:Hands…Posted: July 26, 2008
A while back Kathy sent me a beautiful piece titled Grandma’s hands. Knowing I wanted to share it at some point, the piece has been safely stowed in my wordpress drafts. Today is the day to haul it out of storage.
You see, I’ve hated how my hands are looking the past few years. Osteoarthritis. Yuck. My grandmother had it. My mother had it. I have it. Kelly refused to look at my hands when we were together at the dog shows in Seward. She has it too. As my younger sister, she didn’t want to see what time has in store for her hands. It has been years since someone mentioned my piano hands, my long beautiful fingers. I had them once upon a time. Now the joints are swollen, with several working their gnarly way to being the envy of every wicked witch. In the past few months I find myself using my middle finger, rather than my index finger, to point. I’ve hated my hands.
Yesterday, Jason Steinle, my favorite chiropractor,
from Health and Harmony stopped by the grooming shop to take a look at Dorje. As Jason’s fingers worked their magic, Ginny commented on his hands, his long fingers. The hands of a surgeon. Or a piano player.
Intent on Jason’s fingers and hands, watching them play up and down Dorje’s spine, I held Dorje. Four hands on Dorje. Dorje was calm…very relaxed at times.
When Jason was done, he showed me how to use my hands
on Dorje’s spine.
As images of coral slowly dancing in the water, filled me this morning, I used my hands, my fingers on Dorje’s spine. I rolled his spine, like waves in the ocean, vertebrae by vertebrae. I felt each vertebrae. I felt the spring – or lack of – in each vertebrae. My fingers worked down the spine into the rigidity and back up the spine to the spring. Down again, feeling a bit more spring with each pass. As I swayed the lower half of his entire spine, I felt the flexibility – or lack thereof. I felt this with my hands. I felt this with my fingers. My gnarly fingers. On the hands I’ve hated lately.
Twice a day I will be using my hands, these gnarly fingers on Dorje’s spine. In about a week, Jason’s hands will check my work. Maybe, just maybe between Jason’s Healing Hands and my gnarly finger, Dorje will regain his ability to walk.
And now, only slightly edited for the heathens among us – or within….
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.They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war. They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse. 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.
Several weeks later…
I so much wanted to add her hands to the thread on “Hands”.
Mom died last week, and I got sidetracked, but here is her contribution…