Thursday, October 2, 2008

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 strong 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.

Child's Hand on Top of Mature Adult Hand by Chip Henderson

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 daughter.

Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I
was married and loved someone special
Close view of a brides hands by Joel Sartore

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, 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.
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 held by the hands of God.

And I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.
Hand of God by Paul Katz
Hand of God

courtesy of all posters


Adrienne said...


Sharon said...

This was so beautiful and touched my heart today. :)
Thank you for sharing it!

Sharon said...

Wow is all I can say...Love~Sharon

Maxine said...

Oh, Mimi, I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. This was absolutely one of the most touching things I've read in a long time. Loved the picture of the old hands with the child's.

Pam said...

Hey Mom - loved the picture of your hands knitting!

Maxine said...

Mimi, I just wanted to let you know I linked to this post on my "A Post That Will Bless You" spot on my Scraps sidebar.

Joyce's Ramblings said...

Thanks for the post. Hands of all sizes and shape
can go together in prayer. I never want to stop folding my hands in prayer.

Lisa said...

Simply beautiful! I miss the touch of my Grandma's hands. Thanks for sharing this.
Blessings, Lisa

Pam said...

Oh Wow! this was touching. I don't think anyone who reads this will ever ignore their hands again!

Dawn said...

This is so beautiful! I look at my hands often, and how old they are beginning to look. I will look at them differently.

And speaking of being 90, my MIL will turn that wonderful age on Monday.

Cathy said...

That is so beautiful, Mimi. Thanks for sharing it.

Margaret Cloud said...

Wow, I could not read this without crying, thank you for sharing such a touching story, God Bless Grandma.

Jodi said...


Denise said...

Oh my! It reminds me of my Grandma! She was beautiful and loving and caring...... Oh how I miss her and I know that she is now touching the face of God with her beautiful hands,,,,,,,,,,

Me said...

Hands are so expressive of so much and this post shares so much of how expressive they are.