My Mother’s Hands

When I was a child everyone said I looked like my daddy and I agreed. As I became an adult I thought I resembled my Aunt Olga, Daddy’s sister, and her older daughter. I’ve even been accused by elders in my father’s family of being someone from the “old country.”

Imagine my surprise when I began to notice Mother’s reflection in my mirror, or her smile in my photograph, or her opinions in my freely-given advice. But the most frequent reminder of my mother is my hands. They are her hands—the coloring, the way the veins are more visible when I’m stressed, the curve of the fingers, even my fingernails (if only on one hand).

Mother’s hands were her creative tools. She embroidered. She painted, both canvas and ceramics. She sewed clothes for me until I was a young adult. She crocheted.

When I was a young girl she created my clothes, my dancing costumes, and doll clothes with her Brother Sewing Machine. For at least thirty years, she oiled and cleaned that machine before and after each use.

As I moved into my teens and later when she retired, she turned to all types of craft projects: ceramics, embroidery, needle point, crocheting, and ceramic dolls. I have boxes full of unfinished kits in my garage. Maybe someday maybe I’ll finish them.

The bookshelves and walls of my home are full of her work, all completed with precision, artistry, and unconditional love. So when I glance at my hands and see my mother’s, I take a tour through her museum.

That’s when I realize how special she was and how grateful I am for my time with her and for all the items she left behind, including that unconditional love I mentioned.

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