Mom’s hands

Today I was staring at my hand. Well, it was an exercise in the book, “No Enemies Within.” Throughout the book she gives exercises to help a person bring more awareness of what is going on in their body.

The section was called, “Personal Exploration, A Date with your Self.”  She describes a series of three exercises, utilizing kinesthetic, auditory and visual senses.

In the first she asked the reader to hold a place on their body, say the neck, for three minutes. Imagine the pores in the skin breathing in and out, she says. I know, you’d have to be there. Read the book.

But then she said, … imagine the pupils of your eyes can inhale each time you take a breath. Look at one of your hands and receive it through your eyes. Rather than looking at how wrinkled it is, or how you need to trim your nails, just see it as it is. After those three minutes, stop and notice the effect.

I held my hand out in front of me and the first thing I noticed is how wrinkled it is and how I need to do my nails.

I stared at my hand some more, continuing to notice the wrinkles and the nails.

Then I turned my hand over and looked at the palm.

And then I thought, I never looked at the palm of mom’s hand.

I looked at the top of her hands all the time. They were beautiful hands, wrinkled and aged and knobby at the end of her life. I photographed them once holding her great-granddaughter’s baby hands and again when great-granddaughter was three and mom was nearly 100.

Her hands were warm. She would hold my hands and say, “They are like ice,” and then hold them to warm them.

If I laid my head in her lap, which I rarely did, she would run her hands through my hair and gently massage my head. What bliss it was.

Then a strange thought. I wish I had looked at her life line on her palm.

I’ve never had my palm read, and don’t plan on it, but still, that would have been interesting.

That’s what I noticed–mom’s perfectly manicured, wrinkled, knobby, gentle hands–and how much I missed them.


2 responses to “Mom’s hands

  1. What a beautiful photograph. Mom always was sensitive to the appearance of her hands, and wished mine were more “ladylike”. Running around with an 80-grit manicure as I do always distressed her. It was the clearest sign that I’d opted for manual labor, even when I was dressed up.

    I had to smile – my mom’s hands always were cold, and mine warm. Sometimes she’d wash dishes by hand, just to get hers warm.

    One of the souvenirs of childhood that got tossed recently was my plaster-of-paris handprint, made when I was five. It’s been hanging around because Mom liked to get it out and look at it now and then. For whatever reason, it had no sentimental value to me at all – I don’t even remember making it. But I do have this strange urge now for a manicure. 😉

    • Nice stories about your mother’s hands….and yours. I have gardener’s hands and nails and can count on two hands the number of manicures I’ve had in my lifetime. Mom had a manicure every week…but that was their generation.
      Like your mother, I often wash dishes by hand for the same reason (or to ponder out a problem).

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