Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grandma's Hands

"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 beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK. Finally not 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 am 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. '

'Have you ever looked at our hands, I mean REALLY looked at them?' she asked. 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 them,' I said, as I tried to figure out the point she was making. Grandma smiled and related this story:

'Stop and think a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your life. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools that 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 away 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 held my new born son. Decorated with my wedding ring they showed the world that I was married and loved by someone special. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and my spouse. They held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists when I did not understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else works really well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and still continue to fold in prayer.

These hands are the mark of where I have been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly these will be the hands that God will reach out and take when He leads me home. And with His hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hand to touch the face of Christ.'

I have never looked at my hands again in the same way. But I remember God reached out and took my Grandma's hands and led her home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my husband and children, I think about Grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

Someday, I too want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face."

Grampa and Gramma Yeasley

I really loved this when I read it and it reminded me so much of my own grandmother Alice Grace Godfrey Colberg Yeasley. How's that for a name? She was the only blood line grandparent I ever knew. My Grampa here is Jacob Yeasley whom she married when my dad was an adult. They were both so wonderful and I have such fond memories of them and loved them both so much. We would go to North Dakota about every two years to see them. That is simply not enough time to spend with your grandparents. I never wanted to live far from our family but sadly it seems to have been my lot in life. Hopefully we can change that someday!


Julie Harward said...

That was beautiful. I have often thought of hands and all they do. I remember my mama's could i ever forget them..or her! ;D

Tina said...

Such a beautiful post! I loved it! I thought of my mother as I read it, as her hands are still tenderly touching life. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Marie said...

Bonnie, like you I lived far away from my Grandparents when I was a girl. I endeavoured to make life different for my own children and gave them every opportunity possible to spend time with their grandparents, even living with my parents on several occasions. Sadly since the Divorce my children never visit my mother at all, except for my eldest two. They do however spend a lot of time with their step grandparents, which live the same distance away. It is a small community. That breaks my heart even more than the fact that they have nothing to do with me. What was my mother's crime? Lovely post as always. xxoo

Sister Susie said...

I only knew one of my grandmothers. My grandfathers and other grandmoter had already passed away by the time I was 5.
Gramma Tommie lived until she was 81. She had American Indian in her. She had the well defined nose that you see in portraits of older Indians. However, at her age of 81 she had less gray hair than did my mother at the age of 40! Amazing statistics of the human body, age,
and life that has seen so many years. I hope I can be the testimony they have been.

Love to you and yours,

Janet said...

What a beautiful story. Makes me think of my Grandma. I miss her so much but I have such fond memories of her. She was such a kind person that was always giving.
I know what you me ablut being so far from the grandkids. We just got back from Georgia and we miss those two little ones a lot. We did get to see the other two today which was such a great surprise.


Caroline Craven said...

I loved reading that. Whem my maternal grandfather died back in the late 70's, one of my cousins did his life sketch and included a reference to my grandfather's tough hands that repaird heavy farm equipment and were often caked in grease and grime, but also how he took particular pride in cleaning them up so he could tenderly bless the little babies that Heavenly Father sent to his home. It was very touching and all these years I've remembered my Grandfather's hands. Wonderful post.