they are held metaphorically, as when it is literally. Hope you have a wonderful week x

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  10. What a beautiful post. It so important to take a step back and remind ourselves of our wonderful family and friends who support us. Gx

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  11. Oh Felicity how beautifully written, & what wonderful friends you have to hold your hand I bet they feel honoured! I am like you have always been brought up to hug & hold hands I am a very huggy lady I have to restrain myself some times I can see the look of horror on some ones face when they see me coming hee especially my nephew when he was a teenager (not cool)!! My youngest loves us to hold hands & swing him sometimes as we are walking & my oldest gorgeous girl still comes for cuddles yay! I will pray they will never change. x

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  12. My maternal and child health nurse reached out and held my hand recently. It was so unexpected, but interestingly just what I needed :-) It is funny how, unless it is a real crisis, we don't reach out and hold our friends anymore - now that we're 'grown-up'. Maybe we should??
    I've just read a post over at good golly miss holly - she has let a fellow blogger post anonymously on her blog to get her feelings out (and I've extended the same offer on my blog I thought it was such a great idea) - perhaps that is a little like a virtual hand-hold? I'd like to think so.

    And thank you so so much for including me in your post - that is so much more like a great big hug from where I'm sitting though!! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know I cheer you along when you need it :-)

    have a great week
    xxxCate

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  13. Sometimes we don't even realise we need physical touch until it is given. A couple of years ago my husband had started work four hours from here and I hadn't seen him for several weeks...and I went to a new church..new for me. When I got there I was welcomed with hugs and people saying hello and even giving me a touch on the arm as they said it. I hadn't realised that I was so starved for a physical touch until that moment...just that friendliness filled the void and touched my soul as well. We often take the touch of our children for granted until they grow up and are no longer there to touch us all the time too. Great post.

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  14. That was a lovely post felicity, makes me think... Think about my mum (who is divorced and single) and my poor granny who has been on her own for so long... I love holding my childrens hands, my hubby isnt much of a hand holder!!! but thats ok!!
    Laura xx

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  15. That is just the most beautiful post Felicity, thank you!
    We are big hand holders in our family. The walk that we took this afternoon was spent mostly with a hand or two in mine. Somehing to feel very grateful for indeed.

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  16. Absolutely beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing xx

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  17. You're a wonderful person Felicity - thank you for the mention. xoxo

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  18. Oh yes, hand holding, i love it. Even my high schooler still lets me hold her hand when we shop & my 7y.o. son lets me hold his hand when we cross the road, still!! I think the sweetest image of my whole parenting to date is watching my twins naturally hold hands when they walk into a new environment (still aged 9) . . . imagine this . . . as babies they had cots next to each other & we'd find them asleep holding hands like little inmates. As for my husband, he's a hand holder, arm around me, lean on me & tuck me under his arm kind of all encompassing hand holder, i love it. It's right up there with touching our feet in bed at night. Gorgeous post, love Posie

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  19. i love nothing more than holding hands with my little one and my husband ... this post really made me think and reflect. a gorgeous post x

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  20. Dear Sweet Gifters and Passersby,

    Thank you for all of the lovely notes that you have left here and the emails that you've sent on this topic.
    You have shared the most beautiful and touching stories and I have had my heart warmed and my eyes wetted [I'm a big softy] many times today.

    Holding Cpt. V's hand as we went for our afternoon walk today was more poignant as I thought of all of the great hand-holders I've learnt about.

    Big hugs and hand squeezes to you all,

    Felicity x

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  21. this is my first visit to your blog and i love it!

    it looks great!

    :)

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  22. Holding hands, you always write beautiful about great topics, dear Felicity! I will live to this the next week. Must get it into the daily routine.
    Thank you for this sweetest reminder my friend.
    Hugs for a loveliest of Sundays xoxoxo

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  23. Oh Felicity, what a magnificent post. I have been thinking hard about who I admire as a pearl of strength and I have decided that I would like to add Jane. Planet Baby Jane! She has been so kind and helpful to me and so many others despite all the many day to day things she already has to cope with. Not sure how to actually do it though! xx

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  24. This post is such a beautiful reminder:) I love holding hand and we do that a lot here:) Happy Sunday, darling
    Kisses

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  25. Very nice. There's nothing I enjoy more than holding my husband and son's hands.

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  26. Oh, Felicity! I'm catching up on my blog reading after a few hectic days on Planet Baby and now I discover this!

    What a thoughtful, insightful and compassionate post. I, too, relish the importance of holding hands. Whenever I hold the pixies' hands, I give them a special squeeze which they reciprocate as we remind each other how much we enjoy holding hands. Mr PB and I need to remember to hold each other's hands more often, though!

    I also relate to what you say about the importance of touch. I remember in his later years, whenever my grandfather hugged me, he held me for a long time, as if he craved it. I'll never forget those memories.

    And as for your darling mention, thank you, sweet Felicity. It was most unexpected and one of your trademark gifts of serendipity. It's been such a pleasure working on some ideas together and how brilliant that Katrina the Magician has helped bring them to fruition.

    All those other bloggy friends you mentioned are gorgeous hearts as well. Thank goodness for Blogland for bringing us all together! J x

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  27. Oh, and thanks, Emma, you darling. I'll email you! J x

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x