One morning this past weekend Laura asked for "moor milt pease". In opening the new carton I happen to glance down at my hands. I smiled and looked up expecting to see my Mom standing next to me. But no. She wasn't there. I looked down again. Yes, her hands were here, why wasn't she?
Indeed I have my Mother's Hands. Hands that loved and caressed me when I was unhappy because I thought some injustice had been done, or when I was so happy I just had to share it with the most important person in my life. Hands that loved me by getting the stains out of my clothes and matching my socks. Hands that washed upteen dishes that were just used by those same hands to make good, home-cooked meals. Hands that dusted bookcase after bookcase filled with good books those hands collected. Hands that taught me to dig weeds and plant young tomato plants. Hands that taught me to bake for a crowd and enjoy 'planned overs'. Hands that helped me finish projects for school and type term papers that were almost late. Hands that sent me out the door with a hot breakfast on my way to class and a lunchbag packed with whatever else I'd need to eat that day. Hands that are folded in prayer, day after day, year after year as they honored our heavenly Father. Hands that can write grants, console clients and manage several full time jobs and then with joy, hold much younger hands as she takes them for a hike in the woods. Hands that continue to teach us to embrace family, even as our family grows and changes as the years go on. Hands that know just when to do something to help and when it is time to be still. Hands that know what it means to work hard and love gently. Hands that raised a successful family and continues to support them no matter what. Hands that I love more than my own.
But now I realize they are my own. Aging has changed my hands from young, busy ones to older, more experienced, stonger ones. Hands that are just like my Mom's, working at the same things as I raise a family, cook, clean, teach and train, mold and guide. Hands that do so with confidence and the comfort of knowing I'm doing my best because they've been trained by those who have gone before them. Hands that have strength. Hands that have character. Hands that are loving because they are loved.
I hope that when the time comes for Laura to look down in her 40's and see my hands that she'll know the same pride that I feel now. I've finally grown in to my Mom's wrinkled, scarred, tender hands. I hope that I do them justice.