I’ve noticed this before, but this day it was particularly startling. I was driving along with my hands on the steering wheel, obviously not paying enough attention to the road, when I saw them….there they were, my mom’s hands. Yep, there at the end of my arms were a pair of hands that look just like my mom’s. Maybe you have noticed them? They have lots of color variation, i.e. age spots, and somehow a lot of wrinkles. I pinched my skin, yes, there is enough skin hanging on my hands to be pinched. It kind of stuck together before sagging, not springing, back into place.
I remember playing with the skin on my grandmothers hands when I was a little girl as I sat by her in church, eesh….never could I have fathomed I would someday have saggy skin hands too.
Just before spiraling into a pit of despair and lamenting of my youth, I caught myself. I began to consider all the things I know my mom accomplished with her hands. Her hands are well worn because they are well used in loving others and her God. I am sure I cannot imagine the years of hard work and love my grandmother’s hands endured before they became the object of my attention that day in church. I would do well to have hands like them. I looked at my wrinkly hands once more and thought better of them.
Today we celebrate the 24th birthday of our baby girl, and yes, she will always be our baby girl. This morning I look once more at my hands and recall the day they first held her tiny frame. Her bright blue eyes looking up at me, her soft blonde hair dancing above her head and her rose colored lips filled my heart and soul. Eventually these hands would change her diapers, wipe her nose and place numerous Band-Aids on her knees over time.
These hands would know the joy of catching her as she tumbled in her early attempts to walk. They would spend hours picking up toys and sticky messes. My hands would shrivel from bath times and playing with soap bubbles. They would hold endless books as I read to her, and eventually with her, every night before bed. There were countless hours of hair brushing and detangling her long golden locks. Years were spent mastering all kinds of hair styles…ponytails, braids, barrettes and bows.
I think my hands have permanent indents from the many times they have been folded tightly in prayer for my baby girl as she moved from childhood into adulthood. THEN I BLINKED….
Suddenly she is a beautiful woman inside and out, no longer needing my hands so much. I have a new appreciation for my saggy skinned hands. Today I thank our God for the privilege of loving my daughter and caring for her. This morning I bow my head over my folded, age pot covered, saggy skinned hands and I am moved to tears as I pray, “God, thank you for the loving and sacrificing hands of my grandmothers, thank you for the caring and serving hands of my mother and thank you for these hands before me now and the years they have experienced the touch of YOUR hands.” Amen