I Remember…

As I sit here tonight.
Writing down these words.
I remember.
God help me.
I remember.

I remember a hug.
That wasn’t supposed to happen.
That was a big surprise.
That I never saw coming.

I remember the texture
Of the clothing she wore.
My fingers burning the sensation
Of the fabric
Of her sweater
Into my memory.

I remember
The way her hair felt.
Against my cheek.
Another memory.
Burned into my brain cells.
Forever.

I remember.
So much.

Other memories are there.
Like another hug.
Oh, so long ago.
I can still remember
The smell of her perfume.
The texture of her hair.
How it felt
To have her arms
Around my neck.

I can remember other things.
So many other things.

Watching tears fall.
From hazel eyes.
And wishing.
I could somehow.
Turn back time.
And change the things
That caused those tears.
That caused the hurt
I could not help but see
In those eyes.
That is forever
Burned into my memory.

I can remember
Countless things.

The time I reached
Across the barrier
Of socially acceptable behavior.
Of the rules
That I’ve never understood.
And touched the hand
Of a friend.
Because I wanted her to know
That if she ever asked
For my help
I’d always find a way.

I remember
Gifts like these
From life to me.

Priceless memories.

All my life
I’ve wished.
I’ve prayed.
That God would free me
From my hands.
From my ability
To feel such things.

Why, God?
Why?
I’ve asked that countless nights.
I’ve screamed that to the heavens
Out beneath the stars.

Take my hands from me!
I can’t take this anymore!
I don’t want to feel
The things my hands feel!
Why did you give them to me?
Why!

Never once
In all the years
Did God answer me.

Never even once.

Instead, time passed.
And I collected memories
I sometimes wish
I didn’t have.
I sometimes wish
I could forget.

Until I finally understood
A little truth of life.
That shocked me.
Stunned me.
Caused my heart to ache
Within my chest.
And my soul
To shed more tears.

Until I came to understand
That not everyone has the gift
Of hands like mine.
Not everyone has memories
Forever burned into their mind
Of the things they’ve felt.
With the fingers of their hands.

Until I came to understand
That not everyone
Can see the hurt,
The pain,
The loneliness,
In another’s eyes.

Until I learned
That my heart aches
When one of my friends
Cries.
And the hearts
Of so many others.
People that I’ve known
All my life.
Don’t feel anything at all.

There are times,
Like tonight,
As I sit here
Writing down these words.

That I wish
I had a way
To just turn my hands off.
For just a little while.
So I could get a break
From all the things they feel.

But I know.
I know.
That the sensitivity of my hands,
And all the thngs they feel.
Is a part of me.
And without them
I would not be,
And could not be,
Who I am meant to be.

My hands feel so many things.
And because they do.
I can see the pain
In another’s eyes.
I can hear the music
In another’s laughter.
And my heart remains alive
Inside of me.

God gave me these hands.
So that I could learn,
And know,
And understand.

That it’s OK to feel.
And it’s OK to care.

I remember the texture
Of the sweater
That she wore
On the day that she hugged me.
Even though that happened
Years ago.

I remember things like this.
As if they happened
Yesterday.

Can you?

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