Friday, November 5, 2010

Give Yourself A Hand

I was working on a Christmas project. Most of the day I had the camera close at hand just in case I felt inspired. It turned out to be an inspirational day in a surprising way.

After school, Gabby grabbed my camera and with her unique prospective she dash across the lawn taking the odd, the unusual, the sideways, the silly self portraits. I knew that every odd picture that came up was taken from a creative point of view.

"Grammy, can I have it now," Sydney asked.

She took a few pictures then yelled to Gabby and me. "Come here. Put your hands out," she said.

She placed our hands with my old hands touching each of theirs. The camera clicked and a precious relationship was captured.

I notice hands. Maybe I do because I have watched my own age over the years with arthritis settling into a couple of joints and my thumbs gradually weakening and aching with degenerative joints. Hands are a history unto themselves.

Mom's hands were tough. She could chop a chicken head off with one fine swoop or wipe a child's fevered brow with tenderness. I remember her hands often smelling of potatoes....a daily ration at our house. I remember those wonderful hands on piano keys or holding a crochet hook and a piece of yarn. Those hands lead a choir, feed chickens, baited a fish hook getting hooked herself and knew how to apply first aid when needed.

Dad's hands were rugged. His nails were jagged from the work he did on the farm. Yet those hands could hold a small child's and show her the miracles of the earth. I remember the smell of fish on his hands long after he took the fish off the hook and then cleaned them. Those hands assisted in the birth of animals and pulled the trigger when one was beyond help. His aged thumbs suffered the same joint disease as mine. Now I know the pain he must have suffered. In later years he sat next to Mom wrapping her crochet yarn and holding her hand.

Hands. When I return to my roots, I notice hands. I know that Margaret's hands will be holding a handkerchief which she will use when she greets me with tears in her eyes. I remember Raymond lifting our little girl up in his arms, a few fingers missing on his hand. Brenda's broad hands will be busy on a project as we fall back into the same comfort we have always had. Doris's hands will sit in her lap. Victor will clasp my hand in his and treat me like a daughter of his own. Hands.

"Grammy, it turned out just like I wanted it to," Sydney exclaimed.

Yes, Sydney, it did. It truly did.

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