By Vernalee
As I continue with our family’s tributes to my Mother, I call your attention to the significance that my Mother has played in the up and coming generations of our family.
Take a look.
Our hands – the crinkle skin, the lines, the wrinkles, the visible protruding veins – show our age.
They display the “wear and tear” of living. As we age, our hands carry with it years of wisdom, love, heartbreak, pain, joy, and every physical and emotional feeling.
They celebrate life.
My 90 year old Mother’s hands “that clapped in church on Sunday morning; that played the tambourine so well; that picked me up each time I fell”; that pointed at me as she uttered “I know you really love that man; put yourself in Jesus’ hands” function as a grandmother, a great grandmother, and a great – great grandmother.
Four generations, she has lifted. She is our family’s Southern matriarch, and we rally around her in groves. Her sometimes arthritic hands prepare dishes that no one can duplicate. Cooking is her thing! Everyone wants her recipes.
There is so much that the lines in her helping hands tell us and so much that they don’t reveal!
We applauded her as much as we missed her, but understand that to her “there is no place like her home.”
Though her hands can’t pick 200 pounds of cotton anymore; though they noticeably tremble as she grips objects, those ten fingers and two hands have given my family and me so much love and strength. We dare not cross her because her strong hands can still discipline you with a back hand lick! Whether we call her Momma, Grandma, or Big Momma (depending on the generation), her hands carred and lifted us daily though our weight may have been heavy. Each generation has brought their varied problems to her for an opinion. Although her hands have seen hard times, what amazing strength and a wonderful touch her soft hands had! She encourages us and said, “Your weight ain’t that heavy. I can hold it. Now sit down, hold my hand, and tell Big Momma all about it!” And we did! And she listened! And we left better than we came! Yes, we were blessed to have her!
She had made her pilgrimage from Mississippi to Ohio and back many times.
As we bring her back this last time, we cannot hold her hand anymore, but we can hold on to her words and memories forever.
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