Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Loving Hands


Her Loving Hands

I hate to admit it, but when I was younger, I really hated the look of older women's hands.  In my youthful naivety, I thought the curled knuckles, protruding veins and wrinkled skin could be prevented.   Today, I realize how idiotic my thoughts were.  
I now realize the significance of a woman's hands as they age.  My mom never had the protruding knuckles of arthritis but her hands were wrinkled.  In her later  years, her beautiful skin became very thin so the veins peeked through the loving hands that once held me.
In taking care of my mom in those last few months, I looked at her hands often.  I remembered the loaves and loaves of homemade bread that she lovingly kneaded back and forth on her old wooden cutting board.  I smiled when I thought of all of the date filled cookie dough she cut out each and every Christmas and the many batches of fudge she painstakingly stirred over the heat of the stove.  I recalled the thousands of dishes she washed in the kitchen sink.  Can you imagine never having a dishwasher until your 50's?  I couldn't!
I could almost feel all of the hugs and caresses she placed upon me over the years.  I could see her holding her grandchildren and great grandchildren as she softly patted them with love.
As I work in my garden, it's as if she's right next to me as I picture her doing the same in her gardens so long ago.  Dirt under her nails just like mine.
Her hands served her well.  She knitted, crocheted, played the marimba and vibraharp.  She typed and dialed the phone as the City Treasurer.  Her hands never stopped working.

Now that she is no longer here, I catch myself looking at the hands of a few ladies at church.  They are the glue that holds our little country church together.  Between the three of them, they keep our house of God stocked with cleaning supplies as well as items in the kitchen.  They make sure volunteers are signed up to help out with the monthly calls to duty.  More often than not, they fill in when no one else signs up.  They cook.  And cook.  And cook some more.  Wonderful food!  They dug a garden, planted it, weed it and water it.
All of these ladies hands tell a story.  The story of their lives.  I hope that one day, my hands are gnarled and wrinkled and someone looks at them and realizes there are more to my hands than wrinkles.




*This is a repeat from my first year in blogging.

36 comments:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

A beautiful and well thought post.

andy said...

Great post! !! Have a great day

EM Illustrator said...

I love this post Jill, so beautiful.

EG CameraGirl said...

Super post, Jill. And wonderful memories.

Beth said...

great post. women are so strong. can do so much ... those powerful hands have gotten them through so much. give them character. all the love, friendship, tough & good times. so amazing. (:

Lynne said...

Great reflection . . . missing my mom . . . thank you for sharing this again.

Marissa @Life On Our Mountain said...

Lovely thoughts, Jill. Beautiful post.

Susan said...

So, so true about hands. I look at my hands and see beauty I never saw before. Even with the wrinkles. I think my Mom has beautiful hands and she's 90. Love, love, love this post Jill.

Tanya said...

oh this is such a beautiful post....

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Very sweet post!!!

Renae said...

thank you Jill! thanks for repeating it. It was lovely and poignant.

My Mom's hands were interesting like that and I dreaded if mine would be similar... oh they are getting there... and I hope they never tire, either.

thank you for you enthusiasm about e.a.s.y. post, too!!!! see ya there.

Beth said...

This post is so moving it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!

Madi and Mom said...

Jill you amaze me. You most definitely have a book hiding in you!!
Wow this is beautiful
Hugs C

Sarah Lounsbury said...

Hello Jill! It is nice to meet and follow you. I love your blog.... what a thoughtful post,


Thanks for sharing your thoughts



Ciao Bella
Sensible Sarah

TexWisGirl said...

thank you, jill. you filled our hearts with our own mothers today...

Paula said...

Jill this is a wonderful entry. I'm so glad you posted it again. I see my aged (76) hands with more appreciation.

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Wonderful post!

Bobbi said...

Beautiful header (I LOVE BLUE) and Beautiful Post!! I'll be back!

Gloria Hood said...

Beautiful post, and I love looking at "older" hands!

Maple Lane said...

Your relationship with your Mom sounds similar to mine. Due to mama being legally blind most of my life, I very often held her hand when walking. Some younger folks would giggle and whisper when they would see us, but I would not trade those moments together for anything.
Hands tell a story of our lives and this was a lovely post. So thankful to call you friend.

Nancy Claeys said...

Hard working hands often have this look to them -- nothing wrong with that. Beautiful post.

Rohrerbot said...

Gnarled hands:) Even the word is a bit strange...gnarl:) I've always looked at older hands as a sign of experience. They've never grossed me out or anything like that because they were the ones that took care of me when my parents weren't around. I always remember my Grandfather with his magnifying glass as he read the newspaper with his 80 year old hands. And I thought, someday I could have this life and I would be okay with it:)

Jenny Woolf said...

A nice post. On a related note. I sometimes try to draw hands and find them the most difficult thing of all. They are so subtle.

Ellie said...

Oh what a lovely post Jill and so very well written. I'll never look at hands the same way again.

Debbie said...

a beautiful and very thoughtful entry jill.

if we only knew then what we know now.....

Mama Zen said...

This is so beautiful!

Lois Christensen said...

That was a beautiful post! Thank you. Makes me think of my father and his hands. They were so big and a bit chunky. I miss him so much.

JT said...

Very nice Jill, this brings a feeling of comfort.I'm smiling.

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

What an awesome tribute to your Mom and other aging women ~ you are blessed ~ thanks, namaste, (A Creative Harbor)

Marie said...

This sweet and touching post really moved me! I am so glad you re-posted it. I always felt like my Mom's hands were "crinkly soft" when I was a child. They weren't old and wrinkled yet then, but fascinated me. Her loving touch, and her endless hours of working at so many things to make our lives better, are great memories for me! She is still using her hands in many wonderful ways. A tribute to a Mother's hands, is a tribute to a Mother!

Chatty Crone said...

I think hands show the loving work they did in service to others. sandie

Donna said...

Gosh, this is beautifully put!

I often think of my Granny in the same way. Wonderful woman, hard working, best cook, loving hands and heart. In her latter years she lost the use of her working hands and I remember how I cried when I left her each week after I went to visit her and prayed God would resume her function of her handiwork and use of her hands.

God bless her. She was my rock. Thank you, Jill, and God bless you for that tender reminder of the rocks we women actually are in our families, our churches, our communities, our states, and even our Nation.

It all does start though with the strong, able hands of our mothers and grandmothers. Those that raised us to be the women we hope to become, because until we are called home to be with Him, we are all still hard at work with our "hands."

Hugs,
Donna

BlueShell said...

This is a moving entry, dear! I felt like crying!
Hug you
BShell

nanny said...

A very touching post, Jill. I share your feelings about hands.

My mother passed away when she was 52 and I was 26. I remember standing and looking at her hands for so long before the funeral. I now see her hands on me! (proudly)

Susan said...

Such a beautiful post Jill, I'm so glad I always work backwards through posts when I'm catching up on blog visits.
What incredibly warm and loving memories you have of your Mother. You have inherited her warmth and compassion :D)

malacca2u said...

my hands