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My Love’s Hands

By @Crittergirl98

They were once soft hands.

They were always clean hands, never rough or crusty. They brought music out of the piano at our church. And it was always beautiful music. Those hands were the first things about her that I fell in love with.

I remember how wonderfully perfect her hand fit in mine. It was small, swallowed by my rough, callused one. But she never seemed to mind. She’d squeeze mine tight as we walked along the streets. Her little hand would rest on my shoulder when we went dancing, the other interlocked in mine as we swayed and swept the dance floor of our favorite dance place.

I remember this, too. Her nails were always perfect. Filed with no dirt underneath them. When I put an engagement ring on her finger, I remember the maroon color her nails were painted. I wasn’t able to focus on much else.

I can recall vividly how her hands clenched mine when our son was born. She screamed, and while that was horrible, what I remember best was losing all blood flow to my fingers. I didn’t know such small hands could hold such strength. After he was born, I remember her brushing his dark brown hair back with one finger, her hand shaking in awe and amazement.

After that her hands were usually dirty. She no longer had time to make music. A boy is a handful, and as ours grew, so did the messes. We never had anymore, but he was enough. Mud pies on the kitchen floor, dusty sports uniforms, wet shoes, dirty dishes, the piles of laundry in the hampers. Her hands, like mine, grew calloused. I think they were more beautiful that way.

The day our son got married, I remember her hands shaking like the orange and red leaves that were clinging to the trees that sunny October morning. They shook the whole service, but stopped as she hugged her new daughter-in-law. She wove her hands with mine as we swayed to the music in the reception hall, and I loved holding the hands that were now work-worn. Love-worn.

The hands weren’t quite as busy now, with only me to care for. They were never completely idle, for now she had time to crochet things for people, like her new grandbaby. She cooked and baked for shut-ins, and bake sales at church. And never had they looked more beautiful than when they were serving others.

They were wrinkled, those hands. They’d grown thin, and veiny. They couldn’t grasp mine as hard as they used to, but I still loved to have them in mine. They grew still. They often sat in her lap, as frail as the rest of her body.

And then came the day when her hands stopped moving altogether. They laid, crossed over her chest. I longed for her worn, wrinkled fingers to interlock with my own tired hand one more time. To caress my face and hug me around my middle.

But I know those hands are renewed, beautiful and soft once again. She’s in the presence of her Lord, making beautiful music with her hands once again.

I soon, my hand will be in my love’s once more.

© Anna Augustine 2018   

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