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©June 1997

Carol Jane Remsburg




Many things remind me of my mother, but few strike me as strongly as the memory of her hands.Those were the hands that first cradled me with love.They were strong, soft, and safe.They were gentle and not so gentle at times as lifeís teachings sometimes are.


My motherís hands were never idle.They were capable, diligent in their toils.These were hands that were always busy cleaning, crocheting, and caring.They were always there to turn a page or to dry a tear.They were the same hands that lovingly prepared every meal with careful attention.They played and taught games.My motherís hands were fast and deft.We children had to watch and learn as they worked their magic.


As I grew old enough to notice, those same hands became careworn.Their skin was not as soft, blue veins rose marring their form.Lines became deeply etched while red blotches became not so occasional.Her hands were honest hands.Somehow those loving hands had aged.It seemed as if a thousand tiny spiders had labored hard to provide a seemingly overnight surprise.I would unconsciously stare at them, and then shun them because they were no longer pretty.Yet, those were the same hands I always ran to when I needed comfort.


Beyond adolescence and traveling into semi-maturity, one day I chanced to notice my own hands.What formerly had been a graceful pair, were now marked with timeís stamp.I recall that moment well.I was stupefied.When had it happened?Surely I wasnít old enough yet to warrant this signal of age.As it usually happens, our physical selves outpace our emotional ones.


It was one of those defining moments we all reach in our lives.It was with a mixture of sadness and gladness that I had to acknowledge my youth was ending.However, I was buoyed with the thought that within these hands carried the strength and love of my own mother.A strength of love that I could bestow upon my own child.My motherís hands as my own hands reflected our character, a badge to be worn proudly.


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