Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Grandma's Hands

Today I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Shanna's new blog. She had written about her grandmother's hands and as I began to write a response in the comments, I realized that her essay had called forth in me an essay of my own. So what follows are my remembrances of my own grandmother's hands.

I remember that they were always busy, rolling pie dough, cutting homemade egg noodles, weeding and gardening, snapping beans, stirring something on the stove, pouring coffee. They were brown and aged from years of living in the California sun; wrinkled and brown and covered with large, brown spots. But they were soft and always very warm. I remember the heat of them as she held my face in her hands. I remember her crooked index finger curled around the handle of a cup of coffee, pointing out a scripture, scolding, dressed in white gloves on Sunday, pointing up to heaven as she spoke of her Heavenly Father.

Other than the face, the hands are the most expressive part of a person, don’t you think? Perhaps that is why we remember them so. Or perhaps it is because it is with the hands that we touch, and bless, and serve each other and show love in many ways. My grandmother blessed us with her hands.

I remember her hands the last time she visited me in my home. My mom and aunt and Grandma came to visit us in our new home in Kentucky. It was a homecoming of sorts for Grandma because her family had roots in Kentucky. She was proud to call herself a “hillbilly.” Each night she stayed with us, I tucked her into bed and then sat on the edge of the bed and talked with her. She lay there in the dark, all tucked in, with her hands clasped lightly across her chest, like a child. We talked in quiet tones; I don’t remember the specifics but I remember that we spoke of God’s mercy and His love, our love for each other, and how wonderful it was to have this time together.

I would remember that special time we had shared when I stood, looking down at those hands, lightly clasped across her chest that last time at her funeral. Those hands had blessed so many and now, in Heaven, they were lifted in praise to the One that she loved above all. The child was with her Father.

Do you have memories of a loved one’s hands? If our memories have evoked a similar response, won’t you consider writing about it at your blog and linking back here?

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