These Hands

Since I love to write, especially for this blog, I notice my hands a lot. They are now a crazy quilt of veins, dark spots, raised tendons, ragged cuticles and rough finger-ends from beading.

But these hands have had good life so far. These hands learned to play a flute, a recorder, a mandolin, a guitar, a banjo, and finally, a ukulele. They can also play a pretty good Hawaiian gourd drum (called an ipu, pronounced ‘ee-poo’).

These hands learned how to bead and make beautiful jewelry. Under my grandmother’s direction, I learned to sew. These hands learned to cook and bake, clean a house, drive a car, and they learned and then taught martial arts. These hands have written hundreds of stories, poems, documentaries, diaries, journals, book lists, manuals and so on

Now these hands are being used in the service of love and commitment. We moved my 92-year old dad in with us this past Monday. Although Dad is as sharp as ever, his body is weaker now, and the chores he used to do are too much for him now. A wise and far-thinking man, he understands these life changes and accepts them. He does not waste time bemoaning his age; he embraces it.

We have made minor adjustments to our lives for this, and it is so much easier than you could imagine. These hands, and the willing hands of my husband and his brother, have moved everything Dad needs into our home. They are also in service of moving things into storage as well.

Just to have a cup of coffee and toast with Dad at our kitchen table to start each day is a blessing and a gift. He admits to sleeping a lot, but so what? After years and years of working two home businesses with my mother, he loved to ski, he loved to dance with my mom, and he loved to read and to keep the house up.

Slowly over time, especially after the passing of the love of his life and partner of 60 years, my mom; he has given up the last few things he did; ski and manage the house. Even small chores became too much, and, as he said to me recently, he stayed in the house just as long as he could.

That worked out fine; we are now a family of three under the same roof, and how wonderful it is. Back when I was a little girl and Dad was starting his photography business, he had a license plate that read “WEE-3.” These hands once traced those raised letters on that licence plate, knowing that they meant Dad, Mom and me.

After all these years, this is “WEE-3” all over again. I couldn’t be happier.


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