Her hands

Grandmother’s hands are no longer swollen. For the first time in well over a year, they look normal, except for the exquisite frailness. Already they look lifeless, clenched tightly around nothing, but they are of normal size again. When I saw them last night, I thought of all the things those hands had done for me.

Grandmother sewed clothes for me until I was 10 or 12. She painstakingly sewed Barbie clothes for my Barbies, incredibly detailed. She made quilts for my dolls. She made quilts for my first 6 children. And the stitching in the last one is hideously horrible and crooked and I think I love it the best because she tried so hard and it was the last thing she ever sewed, a quilt for my 6th born child.

She made food: fried chicken, pecan pie, cakes, biscuits. I can still remember the smell her ancient kitchen aid mixer made when she used it. Yes, I said smell. It’s ok, not a mistake. Little green lima beans. Grits, with bacon crumbled up in them, that I ate while I watched Saturday morning cartoons.

No one else ever loved me like that. And I sit and cry and wait, and think. She kissed me not long ago. An act so unexpected, it took me awhile to realize what had happened. I leaned over to hug her before I left, though she had long since stopped responding to hugs, and she kissed my cheek. A final benediction.

7 thoughts on “Her hands

  1. So glad to here that they’re no longer swollen [why does that sound vaguely rude written down?]

    Smells can be so evocative, I love those sort of memories.
    Best wishes

  2. My grandmother made clothes for my Barbie dolls also! They were so special to me.

    {{HUGS}} sweetie. I know this is hard for you.

  3. {{{hugs}}} I wish there was something to say that would make it all better. Like I said somewhere before, we went through this last fall with Bill’s grandma. I just told him to remember what his grandma was like before she got Alzheimer’s and hold onto that memory.

  4. “No one else ever loved me like that.” That really got me, Cass – because, I knew love like that, too. Her name was Clare Mae Roper, and she meant the world to me. The whole entire world. She ‘left me’ eleven years ago, and sometimes still today, it hurts like it was this morning. I can’t stop crying after reading this and I’m positively aching for you, remembering that pain, and knowing you’re smack dab in the middle of it.

    I love you.

  5. ((Cass)) I’m glad you have great memories. We get to hold onto those for now.

    As I watched my father before being taken off life support…it was the waxy almost lifeless look of his leg that was exposed that really got to me.

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