Hands

 “Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.” ― Michel de Montaigne

I know next to nothing about plastic surgery. Having prefaced with this caveat, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that while one can tighten up various parts of one’s body, I bet there is very little one can do about the hands. While eyes may be the mirror to the soul, I think hands are the mirror to the heart.

The hands tell the story of us. At least I think so. I think hands can give a clue as to whether or not you do (or did) physically-difficult work for a living. Calluses indicate working with your hands. If nothing but a person’s hands were displayed, I think most people would be able to tell if the hands belong to a teenager, a middle-aged adult, a senior citizen, a man, a woman, a laborer, a person with a desk job. Doctors often look at one’s hands as a way of determining potential illnesses.

And I think if I saw JUST the hands of either my mom or my dad, I would know they belong to my parents. My heart can remember what it felt like to hold their hands.

My grandkids often tell me Nana, you have a lot of veins in your hands. I tell them that when the veins in my hand are prominent, that means I’m dehydrated. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but it sounds possible, doesn’t it?

It satisfies their curiosity. Mostly, however, I think it means that I inherited my mom’s hands. I remember her hands looking just like mine.

But she had something I don’t think I have. When she held your hand, you could feel her strength and her love. I know that sounds overly-romanticized, but it is true. Her hands were strong, and she used them to show her love. Look at her hands in these photos…..

Look at everybody’s hands in this photo. Lots of expressions of love…..

Now, my dad’s hands really did show his physical strength. As a baker, he needed strong hands to work the heavy equipment. But he also needed hands that could be gentle and graceful, because remember that he was also a musician. He used his hands to play the clarinet and the saxophone. You could tell he had arthritis by looking at his fingers, but he continued to be strong until he died…..

His hands were so beautiful and told his story so well that later in his life, an artist was so taken with them that she asked to do a pencil drawing of him, featuring his lovely hands. The picture hangs on all of his kids walls somewhere in their house…..

I don’t know if Court or any of my grandkids will remember the way my hands looked or felt long after I’m gone, but it wouldn’t surprise me. And certainly the arthritis that plagued both my mom and dad plague me as well. But all of that makes our hands what they are — a mirror to our heart.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

5 thoughts on “Hands

  1. That drawing of your dad if fantastic. What a gift. I never thought about hands like that. Although I have noticed though the year as I have caught sight of my hands, that they look like my moms.

  2. Lovely sentiment, lovely post. I too remember hands- those of my grandmothers and mother. Always doing something, always with purpose and love. Gracias for the memories. BB2U

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