My Mother’s Hands

mother's deathWhen I was a little girl, I loved playing with my mother’s rings. I would beg her to take them off so I could place them on my stubby fingers and imagine what my own bejeweled hands would look like someday.

I remember the first time I noticed how different her hands were from mine. No longer smooth and vein-free, the skin of my mother’s hands contrasted starkly with the smooth, barely-lived-in skin that covered my own.

“Look how old your hands are compared to mine!” I announced triumphantly, as though I’d discovered some previously unknown fact of human existence. And then, just to throw a bit of salt on the wound, I mused, “I wonder if my hands will look like yours when I’m old.”

Years later that conversation was repeated, only this time I was the mother, and my own daughter was announcing her own revelation. Continue reading “My Mother’s Hands”