I saw him again tonight.
And his hands.
They will always be precious to me.
His name is Mitch.
He works at the funeral home here in our small town. He was amazingly wonderful when my mom passed away but was even more so with Grady.
You see, he was the one Gib and I met with the Monday after I came home from the hospital. We had not yet decided whether to bury or cremate sweet Grady's earthly body. As we met and made our decision, through my tears, hot and flowing, I asked one thing of Mitch.
"Mitch, before you cremate him would you please tell him one more time that his Mommy and Daddy love him?"
With a reassuring nod, he said, "I sure will."
And I know he did. Because he told me so.
But you may be wondering, "What in the world does this have to do with his hands?"
A short time later, I went back to the funeral home to take care of some other business, and it struck me. Driving down the long funeral home drive, it hit me that he was the last one to have his hands on my baby boy. His big strong hands unwrapped the blanket that Grady was swaddled in. Undressed my baby from his blue gown with the lion on the front. Took his diaper off. Removed the hospital cap from his head. Told him that his Mommy and Daddy loved him. And gently placed his perfect little baby boy self into the crematory.
Boy, this is hard to write. Here come the tears. Unexpectedly.
His hands will always hold high regard with me. They will always be special and sacred to me.
I know Grady is in God's hands now. And I know that Grady was in God's hands the day he was cremated. But Mitch was the last one to touch my baby boy. To touch the flesh that grew inside of me. The body that I held and loved and stroked and kissed. The body that I still remember and still miss and still love today.
I was reminded of that again tonight when I saw him and needed to share it with you.