Greg and Mary introduced me to Wayne, an older but sprightly and vigorous gentleman. Though I have yet to meet Wayne in person, I feel I know him quite well due to the discussions I’ve had with Greg and Mary about Wayne but, also, because of something we share in common. More of that later. Anyway, Greg told me that Wayne has been hand-making hand crosses for a long time. He has made, perhaps, thousands and thousands over the years to give to friends, work mates, chaplains, hospitals, schools, churches, and many other people and organizations. He doesn’t charge for these – or if you do decide to give something to him, he will make a donation to a worthy cause.
If you don’t specify a wood, he will make your hand crosses from whatever stock he has about at the time. If, however, you have a special piece of wood or lumber, he will gladly craft a hand cross for you from your piece of wood.
I have seen our hospice chaplains carry a form of hand cross. They aren’t exactly like Wayne’s and, in fact, don’t appear to be wood at all. They sometimes carry them when they are making their patient visits in hospitals and facilities. I like the hand crosses because they are fairly small, they’re designed to fit in the palm of your hand, they might be used to start a conversation, and they are something that might be comforting in stressful times for one reason or another. I carry one in my hospice visiting bag.
The craftsmanship, care, and story behind these crosses make them special to me. Note that Wayne signs each one of his crosses with Faye & Wayne. He has been doing this for years. The one you see in the photos is a right handed cross. He (and I have a few) makes left handed crosses, too. If it is a left handed cross, Wayne puts a small “(L)” after the signature. Signing with his name and his wife’s name makes these pretty special in their own right. The ones recently delivered to me are very special, as you will read underneath the photos.
The rest of the story is that Wayne’s wife Faye passed away a month ago after over sixty years of marriage. He is in mourning, of course, but continues to putter, work with his local church, volunteer for several local service organizations, and still finds time to make his hand crosses. He made ten for me a week or two ago and signed each one Faye & Wayne.