These Hands

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.

My hands.
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.
My hands.

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.
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.
My hands.

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.

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22 thoughts on “These Hands

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your hands. I can still use mine, but I’ve been having terrible twinges and pains lately that I think are related to arthritis. And I have excruciating but unexplained pain in my neck (seriously. No pun there.)

    I can’t help it, though: Your post reminds me of these two songs. I hope you don’t think me insensitive to share them, but music sometimes gives me a weird kind of outlet. I’ll be thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know. It started a few years ago, and has gotten worse, though very slowly. Some days it’s just in my joints, others it feels like my muscles are firing off key if that makes sense. Others it’s my nerves. Sometimes its barely there. I will go to the dr at some point….when I have time! (My dad had neuropathy and it was sad to watch him slowly fade. I hope to God I don’t have it.)

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      1. I have it and at this time, its is just affecting my hands which go numb with a lot of use. I had it in my legs and feet but since I lost a little weight, that is no longer a problem. Before we moved, I saw a primary care doc who said that I need to be tested to see how much damage I have to my nerves. I have been dropping a lot of things lately but Danny says that also happens with ADD because I try to do everything so fast and don’t focus. I need to make an appointment with a Neurologist. Sounds like you might have arthritis also. Of course, I am not a doctor, GO TO THE DOCTOR!!!! Wouldn’t you take your kids to the doctor if they had symptoms of something other? Parent that 13 year old self, she is probably pretty pissed at you about now.😂

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  2. This is heartbreaking, yet beautiful. I haven’t ventured further into your posts yet, and I’m not sure how I wasn’t already following you. Reading this, reminds me of my mother. She has been having some issues. Perhaps I will write about her next.

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        1. You know, I try to switch it up but I’m a stay home mom….and it’s what I’ve been for the better part of 18 years. It’s what I know. Mommy, wife, me. I try and write in a way that I think others will find hope in, no matter how bad the story is in reality. Maybe just one human that’s struggling will read it and be able to breathe through their own rather than jump…before they look…like I have. Because I’m good at that. 😝

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            1. I have a love/hate relationship with being home. I feel very blessed to be home, and I know there are a lot of mamas that would give up a lot to do it. I also think I get taken advantage of because I never get to leave my office. It’s 24/7 and with as many kids as I have it can be daunting. I’d give anything most mornings to wake up by myself, drink some coffee and listen to the radio before I change a diaper!

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