My mom has pretty normal hands. They’re not too big and not too small, with fingernails that are neither short and stubby nor long and elegantly manicured. Her knuckles stand out, as do her veins, and in the winter her skin gets horribly dry.
But to me, they are hands of strength. I’ve seen those hands, chapped and cut and bleeding, folding laundry and doing dishes, serving with endurance. I’ve seen them cleaning and organizing messes they had no part in making, or trimming and weeding the garden.
To me, they are hands of love: hands that soothe a feverish child, that prepare meals, that zip up dresses or style hair, that type emails and pick up phones to advocate for her family and students.
To me, they are hands that create beauty and community, quilting and cross-stitching family treasures, decorating for each season, setting up events to bring people together and deepen friendships.
And when I rubbed my sick boy’s shoulder this morning, I looked down at my hand and saw my mom’s – and I thought, if my hands can bring half the service, love, and happiness to my family that hers have, they’ll be doing well.