I had a dream last night.
I was standing in my kitchen and I dropped a casserole dish. As I watched it fall to the floor it’s shape became that of a heart. It’s rounded edges were thick. My reflection hit the floor and as it shattered I looked down at my hands. They faded as I reached for the shards and I was helpless…
My hands are, much like the rest of me, failing.
Hands that held my fathers, as we walked to the coffee shop and where they caught me as I fell to my knees.
Hands that reached for my mother when I was afraid.
These hands have seen the worst of me.
They stole. They begged. They wiped my tears.
Unable to carry the burdens of my life at times, my hands have held my face as I sobbed.
Fists tight. They have fought for me, battered and bruised.
These hands have tried to protect me, even when I would not.
My hands have washed my beautiful children. Reading them stories as my hands held them close. These hands have tended to their cuts and scrapes, and wiped their noses. Fingers that once braided my daughters hair are a tangled mess. Hands that helped my children to grow and learn are now keeping me from them.
They have caressed my husbands face, they have held fast in his arms.
My hands are tired. They just don’t feel the same.
Ever defiant to what my heart feels, my hands have always held fast to what I could not. At times I have wanted to let go, my hands were strong when I was broken.
Hard working. These hands have planted and toiled, made meals, washed clothes. At times barely scraping by for the family I love more than life itself, and now…they are shaky.
The simple things are getting harder to do. I can’t open juice for my children. Holding a cup, folding a towel…such matters are whittled with frustration. Breaking the seal on my aspirin bottle feels like I’m only reminding myself that I can’t do it, or anything else on my own. My pots and pans though dry, feel slippery to my finger tips, and I’m worried I’ll burn myself. I drop my phone. I can’t feel it in my hands sometimes. I feel like my hands are betraying me. Once a joyous event, bathing my little one has become a chore as I am ever aware that he could go under the bubbly water and I would struggle to help him. I slam my cup down as though my hands have forgotten how to be gentle. Things that should be second nature are now things I have to work at, do over, clean up.
Often I used my hands to write of love, life, and to make works of art, create beauty, plant. Now, my hands, much like the rest of me, are failing.