Monday, February 16, 2009

Grandma's Hands

This is one the email passages that we all get, but I thought this one was special. Have a special look at YOUR hands today!

I was privileged to take a photo of 'Five Generations of Women' shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year. The photo, shown below, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece and Great-Niece. While I can't take credit for the idea, I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar, which turned out so beautiful it became a special keepsake, prior to her father's passing.

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat, I wondered if she was OK. Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear, strong voice. I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK, I explained to her. 'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I mean really looked at your hands?' I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.

Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.

They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.

And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.

I will never look at my hands the same again. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband, I think of Grandma's hands.

~Happy Stitching~
Charlene in SC.USA


  1. That is so beautiful. Makes you really think. Thank you for sharing this

  2. Such a thoughfully written piece! I just lost my step father in January (who was my last living parent)and you made me think of all his hands had done and were used for in his lifetime. He was 87years old at the time he passed away. Your writing does make us stop and think doesn't it?? sm..Thank you!

  3. What a beautiful story and idea. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is just beautiful, grandparents are a special type of people.
    Thank you for sharing

  5. How very thoughtful post. It is the simple little things that you tend to forget. This is a very beautiful reminder. hank you for sharing

  6. Charlene, thanks so much for sharing that piece. I must say it brought tears to my eyes as I was reading it. Just goes to show, how we need to sit back and reflect sometimes..Debbie (Maine)

  7. Charlene, I have already left a comment, but could you please e-mail me privately? Thanks, Debbie(Maine)

  8. Thanks for sharing this, Charlene!


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