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Thursday, November 18, 2010

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.

26 comments:

Kat said...

LOVED this Mari!

Hugs,
Kat

Rose said...

loe this post. it has so much depthinto the life of a person.

Karin said...

Oh, wow, so touching! What a message about being grateful instead of critical. I've always found fault with my arms and have finally learned to thank God for what HE has allowed my arms to do - a similar list to this one about the hands. Thanks Mari for the reminder!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Wow....:::blinking back tears::: This was awesome Mari.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

This was wonderful Mari. Just what I needed to hear today.

Rachelle said...

WOW! So touching, so beautiful. I will be seeing my grandmother over Thanksgiving. I now want to take a pic of her hands. To remember.

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Beauty, hope, love... a lesson of life! Thanks Mari.

Nezzy said...

Loved, loved, loved this girl!

What a lesson we can learn from those hands that have been there...done that. I had a Great~Grandma who lived to be 104 and I can remember just holdin' and studying her beautifully weathered hands.

Ya'll have a wonderfully blessed weekend sweetie!!!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I just got a totally different perception of my hands from this! So beautiful and touching, Mari! Thank you for sharing.

septembermom said...

Beautiful, Mari!

Betty said...

Touching story. And so true. Something to be thankful for.

Pat said...

This is so timely for me, I had even considered doing a similar post.
My Mother always hated the way her hands looked, especially as she aged. She admired mine...youth is always pretty. I looked at mine the other evening...they now look like my mothers, no longer clear and wrinkle free. This post puts it all into proper perspective.
thank you.

Shelly said...

THAT IS A REALLY GOOD STORY! IN THE EYES OF A GRANDMA! SOMEONE WHO HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO STOP AND LOOK AT WHAT HER HANDS HAVE DONE. WE YOUNGER PEOPLE JUST KEEP RUSHING THROUGH LIFE AND SOMETIMES DON'T EVEN STOP TO TAKE A LOOK OR REFLECT! THANKS FOR SHARING THAT!

Cherdecor said...

What a "touching" story! No pun intended. I want to file this away.

Kim said...

What a wonderful essay! Thanks for sharing!

LisaShaw said...

Hi Mari,

I loved this! After reading it I will never look at my hands the same again either. Aww, the thought that with these hands I will one day touch the face of Christ brings me to big tears of worship.

Beautiful sharing...

Thanksgiving blessings to you!

Deb said...

love this!! Now I am PROUD of my hands!! Thanks for sharing, Blessings,
Deb

Nancy said...

You have touched my heart this morning......I have never taken the time to realize all our hands do and have done.....Thank you...

I so appreciate all the lovely and special comments you leave on my blog...I have come to count you as a special friend....

I pray your Thanksgiving will be full of love and blessings....

A Stone Gatherer said...

Wonderful!

Sandra said...

What a beautiful post Mari, it brought tears to my eyes.

Susan said...

Wonderful post Mari. Sorry I haven't been around much. I know you understand :o)

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

PS....glad you stopped by and visited this weekend. I always enjoy and appreciate your comments!!!

Have a blessed Sunday [what's left of the day]...and, see you tomorrow perhaps?

Shell in your Pocket said...

I have read this before and love it!

sandy toe

Jane said...

Hi Mari,
Thanks for your visit. I really enjoyed reading this post. Makes one stop and think.
Have a great week.
Jane

Mariel said...

I read something like this a while back and it inspired me to take a picture of my own grandmother's hands. Actually it is a picture of my grandmother's hand, my mom's hand, my hand, and my son's hand....all firstborns in the family. it is a precious picture to me.

Raise Them Up said...

This is so cool. What a neat story!