Friday, April 1, 2011

Beautiful Hands

I noticed something new about myself tonight. My hands are changing! They are starting to look, well, older. They are looking, a bit, like the hands of my mother. At first I was kind of bothered by this new revelation. I am getting tired of finding these new things about myself that remind me of how old I am. In my mind I am still 34. And then I see something like my hands and I remember that I am not even close!..... But seeing my hands and their new resemblance to my mom's was kind of nice. You see, I've always loved my mom's hands. She has the prettiest hands of anyone I know. She always has her nails long and manicured and takes care of her hands...... Her hands are a part of so many of the good things I remember about growing up. I loved when she combed my hair in the morning and I could smell the oranges she had just peeled for our school lunch. And when she washed my hair in the kitchen sink she rubbed my head until I wondered how I had any hair left. Her hands covered my back in Noxzema when I stayed out in the sun too long and felt my forehead when I was feeling sick...... My favorite memories of her hands involve a lot of food! Her hands made the best cut-out cookies and bread. She would wait up for me to get home from work so she could make me a grilled cheese sandwich and listen to all of my silly stories. And when I was sick she always crushed my ice and put it in a glass of coke with a spoon to soothe my nausea. I can't forget all the hours she spent mixing and rolling and cutting my very favorite food... homemade noodles!..... My mom used her hands to make us dolls and clothes and blankets and all kinds of crafts. And she could fix anything with those hands! Her hands are full of talent and skill....... But they are also filled with love. Taking a walk and holding my mom's hand was something I was not ashamed to do, even as a teenager. I remember as a little girl sitting in church and playing with those hands, tracing them and playing with her rings. I loved to have her run her nails up my arms and along my back leaving a trail of goose bumps....... I have, as an adult, had her hands hold mine, and hold me, when I didn't know how I was going to take another breath. I have watched as those hands held my babies, and bathed and fed them. She amazed me when she learned to use her hands to feed my daughter with a tube and push her medicines into her with a syringe. She is far away now but one of my greatest treasures is a letter she wrote to me, with her hands, to tell me that she is proud of me and the mother I have become...... Her hands. Yes, they have aged. They have lines and spots, but they are so beautiful. Her hands. They hold my world. They hold my memories. They hold my heart...... So, my hands are starting to look like my mother's hands. And that is one sign of aging for which I am so very, very thankful and proud!