Sitting at the computer, contemplating the challenges of aging gracefully, I glanced down and recoiled in horror! My grandmother's hands were lying there–resting on the keyboard–attached to my wrists! Yep…there they were–wrinkled and age-spotted, with the same osteoarthritis-gnarled knuckles that to me, as a child, had been so fascinating. Somehow, they didn't look so darn fascinating now!
How did this happen? I went to bed last night with the silky smooth hands of a "young" fifty-ish year-old, and woke up this morning with purple, pitted prune hands and knobby fingers! I quickly ran for the Curel, and practically exhausted the contents of a 10-ounce bottle. There. That should do it. As I felt the lotion soaking into my bone-dry skin and swollen knuckles at "warp speed," I reflected on the idea of bringing back the white gloves that were in vogue in the 40's and 50's.
Quickly realizing this was not an option, since I'd look pretty silly wearing gloves to the beach, my mind shifted from vanity to thoughts of my grandmother, and the pleasurable childhood summers spent at her house.
I saw her hands plucking the delicate blooms off the petunias, and then showing me how to pick them off without damaging the plants.
I saw her hands dishing out homemade ice cream, and giant-size servings of her delicious white cake topped with buttery caramel icing.
I saw her hands holding a fluffy, warm, towel as she greeted a shivering five-year old wading out of the creek that ran behind her house.
I saw her hands dealing a deck of cards as she patiently taught me how to play canasta.
Maybe I over-reacted. After all, the love that my grandmother showed with her hands was a far more important and lasting memory than their superficial appearance.
Glancing down at the keyboard, once again, I stretched, and began to feel warmth and contentment spread through my fingers…as I remembered my grandmother's hands.
Mary Cunningham © 2006