Monday, February 18, 2008

Meaningful Monday

Grandma's Hands


Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.
Finally, not really wanting to disturb her, but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.
"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.
"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making. Grandma smiled and related this story:
"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.”
"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.”
“They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war. They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.”
"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.”
“They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.”
"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.
When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.
I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.
~Author Unknown
Have a Meaningful Monday ~ Jo

10 comments:

smilnsigh said...

Sweet poem...

And on the subject of hands... A blogger I especially love, likes to photograph hands. And... lo and behold ~ her today's {2/18} entry has pictures of her Mother's hands, in it! Please go and visit with Corey and see. Please and thank you.

Here is the link to her Feb. 18th entry.

Do you have your Direct TV, yet????

Mari-Nanci
Smilnsigh

Britt-Arnhild said...

Beautiful!
Makes me look at my own hands with fresh eyes.

Prixie said...

what an aww moment

Mountain Mama said...

This is beautiful. I was always fascinated with my grandma's hands. Both my grandma's had very interesting hands and both were very different too. One grandma was a tiny wirey lady used to very hard work, cutting down trees and chopping them up for firewood, gardening and all sorts of outdoors work. Her hands were bony and calloused, well worn. The other grandma's hands were smooth and soft and beautifully shaped. Her life was hard too but she didn't have the same chores and the other grandma, but was mostly in the kitchen, baking bread and holding tired children.
Hands are fascinating. I believe they tell a lot about the owner.

Rosie said...

I am endlessly fascinated by old hands. I find them beautiful.

Yes, I'm hoping we don't have a replay of last year, but the old folks here say thunder in February means hard freezes in May. We've already had one thunderstorm here and the weather does look awfully similar to last year. The lack of acorns in the woods makes the wildlife come closer in.

Aisha said...

A beautiful shot! The photo itself does speak a lot! :)

violetlady said...

I have hear this before. It is so beautiful.

jle said...

i remember one day a while back when i looked down at my hands while i was driving and thought, "look! i have wrinkles on my hands! Huh. i should tell my mom that her 'baby' has wrinkles on her hands..." but then i remembered she was gone, and we hadn't had that great a relationship in the last years, and i realized i still was having conversations with the kind part of my mom that lived in my head. Now my hands always remind me of that. But it would be nice to remember all the things my hands did, like holding my kids, and foster babies, stuff like that. Nice story.

Peggy said...

Beautiful!!

Jo said...

Thank you all for your comments. Only another blogger understands how much those comments mean and how they can inspire you and keep you going.

I received this piece quite a while back as an e-mail and saved it. I had just a few days prior to that taken a look at my own hands and really scrutinized them. Remembering what they looked like as a teenager and then young adult with long manacured nails and rings on my fingers. I never hand tiny petite hands because I never was a tiny petite person. Just the same I was quite pleased with how they looked. From there I remembered sitting next to my mother as she lay on her death bed and holding her hand. Looking at those hands that had worked so hard all of her life. How her fingers were twisted (though not terribly bad) from arthritus. As I looked at my hands, I thought how much they are starting to show their age and look like my mothers.
Truthfully, I think they are hands to be proud of.

Bless each of you.