“As far back as I can remember, my grandparents always held hands. Whether they were at a Sunday sermon, browsing a farmer’s market or simply taking a stroll in the park, their fingers were intertwined. “One day while visiting Gram, I was gazing at the family photos on her mantel. I had seen them 1,000 times, but that day I noticed that in every photo, without fail, she and Gramps were hand in hand. I felt a pang of longing.
“My husband, Bill, and I were so busy that the only times our hands brushed were when we were passing take-out containers across the dinner table. It felt like we were drifting farther apart and an avalanche of kids, work and life was filling up the gap between us. I had prayed for a way to feel close to my husband again, but so far, nothing had helped. Didn’t God see how alone I felt? It’s amazing how you can feel this way when constantly surrounded by others.
“‘It’s so sweet that you and Gramps always held hands,’ I told Gram, trying to hide the sadness in my voice. She smiled and replied, ‘You know how we join hands when we pray? Gramps said that every time he held my hand, it was a small prayer thanking God for giving us to each other. It reminds us that no one but God should be between us.’
“When I got home that night, I slipped my hand into my husband’s, closed my eyes and said a silent prayer of gratitude. When I opened them again he was looking at me with a slightly bewildered but loving smile that filled my heart with hope.” —Beth Simms, 45, Boston