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! As she makes her annual pilgrimage from Mississippi to Ohio and back, we applaud her as much as we miss 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 carry and lift us daily though our weight may be heavy. Each generation brings 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 have! She encourages us and say, “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 do! And she listens! And we leave better than we came! Yes, we are blessed to have her!
Photo credit: www.crossroadsusa.org