My Mother’s Hands (1926 – 2020)
When I look at these hands, it is not only their toil I see, but the love which made tapioca pudding to brighten a smile of an ill child. Or hands which held the bedtime book as she read me a story. The same hands which gently let go of the book as so tired she fell asleep. While I looked on wanting more.
When I look at these hands I not only see the discipline and morals which taught us well but her creativity that fuelled us all. These hands one day drew a scenic charcoal drawing on the kitchen wall. Inspiring me to ask if I too could draw on my bedroom wall. Smiling she reached for the charcoal and said “Sure. Go Ahead.” Art on the wall. Not art hanging on the wall.
She was a doer, a creative and woman on strong structure. When I look at these hands I look down at my own as they fluidly type these words. I recall her insistence that I retake typing in High School 3 times because I kept failing. As an author now an invaluable skill. My hands doing what I do with ease because her hands ruled out the discipline of not giving up.
When I look at these hands I see the bargain hunter in her and I see that very much in me. She taught me to live within my means and the skill of innovation. Yes, these hands lived so many lives and seemingly all at once.
She wrote her stories and she wrote me letters. Waving me goodbye when I moved to England 37 years ago she accepted her children are only in her hands for such a very short while.
I see her now in her chair by the window, basking in the sunlight and with one hand she holds her half empty coffee cup up to her temple. Quiet and in repose. Her hands that did so very much. They expressed her great capacity to Love, shared her boundless energy and held tight to all which was good.
Like us all, I shall miss my Mom. These hands I can no longer hold but it is my prayer that her last moment on this Earth was to reach out to take my Father’s hand and now they walk together.
Looking at my hands I know I shall always see my Mom. For always they will hold her legacy for I have learnt by her example.
Always I will love you Mom. I thank you for all your giving and for the hands which kept me safe.