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My Mother’s Hands

May 11th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

My mother is 85 years old. She drives her own car, does her own shopping, gardens, knits, feeds the birds, tends to the chickens (upstate), cooks and cleans, bakes like nobody’s business, and a multitude of other things too numerous to mention that would put most people half her age to shame. She not only does all these things, but she does them all well. She’s an expert in her craft. She is selfless.
Recently, I was at a low point in my life. I’m still struggling but recovering and know that when I emerge from my gray state, I will never be what I once was. I will be changed. A different type of butterfly, muted in color, but I will still carry my damaged wings with certainty and an element of grace.  Wish me luck on my journey from here to there, for indeed, I will be on the move if not in the physical sense, most decidely in the spiritual.
My mother, sensing my profound loss, drove herself the 40 minutes to my house armed with her ammunition of flowering plants to detonate in my then empty garden. I helped of course, half heartedly, but before too long I was actually smiling and feeling better. Nothing like a mother’s love to set things to right. Nature possesses a balm that brings us back to ourselves. She knows this.
When we had finished, we sat in the middle of our private sanctuary enjoying the afternoon sun. She looked down at her wrinkled hands, splotched with age and remarked on their ugliness. I was taken aback and said nothing. I thought about it after she’d gone home. Hers are the hands that had just performed a miracle. Not merely in the finesse she had just distributed throughout my garden, but in her selfless act to replant the something missing in my heart.
Hers are the hands that are never without expression.  She can make something out of nothing. She will take something that you gave her and give it back to you a year later ten times more beautiful. When she arrives, her hands are never empty bringing armloads of groceries you didn’t know you needed. Hers are the hands that lay folded in her lap listening to your every word. The hands that pray when you need it most.
Sometimes, after she’s left, I find a folded bill her hands tucked somewhere where I could find it. I smile and shake my head. She’s something else.
There are hands that are smooth, young, and unblemished by life’s troubles but none are more beautiful than my mother’s hands. She wears the ring of angels. Her touch is golden.

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4 Responses to “My Mother’s Hands”

  1. K. Scot Sparks Says:

    ..’some beautiful things there! Thanks.

  2. magdalena Says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere.

  3. Chip Says:

    Beautifully said. There is absolutely something special and healing about a Mothers love. My mother knew exactly when and what to say to ease any pain, and most importantly, when to just be there. It’s funny because what you wrote brought a vivid memory back to me. I was only about 6 yrs old and had a problem at school. I was a sensitive child and was so troubled at the thought of going back. My mother knew me so well, and knew that to send me to school then would only have made matters worse; instead, she kept me home and preoccupied me with bicycle rides throughout the neighborhood and trips to the store, where I’d always receive a treat. Within a couple of days my anxiety had subsided (somewhat) and my mother gently spoke to me about going back to school. When she saw my apprehension, she informed me that it would be ok, since she visited the teacher (for the life of me I’ll never know how she pulled that one off, since she didn’t seem to leave the house!). She said, go to school, you’ll see everything will be alright; and it was exactly as she had promised. I know all these years later it seems like such a stupid situation and many people would think “hey, send the brat to school, we all have issues and deal with them”, but my mother knew that wasn’t the best for me. Oh, the fond memories.

    Magdalena, you and I are lucky to have been blessed with mothers who “just know” what works for us. I know your mother and she is truly a remarkable individual, but I must say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be able to talk to her just one more time.

  4. magdalena Says:

    Thanks, Sue. I treasure every day I still have her with me.

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