Grandmas Hands

Grandmas Hands Chapter 1

My grandmother always greeted me with ‘Oh Madison it’s so good to see you, grandma loves you very much’ I could always depend on her smile and warm greeting. When I cried she held me when I couldn’t sleep or had bad dreams she would add a prayer. It wasn’t until I was 10 years old that I started to notice grandma’s hands. They had wrinkles and she would never wring them instead she would rub them or open them wide to stretch each finger. I still did not give it that much thought until I became a mom.

Once I became a mom I realized everything my hands do, wash everything that has a surface, change diapers, and bathe my children, my hands stay busy. By the time I had my children my grandmother had reached the age beyond being called a senior she is considered an elder. Over time her hands changed, they became more wrinkled, age spots and translucent in color. Lackluster comes to mind, her knuckles stuck out more and she no longer stretched them nor did she rub them they were too sore for either. I would reach for her hand and gently rubbed them for her, just as she used to do for me when I had a boo-boo, or if my head hurt she would gently stroke it.

One day I asked her about her hands, she smiled and said: “My hands have put in their time without the same conveniences we have now. I had a wringer washer rather than an automatic washer. I hung my clothes out on the line instead of throwing them in the dryer. After taking the clothes off the line they needed to be ironed. Floors were washed on hands and knees there were no Swiffer mops, no vacuums. I used a dust mop for the hardwood floors and a broom for the tile. I took in laundry and babysat children as well as taking care of the children I had. My hands were always busy. My mind was always busy. There was never enough time to be bored there was no time to complain I just kept at what was set before me. The time now seems to stand still. These days it there is so many that have time to complain. Their hands need to get busy I earned every wrinkle, age spot, and aching joints. I earned it with my hands, feet and aching back. I would not want it any other way.”


One day she surprised me when she said: “Madison I want to tell you something but you have to promise me not to tell anyone until I have passed on from this world.”

I said: “Of course grandma you can tell me anything. I will keep any secret you have to share with me.”

“My dear Madison you truly have to understand that it’s very important you cannot say anything until I have passed on from this world even though it may be shocking and you believe it’s important for others to know. Promise me Madison you will keep this secret no matter what.” She said

“I promise Grandma,” I said

It was late so we agreed to finish this conversation tomorrow. I come over to grandmas every day to be sure she is up and about and make sure she has taken her meds. Tomorrow we made plans to have lunch together. Grandma said it’s a long story and she will tell it to me from the beginning.

7 thoughts on “Grandmas Hands”

  1. Looking forward to the rest of the story…

    I had a similar conversation about my mother’s hands. Noticing similar changes, etc. Now I look at my own hands and they are my mother’s hands… the older woman’s hands. 🙂

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