Every day Dad's aide comes into her room to speak with her. Mom noticed the aide's manicure and complimented her nail color - blue. She asked her where she purchased the polish. She had to have THAT color. The aide asked if she really wanted blue nail polish. Not too many people my mother's age opt for blue nails. Mom insisted, "It's pretty. I want my nails to look like yours."
The following day our kind aide got to work and applied the polish, along with a topcoat of sparkles to liven things up a bit. She's shown her manicure to anyone who looks her way - the gardener, the neighbors, our cat - anyone. Dad's nurse came in to speak with her about Dad and up flew the hands, "See my nails. They were just done. I love my nails!"
But this photo isn't simply about a manicure. You are viewing a lifetime of stories. These are the hands that cared for her mother and father. The ones that worked on a comptometer and later a calculator to support herself and her family. Fingers that made beautiful music as she played her violin. Hands that held me as a baby and consoled me when my husband passed. Her hands are a gift.
The rings she wears tell stories as well. Her school ring reminds her of her life on the debate team, of times with her best friend, and of a nun who acted as a second mother to her. Cherished memories that she's taken with her all of her life. Not merely a piece of jewelry, but contained within this little ring are memories that shaped her.
She wears her wedding ring on her right hand. Her left hand so tiny that it slips off. A few weeks ago she panicked when she realized the ring slipped off overnight. Mom looked up at me and said, "Does this mean he's going to die today?" A gentle search of bedclothes uncovered the ring. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Today her tiny fingers reach over to caress Dad's cheek as she sits next to his hospital bed. She knows what's happening. I leave the room so she has her time with the man she loves. These are sacred moments never to be recaptured. Every moment matters as she conveys the love lying deep within her heart.
I love my mother's hands.