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When I was just in elementary school, I remember “getting in trouble” for writing in cursive, and for writing my name as Darren instead of Darin, since Darren had more letters. I was all about numbers and loved writing in adult writing style (aka cursive). Because my Mom was a teacher and very well versed in beautiful handwriting, she was willing to teach me how to write in cursive long before I was supposed to be doing it in class. I, of course, couldn’t understand why I couldn’t use cursive if I was already able.

My handwriting has often been a shock to those who have seen what it looks like when I really try. Without me following my Mom’s lead, I wouldn’t have had such “pretty” handwriting. While I have my own diversions from her style, there are many similarities that occasionally appear. Being that I write for any length of time only a couple times of year, I am really out of practice. 99% of all my communication is texting, emails, and Facebook posts, none of which require my cursive skills.

Over Thanksgiving, I visited my parents in Florida. Aside from trying to help both my parents realize their old cell phones that were purchased in 2015 might not be serving them well anymore, I also got to provide my “expertise” in an unexpected way. Mom fairly recently developed a tendon issue in her writing hand that probably won’t ever get any better. Because of it, she has trouble gripping and writing like she used to write. Her signature looks the same. Just all the other words don’t look so hot. She even had her bank worried someone tried to write a fraudulent check when the rest of the writing looked so different from her signature.

Some 47 years after she started teaching me how to write in cursive, she asked if I would help her put addresses on her Christmas cards. It felt like a flip flop or a full circle, or just some Hallmark style version of Freaky Friday (original one…not the 48 variations of that movie with different titles). As she pulled out two different address books with handwritten entries (including updated addresses), I tried to prep myself to deal with the potential marathon ahead. JoJo (her grandmother name) passed off card after card and pointed at the names with a little background on them if she didn’t think I knew them or remembered them.

Although I don’t use handwriting much anymore, I still have that well-worn nubby callous on my right middle finger. I just never really have the indention from the pressure of writing with a pen. It showed up in the two different writing sessions. When I noticed it during the second session, I just realized the imprint my Mom has had on me in many ways. I was flashing back to those early days of her teaching me how to write in cursive. It was strange, as there were a few moments during the trip, when it felt like we switched roles. I wish there was a camera during one of the old phone/new phone/”can I get my email?” conversation. As I persistently told her I set things up years ago to make sure she had a backup and could indeed get her emails, she was having a hard time trusting me. It was a total flip flop of us decades ago, as I was the one not sure I could trust what she was trying to teach me. We eventually laughed extremely hard about the whole fiasco.

That thought about the “imprint” from the pen struck me though. There are many things that leave an imprint on us. My ring finger still has an indention that outlasted a 16-year marriage. That same finger also has an ellipses tattoo on the side as a reference to “the journey continues…” Further down the same finger into the metacarpal area of my hand there is a scar from breaking a bone playing baseball that required five pins.

It is impossible not to have things make an imprint on us; whether people, events, or objects (a pen). Over the last several months, I have been slowly and often painfully asking that the imprint of Jesus shows in me more and more. Why is it slow? You can probably point the finger in my direction as a sometimes anxious sheep, but I think this verse sums up nicely what imprint I hope for.

And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

2 Corinthians 3:3


  1. Avatar DCabs

    Lisa Kincaid

    Wow, Darin, this made me cry. You have a gift with words and express so well. Please keep writing. The idea of imprints is intriguing. I am going to look for them in my story now in a new way. Thank you for sharing this. I know publishing can be vulnerable.

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