Posted: December 27, 2014 in Musings, Reflections

I looked at the image of hands, skillfully weaving yarn with a hook. The blanket being crafted was beautiful and as the hook slid back and forth, hooking and curling, it grew with color and texture.

The product though, was dimmed as I noticed the hands. I felt so many emotions as I stared at them. They look just like my grandmother’s hands. The disfigured joints and nodules on the fingers, all in the same places. The way the hands were held, moved and embraced were all reminiscent of hers, so long ago removed from our lives.

I miss her. In so many things I do every day, I see her hands working. And I hear her voice ringing in my head. Peeling apples, stitching a seam, tapping to music. Her life infused mine. These memories flash like snapshots in my mind, like some sort of photo album with pages turning. Phrases playing like favorite recordings come in private audio, just for my ears.

I wistfully work, feeling her presence with me. Grateful for her influence and direction I wonder if I can be like her. Will my words ring in the minds of my children, grandchildren? Will they smile when they hear my whispers in their ears after I am gone? Will the every day activities bring fond memories of influence and training?

The hands are my own. Image of HandsThey leave me a little startled by their image. When did my hands become my grandmothers? When did they become so gnarled? I am saddened by their appearance at first, wanting to cover them with gloves like fine ladies of old. But then I see my grandmother, and I smile.

Perhaps in the memories of a life infused into others, the hands may be beautiful. The crafted things left behind a reminder and the voice attached to them can be alive.

I wonder, can a person determine their legacy? I believe my grandmother did. She lived out her faith in very practical ways and allowed the unseen to be visible. It infused her life and in turn, permeated my own.

My desire is to live the legacy I leave behind. And, with all the tripping and bumbling along the way, I pray laughter comes along for the ride. After all, without the laughter, the hands are painful and ugly. Laughter brings the beauty out of them and glues all the pieces of memories together. I can hear my grandmother’s playful giggles even now.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business
and work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders.
I Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV

  1. Karen VanderZanden says:

    As the mother of this author, I can gratefully attest this is amazingly true… the gifts we receive from our previous generations are most precious… especially the physical similarities that are accompanied by warm memories… thank you, Amy, for sharing the observations of your life… you ALWAYS bring me to happy tears as you remind me how blessed we are in your writings…

  2. Steve says:

    I smiled as I read this. Yes, that was Grandma Brown. I love and miss her, too, and look forward to partying with her in Heaven!

    Thanks for the post!

  3. I too have been thinking about what kind of legacy I’m leaving. My grandma lady me a legacy of garage sales and service work. I hope to leave my children and grandchildren with fun memories but also with a memory of seeing God at work. I look back on a negative legacy from some parts of my family history, plus I’m fighting a terrible legacy from my ex-husband’s side of the family. But all things are possible with God!

  4. Karen Janicke says:

    Love this post, my friend. I also, with age, share these mental wanderings you so wonderfully express. “When did my hands become my grandmothers?” These observations can be so scary at first, but they also bring a closeness to those who have gone before us. That common ground and understanding that takes place only after they’re no longer there to share a knowing smile with. Makes me wonder if they ever imagined what I would be like as an older woman…..if the precious lessons were delivered on purpose, or just them simply living who they were as I observed their approach to life. Funny about the hand thing….I remember a moment with my mother. She was comparing our hands and how young mine looked at the time. Mom saying how hers used to look like that. Must have been HER moment of seeing age show up in her hands!

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