Worn, wrinkled, spotted, knobbed hands on top of my equally worn, wrinkled, and smudged bible pray and pray some more. My filagreed wedding band still has leftover pie dough caked in its delicate caverns. There’s just a hint of dirty, dinged stain settled into the creases of my fingers. Blue, ropey veins wriggle over and under, pumping life into these well-worn hands, begging and beseeching blessings on my children and grandchildren.
Our COVID lives have forced us to take stock, slow down, and reconfigure what is essential. For me, it’s connectedness: connecting to long distance children and grandchildren, shoring up validating friendships, reinforcing healthy boundaries, and pouring loving gratitude into my husband’s heart. And I’m also connecting more deeply with myself, my truth.
I look in the mirror and laugh, admiring my smiley lines, my growing grooves, and my plumper cheeks. This big-eyed face is more alive than it’s ever been! Gone is the naive smooth neck of youth. But oh, the joyous contentment of a life well-lived!
I’m grateful for my caloused, hard-working hands. I’m proud of every spotty patch, every arthritic lupus-dinged joint, each triumphant story-telling wrinkle!
As the singer songwriter Brandi Carlile so poetically says,
“All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am.”
How long has it been since you held your loved one’s praying hands?
I am young in years and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know. I thought, “age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.” But it is spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.