I first wrote this on May 8th, 2010. I have revisited it the last few years, and wondered if I should add to it. But as I reread it today, it strikes me that there is nothing else to say than what I have said. So here it is:
I have been thinking about the hands of a mother. I am thinking about the combination of strength and tenderness in a mother’s hands, the wordless depth of love communicated by a simple touch. I am thinking of the mending, digging, mixing, comforting, holding, fixing, medicating, tickling, baking, praying hands. I think of my mom’s hands, how they told me things when her words did not, how she used them to daily tend to the needs of her family, how when cancer took so much from her, her hands somehow remained familiar and beautiful, and how I miss them. I look down at my own hands and I see hers. At times, my hands seem less skillful than my mother’s. I don’t sew. I haven’t mastered the way she put a band aid on in just the perfect way. I don’t generally have a loaf of bread waiting for my children when they come home from school. But in my own way, I use what I have. And that is what a mother does. And we hope that in the things we do, in the ways we use our hands, we are able to convey the bottomless love we have for our own.