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By Steve Wessels © 6-17-01
Dedicated to Wesley Wessels

Aunt Jo has told of how heads turned
when Dad walked into a room
stocked so full of Women's Air Corp’s,
he caused them all to swoon.

But when he found my Mom's sweet face
the others drooled dismay,
he’d come to Mom his love to tell
that sunny summer's day.

His six-four frame with shoulders broad,
Marine's are confident,
when any saw those great big hands,
none dared asked his intent.

But my earliest memories of those giant paws
Are when Dad paused to lay down his laws
On all of our scrawny, little behinds,
One swat could reach both sides each time,

It ne’er took more than a swat or two
To get each one of us kids to rue
Our foolish, childish, selfish ways,
Dad said it’d be best if we’d just obey.

And before the time we became smart-assed teens
Dad had taught us all to work esteem,
There wasn’t a thing that my Dad couldn’t do
There wasn’t anything old he couldn’t renew.

In World War II he flew Corsairs
and led formations through the air.
He built on the house and milked the cows,
And tended the crops and welded the plows.

With working days now in his past
those paws so scarred from use,
now guide a toddler's steps along

I saw a picture the other day
of my Dad’s gigantic hands.
They were wrapped around my mother’s waist;
her face said “This feels grand!”

I do presume someday I'll see
Dad greet the Lord with quiet glee
They'll shake each other's hands and turn,
aside to chat with time to burn.

I think my Lord will comfort Dad
for all those heartache swells
but then He'll eye Dad's giant hands
and see the scars of use.

And Dad will say "I used these hands
to work as best I could."
to which the Lord will calmly say
“I know, I understood”

Well done, my friend, now enter in,
and Rest this holy day.
Works can't be the entry key,
Your hands your faith display.

Dad taught us all of work for life
The need to work to sustain our life
Then came the time I tried to buy
Some gloves for Dad, a Christmas try

But couldn’t find a thing to fit
Those giant paws needed a catcher’s mitt
With yards of leather were custom made
Into those gloves, the farmer’s trade.

But now I look upon his hands
And see the scars of years of grand
And watch him dry a grandchild’s tears
Or caress behind Roy’s floppy ears
Or see them folded in retirement rest

Those numerous scars his hands now bear
The muted evidence of his earthly care
For seven kids that he kept in gloves
Dad surely had the Father’s love.

I thank my Lord for giving me such
A great big Dad who taught us so much
By quietly working with his great hands,
Tenacious skills wrapped with bands,
With WD-40 to quell the aches

I also want this poem to quickly tell
Of what I foresee in future’s spell,
I’ll someday watch when the Lord does greet
My Dad, they’ll shake hands when they meet,
Then chat for awhile about their lives,
And share their sorrows sweet
And then they’ll compare the scars they bear
Incurred for us waifs such blessings rare.

I think they’ll turn toward all us kids
And we’ll understand their love so much
For all of us kids, and our kids too,

We’ll watch as Dad kneels at His feet,
And honors our Lord for all His fetes
With thanks for giving such big hands
So he could work and till the land.

To provide for us all our needs and
His hands which built the furniture
Were scarred for me with love so pure
I want to see Him turn to my Dad
And shakes his hand and point to us lads,
They’ll compare their scars they bore for us
Then softly say in unison:

“These scars were for you!”



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