Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Mother's Hands

Remarkable contrivances hands.  They help you to scratch, eat, clean, write, and about a million other things.  Just for a minute hold your hands up and look at them in the light.  Now stop and think, what do YOU do with your hands?

The child was about 7, nervous, speaking in his Primary group at church.  (Primary is like Sunday School for children of 3 to 12 years of age).  He stumbled along in his speech for a minute, and then it happened.  He looked at the group and froze.  Full on panic filled his young features.

Before someone in the group could rescue him his Mother was by his side.  I had not noticed that she was there silently observing, and sitting with a group of young children.  A long standing Mom myself of two beautiful daughters my memory quickly reached backwards.  I remembered the way that I had handled such terror.

Then an ordinary thing made me catch my breath, and tears welled up in my eyes.  This young, lovely Mom did not rush in and take over her son's speech.  He looked up at her with love, she looked back at him with love.  Then she put her hand on the boys shoulder and just stood next to him.

Encouraged by his Mother the boy finished the talk.  When he stumbled a bit at the very end she did lean down and whispered the last words to him. 

I was playing the piano for the children to sing.  I had a very difficult time playing the next songs.  My eyes were misted, my soul filled.

My Mother is 95 years old.  She weighs around 95 pounds.  At 5 ft. 6 in. that is far too thin.  She is frail, she is weary, she is longing to return to my Papa who passed away 23 years ago. 

Last night I went to visit Mama at bedtime.  Living in a Retirement Center she doesn't live far from her family.  She was already in bed slightly asleep.  I awakened her gently.  As always she smiled up at me.  I happen to know that I AM her favorite child.  At least until one of her other two children are around.  Then THEY are her favorite children. 

The bedtime ritual that our family practiced has become reversed.  For all those years that Mama would come to OUR bedsides, sing, tell stories, pray, we now come to HER  bedside, and sing, read scriptures, and pray.  At first I thought it was to comfort her, and I suppose that there is a little measure in that.  I have come to realize that comfort flows to ME as I tuck her in.

I use some comforting oils on her hands, her forehead.  I massage those Mother's hands.  They are so frail now.  The veins stand out like mighty highways on the land.  The skin is elegantly wrinkled about the tiny bones.  After I massage her hands she touches my cheek.  At 57 she still brings me peace, just by touching my face with those hands. 

I sing to her, I pray for and about her, and then I prepare to leave.  I hug her, and we don't want to let go.  The everydayness of life invades our quiet oasis of peace and love.   I leave reluctantly but gratefully knowing that there are people there that will care well for her. 

As I drive home I think of how those hands, comforted me, held me, guided me, and a few times chastised me by swatted by backside.  My soul fills with joy at the exquisite beauty of a Mother's hands!

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