Thursday, May 27, 2010

Grandma's Hands

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.

'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 by 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 God.'

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.


Janelle said...

That's beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

StitchenTigger said...

Thank you so much for sharing. That is just beautiful, made me remember holding my mom's hands so many times the past couple of years before she also held her hands out to God.

Tammy said...

I will look at my hands in a totally different way now too! Thanks for sharing that beautiful post!

just call me jo said...

Love the thoughts and the picture. My hands are certainly starting to look older--like my mom's and grandmother's. But it's OK; when you think of it those hands have been busy for many years.
Hope you feel better, sweet friend.

Annie said...

this is beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

Cheeseboy said...

Very nice. And I love holding my Grandma's hands.

Intense Guy said...

Beautiful - I was noticing my Dad hands today - and how beat up they were - and realized that they got that way doing "honest, hard" physical labor so that I would have the chance to go to college and learn - and to become my own person, knowing there was support and encouragement behind me every step of the way.

Deanna said...

Beautiful. Tonight when Julie and I were visiting while watching Travis' game, I said something about being her mom... her 9 year old son looked at me and said, "Grandma, you were a mom?!" I definitely have grandma hands and remember my own grandma's hands well.

LindyLouMac said...

A touching piece of writing Jeannie.

AliceKay said...

Beautiful share. *hugs*

I've been looking at my hands a lot lately. They look much older now.

Lynn said...

Wow I never thought of my hands like that before, I sure do notice the they are more wrinkled though, thanks so much for sharing this post makes me miss my grandma lots.