It isn't often I write in a narrative voice but this story called for it. It felt right in a first person voice.
I don't know where it came from but it flowed so easily that I couldn't help but get it down before I forgot it. Putting it off would have been easy, as I still haven't finished the last part of another story that seems to have taken on a life of its own. The other story has a few months head start but likeI said, this one just jumped out of no where and had to be put down.
Hope you enjoy.
My Dad always used his hands. I don't just mean doing mechanical stuff. He just had a knack for "feeling" things. Things that were right, or wrong.
As a kid, says my mother and grand parents, he would run his hands over the car, or one of the appliances in the house. Then get out some tools and start working on the item. Even if it was still working just fine, he would tear into it. There, he would find a problem and without any working knowledge of the item, fix it. He was one of the most popular boys with the guys trying to soup up their cars, or who were having troubles with their cars. He had a knack.
But it wasn't only with cars. It was with everything. He was always dragging his hands over everything he walked by. And, if there were a problem, he knew. And fixed it. Without any books, manuals or previous knowledge of the way the thing was put together or how it was supposed to work.
He got a job out of High School working at a Metal Fabrication shop in town. In no time he was one of the most valued employees. He was always running his hands over the equipment. If there was a problem there, he'd find it. And know how to get it fixed. He never damaged any of the machines he worked with or broke any of the dies he used. He knew when the punches were dull. Or if a piece was loose, or broken.
Before long they promoted him to Lead Man of the shop. From there, he moved into the tool and die area and learned everything he could about that part of the company. But one thing remained, he always fixed the stuff, or got it fixed BEFORE it broke. That got him noticed by the management. Promotions came quicker and easier. Whatever he was doing, he fixed stuff before it broke.
No one knew how he knew. They never really paid attention to what he was doing. They learned to trust and believe him. When he said it was broken, they believed him. When he said how to fix it, they believed him. They didn't care how he knew, they just believed him.
And that was good. With his growing family, he had more mouths to feed. Growing up in a house with a total of us six kids, meant there was always something that needed fixed. Either the house, or one of us. And Dad would always fix it. Most people didn't know, like we did, that he was the same way with people.
We grew up with dad checking everything out, including us. With children, there are always illnesses and accidents. If one of us said we were sick, Dad would come and put his hands on the affected area. If we were sick, he knew what to do. Most times he would make some homemade herbal tea, or a poultice to remedy our pains. Other times he would pack us up for the Doctor, as it was more than a simple cure being needed. Like I said, he knew what was needed. If he couldn't supply it, he knew who could. And, he knew when we were faking. We learned quickly not to fake being sick.
Every three months or so, he would also check each and every one of us out. We would stand as he ran his hands over every inch of our bodies. Today, he would be labeled a molester by the general public. But he didn't touch us for his self-gratification. He was "checking" us for problems. There was no intimacy about it. He would start at the head and work his way down. No exposed area of skin went untouched. His hands were always gentle, barely touching. If you were cold, his hands felt warm. If you were warm, then his hands were cool, but in a soothing way. He never tickled any of us doing it. And he knew if we were healthy. When our growth spurts would be. Things like that.
Mom was usually there during this. Afterwards Mom and Dad would talk about what was going on with us. Mom was never unprepared for the changes our bodies went through. She would be ready with clothes that fit whatever changes our bodies threw our way. When the time came, the clothes would be there and the right sizes. Even the bras, which every girl knows is no easy task, even when you are trying to find the right one yourself. But Dad knew. And he kept Mom informed.
We grew up with this. It was a part of our household. It wasn't until many years later that we realized other families didn't have a Dad that could do these things.
When my youngest brother John was a year old, he spent most of the day crying and howling no matter what any of us did to try to comfort him. We figured it was croup. When Dad got home he felt Johns' chest and shook his head. Feeling lower, he wrapped John up in a blanket and headed for the car. He told Mom to call the hospital and tell them to get a hold of the Doc. He told her to tell them John had a blockage and needed surgery. The Doctors said they never would have caught it. They would have thought croup also. But John's still alive.
I remember years later during the sixties, when I was ten, we were going through one of Dad's check-ups and he looked at my oldest sister, Marcie, during her exam. She had managed to avoid an exam for over a year, this being the time for "women's right, sex, drugs, and rock and roll". He had just gotten between her navel and nether area, stopped and said, "Thought you'd be safe having a girlfriend, didn't you?"
Her jaw hit the floor. "How did you know?"
"It's all right here. Along with a case of gonorrhea. You're going to need shots. Better call the Doctor. And you'd better tell that girlfriend of yours to call hers as well."
She turned every shade of red there was to see. Mom didn't even bat an eyelash; she just called the Doctor and made the appointment right then and there. The shots fixed her up, but not without damage. It's a good thing she didn't want a family.
Then it was my next older sister Barbara's turn. She got asked if her birth control pills were treating her right. She blushed, and said, "Yes." She knew not to ask any more questions.
When my oldest brother, Kiel's turn came, Dad commented about him and his sister sharing the same girlfriend. The Doctor got another call. And a fight broke out between my brother and sister. They finally calmed down and got over it.
Despite the turbulent sixties, and beyond, we kept coming home for Dad's exams. He found stuff most Doctors didn't. And we appreciated it.
I was out of college, had a good job as an accountant, and was married when Dad started getting sick. He knew he had a problem, he could sense it, in his midsection. For almost a year he went from Doctor to Doctor. But none of the tests showed anything, and they weren't going to open him up without "proof" that they needed to.
Our old Doctor heard about Dads problem, and knew about Dads abilities. Despite being retired, he still had contacts in the practice, and made some calls. Our old Doc finally found a friend who would do the exploratory surgery.
It was too late. Science hadn't advanced enough to catch the type of cancer Dad had. By the time they got in and looked, it was beyond repair. Dads' days were numbered. I was six months pregnant at that time, and worried Dad might not make it to see his first grandchild. And throughout the whole time, Dad designed, and Mom made, bras and support clothes for me for the pregnancy. Dad also made a cream, and gave me the recipe, for me to apply to my breasts, belly and legs to keep me from getting stretch marks.
A week before I had Jason, Dad called me into his room. I was more than a little uncomfortable, Jason had been rolling around in me all day, kicking and acting up. Dad wanted to check me out to make sure everything was okay. I had a hard time accommodating his limited mobility but I managed to keep him as comfortable as I could, standing there naked in all my pregnant, glowing glory. Dad started at the top of my head as usual, and worked his way down my back to my heels. After I turned around, he worked his way up to the tops of my thighs, then jumped up to my neck and collarbones. Working his way down both breasts, I could feel his feathery touch on each milk gland. He traced each down towards the nipples following the ducts, then the nipples themselves. From there, he worked his way around my ribs, and commented that they would be numb for a while, but the feeling would come back to them.
Finally, he got to my swollen belly. As he hands surveyed my belly, I felt a warmth flow through me, probably pride. And Jason settled down as if mystified by the sensation from the outside. Finishing his exam, Dad said I would have plenty of food for a hungry, healthy boy. He also told me not to let the Doctors cut on me, as I was ready and able to deliver the way nature intended.
A week and a half later, Dad held Jason in his arms. First thing he did was an exam. He was very happy. Dad passed away three months after Jason was born.
In my mind, I railed against the world over it. He helped so many people, and kept it all behind the scenes, not wanting to draw attention to what he did. Yet, when he needed the help, it wasn't there until too late. It wasn't fair, wasn't fair, wasn't FAIR! But life never is.
Six months after Dad passed, thanks to his cream and the exercises he gave me, I was back in all my old clothes. With the exception of the tops, I was considerably larger as I was still nursing. Mom and I went out shopping for bathing suits for the summer as she didn't have one, and I needed to accommodate my "fuller" figure up top. I couldn't help but notice that except for some gray hair, Mom had the face and figure of a twenty-year-old.
Over lunch, after buying bikini's that were sure to turn a lot of heads, especially Moms, I commented to Mom about how good she looked. She smiled, and told me she looked that good because Dad did for her what he had done for me. He took care of her.
Curiosity was getting to me that day. So I asked her why she only got examined by Dad a few times with the rest of us, and what she thought about his abilities with his hands.
She replied that she only got examined with us from time to time so we would feel more comfortable. And it would open discussion about the changes a body went through. My sisters and I would know what would happen to us as we got older. And for my brothers, it removed a lot of the mystique about the adult female form. Besides, she told me, Dad "examined" her a lot more frequently than I wanted to know about.
As for Dads hands. Well, she didn't know how he did what he did. That will always be a mystery. But, she knew that, he knew just where to put them, and when, and how hard, and what to do with them. She finished that statement with a dreamy look in her eye. When she snapped back to reality, she smiled and said, "Why do you think we had six kids." We both laughed.
When Jason was four, we were visiting Barbara. She was married now and a couple months along with her first child and I had just found out I was pregnant again. I brought more of the Dads' cream for her. Barbara could use it same as I did. Sitting on the front porch of her house, enjoying the breeze on that summer day, chatting excitedly about our pregnancies, we watched a couple neighborhood kids go by, riding on their bicycles.
Almost immediately, we heard the crash of several bikes hitting. The whole group of them were piled up at the curb. Arms, legs, tires and handlebars were tangled, and pointed in every direction. Barbara, Jason and I headed down to the street to see what we could do, though by the time we got there they had pretty much untangled themselves. One boy was looking at his arm. It had a nasty scrape on it and he looked at it like it hurt. Jason walked over to him and asked simply, "See?"
The boy held out his arm. Jason looked at it with great intensity, then gentle as a butterfly, reached out and touched it. He looked thoughtful for a moment, then turned to me and yelled, "Bad boo-boo, Momma! Bad boo-boo! Stick man, Momma! Stick man."
"Stick man" is what he calls the Doctor, because he gives Jason his immunization shots. Barbara and I hurried the boy to his home and told his mother what had happened. She in turn rushed him to the Emergency Room at the hospital. He returned home in a cast. He only had a hairline fracture but in a bad place. The bone would not have grown properly without proper treatment.
After hearing the news from the boys' mother, I first felt pride towards Jason. Then apprehension, then a touch of fear. Was this talent hereditary? Would my brothers and sisters kids be able to do the same thing Dad used to do? Or, remembering back to that day before Jason was born, did Dad somehow "pass" his talent on to Jason? Remembering that warm feeling going through my body and the way Jason calmed down makes me wonder.
But more importantly, how is Jason going to use this talent? It was a simpler time for Dad. But in today's society, some of what Dad could do will get you arrested. How will Jason cope when he finds out not everyone can do what he can?
With the realization that anguish will be filling my days for a long time to come, I look at Jason. And watch him at play. How could I have missed the way he is always running his hands on everything, just like Dad used to. And constantly fiddling with stuff afterwards.
Better call Mom for some advice.