My Grandmother’s Hands

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Sitting at the computer early one morning, contemplating the challenges of aging gracefully, I glanced down and recoiled in horror! My grandmother’s hands rested 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 looked so fascinating. They didn’t look so darn fascinating now!

How did this happen? I went to bed 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 grabbed the industrial strength, advanced healing, super hydrating, hand cream, practically exhausting the contents of a 10-ounce bottle. There. That should do it. Feeling the lotion soaking into my bone-dry skin and swollen knuckles, I reflected on the idea of bringing back my mother’s white gloves…vintage 40’s and 50’s.

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 summers spent at her house.

I saw her hands plucking the delicate blooms off her prize purple petunias, and showing me how to pick them off without damaging the rest of the plant.

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 and patiently teaching me how to play canasta.

Maybe I over-reacted. After all, the love in my grandmother’s hands was a far more cherished and lasting memory than their superficial appearance.

Glancing down at the keyboard, I stretched and felt warmth and contentment spread through my fingers…remembering my grandmother’s hands.

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A light-hearted look at the joys and frustrations of the aging process.

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