Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dupuytren's Contracture and Daddy's Day

The other day I read about a parent, over age 100, who still worries about her child, who's over 80.  What a nice  lesson that age is a meaningless concept contrived by the human mind.  If there was no such thing as age and mirrors, think how better we'd feel about ourselves.

We baby boomers, and the generation ahead of us, can testify to still cherishing  memories of our parents.  It isn't possible to live our days without reminders of how daddy did this or momma did that.  Today being Father's Day, brings Daddy back as if he was sitting right beside me.  If I close my eyes, I can  pretend to lay my head on his shoulder and feel his head lean down against my head.  He was a genuine guy who raised me in his quiet, no nonsense, way.  If there is a Heaven, he's living on Main Street.

Daddy had what is known as Dupuytren's Contracture.  The tissues in the palm of his hand tightened and formed painless bumps or nodules, permanently bending his fingers into his palm.  I remember sitting on his lap, holding his hand in my small hands, and feeling the bumps, asking him why his fingers were like that.  He told me it was from years of catching a baseball.  This may have been the reason, but there is evidence now that dark-complected individuals with a North European ancestry are prone to having this condition.

As I sit here, looking down at those same kinds of bumps in my right hand, I'm comforted.  Me is he.  I'm not to the point where my fingers are pulling into my palm, but I'm noticing a gradual change in my middle finger.    

Daddy's Day, no matter how old we are, is a sweet time to take a close look at our paternal inheritances.  My sibling and I don't see each other very often, but one of the last times I asked him if he has those bumps in his hands like daddy did.  Sure enough, he opened his hand and showed them to me.  We smiled.