Stop for a moment and take a look at your hands. A really close look. What do you see? Whether you realize it or not, I’ll bet there’s a story there.
When my mom was about my age I remember talking with her one day when, out of the blue, she held her hands out and exclaimed, “How can my hands look so old when I feel so young?” I’m pretty sure that I know what she means. Lately I’ve noticed that the age gap between me and my hands is getting awfully wide. I’m glad I don’t feel as old as my hands look, but I suppose there’s good reason why they show their true age.
These hands have graduated from making mud pies to taking notes during high school and college. They’ve gone to work, and they’ve typed millions of words. They’ve signed a marriage license, set up a home, and cared for babies. They’ve prepared countless meals, planted and tended gardens, and mopped up after pets. They’ve swept, dusted, scrubbed, and cleaned, and they’ve washed an uncountable number of dishes.
They’ve pushed strollers, hung onto bikes newly freed of training wheels, and they’ve wiped tears from eyes and gravel from skinned knees. They’ve gripped the steering wheel of Mom’s Taxi, and they’ve purchased extra-large coffees, then clapped while cheering a child around bases or toward the goal.
They’ve dialed the telephone to keep in touch with friends, to call and apologize, or to check up on someone who needed support. As difficult as it is to admit, they’ve also slapped, pushed away, and pointed in accusation.
These hands have driven to countless medical appointments and treatments, and they’ve cared for a dying husband. They’ve tried, oh how they’ve tried … and mostly failed … to comfort grieving teenagers. They’ve also learned how to help two new children, born of the heart, when I married their father.
They’ve prepared for weddings, then held the arms of two beautiful brides as they walked to the alter between my husband and me. They’ve brushed the velvet cheeks of tiny grandchildren, only hours old.
There are so many things these hands have done that it’s a wonder they didn’t wear out years ago.
You can nip and tuck, dye, bleach, and tan just about everything else, and you might be able to fool some of the people most of the time, but it’s hands that tell the true story. The best story. And, just recently, I realized that I’m proud of what my hands have to say. How about you?