April 15, 2011

My Mother's Hands

There were nights when the darkness was too thick and the country silence too heavy and the comfort of my sister sleeping on the other side of our little paneled bedroom too far and I would call out for her.  She would slip in without a sound, tiptoe across the ugly brown printed carpeting - distilling annoyances over scattered legos and baby dolls - and sit softly beside me on my little mattress under a wall covered in drawings I traced but claimed to have done freehand.  Sometimes she would sing.  Mostly she would run a finger over my face.  Gently.  Tracing my features.  Soft touches over nose and forehead and eye lids.  Soft touches like sand paper, skin dried out from daily dishes and baths and gardening and mothering.  And somehow, in that roughness, there was more love.  The cracked skin.  The worn cuticles.  The short, unmanicured fingernails.  This was her heart.  Love worn on her hands as she brushed my hair to sleep and never had I known a woman more beautiful.

And now I have children of my own and as I hold them in those sweet end-of-day moments when they fight sleep I feel the way my calloused fingers catch in blond locks, the contrast of their youth against my day-weary touch, my roughness against their softness and I am immensely satisfied to see my own heart shinning there.  They are just like her's.  I have my mother's hands.  Wounded and scratchy and worn.

And breathtakingly beautiful.
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  1. I was just browsing all over the place and got to visit your blog. I must say that my luck is favoring me today or else getting such a wonderful writing to read wouldn’t have been possible for me, at least. Truly thankful your content.

  2. loooove this! i am an emotional wretch at the moment, but i still loved it to death :)

  3. This should read..To Amy...To make you weep..Love Alanna.

  4. wow... that was spectacularly written!

  5. thanks for posting this.

  6. As usual, you are incredibly talented Alanna and I loved it.

  7. I vividly recall the moment I looked down at my own hands and saw those of my mother. Suddenly, the miles that separated us seemed only an arm's length and I realized that I will carry her with me forever.
    Thank you for bringing that moment back to mind in such an eloquent manner.

    1. So glad it stirred up good memories for you, Sheri!


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