Monday, October 17, 2005

I went to my knitting guild meeting yesterday and I was thinking about something that touched me.

The little shop where the group meets just opened in August. There was a Grand Opening Day, and a crew from a local television station came with a camera to do a 'color' piece. A bunch of us from Stranded in Michiana, our knitting guild, showed up to congratulate the new owners and get them off to a good start. I was working on a pair of socks, either the duckies or Cathy's reindeer pattern test and not really paying much attention to the news crew.

A few days later, my daughter-in-law told me, she was at home and my son was in the living room watching TV. She said all of a sudden Nick was shouting, "Nici! Come here! My mom's on TV!"

She ran in to the room, but all she saw was a pair of hands, knitting. My son recognized me solely from seeing my hands. I was not working on anything he should have recognized, and was not wearing anything especially distinctive that he would have seen in the background. He just knew my hands when he saw them.

This touches me beyond words. My hands held him when he was a baby, soothed him when he cried, sewed his little shirts and then buttoned them when he couldn't do it for himself. They cooked his food and wiped his face (and the other end, too), tied his shoes and wrote notes to his teachers. They spanked him when he was naughty.

He and I have had some difficult days...ok, years! There were far too many times that my hands were clenched in anger and far too few when they patted him on the back. There were times when they wanted to reach out to him and pull him through, but I knew he had to do it on his own so I kept them in my pockets. My hands held him when his grandmothers died, and then our friend, Dan, too.

Over the years I've watched as my hands change into my mothers hands. The shape and the size are the same. The same fingers are beginning to twist in the early stages of arthritis. I looked at my sister a few months ago and was startled to see MY hands at the ends of HER arms! Our hands are the same shape as our brothers' hands, too.

There is an old song that was sung by Bill Withers back in the seventies, called
"Grandma's Hands."
Grandma's hands

Clapped in church on Sunday morning
Grandma's hands
Played a tambourine so well
Grandma's hands
Used to issue out a warning
She'd say, "Billy don't you run so fast
Might fall on a piece of glass
"Might be snakes there in that grass"
Grandma's hands
Grandma's hands
Soothed a local unwed mother
Grandma's hands
Used to ache sometimes and swell
Grandma's hands
Used to lift her face and tell her,
"Baby, Grandma understands
That you really love that man
Put yourself in Jesus hands"
Grandma's hands
Grandma's hands
Used to hand me piece of candy
Grandma's hands
Picked me up each time I fell
Grandma's hands
Boy, they really came in handy
She'd say, "Matty don' you whip that boy
What you want to spank him for?
He didn' drop no apple core"
But I don't have Grandma anymore
If I get to Heaven I'll look for Grandma's hands

My daughter-in-law has beautiful and expressive hands, but I hope one day I'll look at one of her children and see my mother's hands again.


mama said...

sniffle sniffle

mama said...

ok now that I am done crying, remembering Grandma's hands, never idle... that is beautiful...I love you....

Becky said...

Ahh, sweetie, I didn't mean to make you cry, but I suspected you would, you old softie! Whose hands did you get?
Love you, too!

mama said...

Fat fingers of who do you think.... there are times that they appear to be dads...but most the time.... grandmas. And fat as the fingers may be... they are a blessing.

Anonymous said...

this is a lovely post:) made me smile reading thru it.

the socks you are making are so pretty!