My Hands Look Old
As I pulled the covers up to make my bed, the skin of my hands scraped against the fabric in that sandpaper way that clearly indicated I’ve been pumping the soap more than the hand lotion. I held my hands out in front of me to assay the damage.
“Whoa! When did my hands get old?!”
In a series of time-warp flashbacks, I saw my mother’s hands, heard her voice saying, “My hands are looking old”, and then, like Freaky Friday, it was my own hands and voice.
There they were, my mother’s aging hands sticking out of the bottom of my sleeves. How bizarre!
I reached for the hand lotion and smeared it on. Better, somewhat.
As the day went on, I watched my hands. They did their work readily.
They folded laundry.
They rumpled hair on a tiny head.
They chopped tomatoes.
They wiped. Oh did they wipe! My hands wiped bottoms, and noses, and countertops, and toilets, and more.
Of course there were several hand-washings in between.
My hands washed themselves. They washed my little boy’s hands, one at a time while the other hand supported his weight. They washed faces and dishes.
They gently pulled a brush through little girl hair.
They typed out encouraging words.
They scrawled grocery lists.
My thumbs typed text messages to my husband.
My fingers pointed to large-printed words in a book as a little mouth sounded out each letter.
My hands drew illustrations for lessons on the white board.
My hands tossed a dog-slobber-covered ball and patted furry muzzles.
Grasping my camera, my hands pushed the buttons to record the memories of our lives. But they needn’t have done so. Each of the events of the day was recorded without requiring digital memory.
There, in the lines that deepened each day, all those memories have left their mark.
I ought to remember them all as well as I know…the back of my own hand.
I looked back down at those old hands when the day was done. Wrinkles? What wrinkles? I didn’t see old hands anymore. I saw hands that had a slight hint of maturity, a slight slackening of the skin, but they had so much more life in them! So much more life to live and love to give.
Yes, these hands are looking good.
P. S. Those are not my hands in the photo so don’t go zooming in to inspect them.