Remembering Hands

By Ann McClellan

One day recently I was at a meeting, and I looked to the woman who was sitting beside me as she took notes.  I stopped frozen in my thoughts.  My colleague had my mother’s hands.  Her hands had long beautiful ringed fingers with manicured fingernails shimmering with pink polish.  She wore some bangle bracelets which sang a little song with every slight movement.  Her hands looked soft and well moisturized.  I remember holding my mother’s hands on many occasions (I was the youngest child and often sat with Mom in the old station wagon while we waited for my brother and sister to finish their activities).  Her hands were the softest and smelled of lovely lotion.  I used to play with her hands in church or when we were sitting in carpool lines waiting for my siblings.  Her hands played piano for me while I practiced my dancing. Those hands wiped my tears when I skinned my knee. Those hands prepared many delicious meals and taught me how to use a sewing machine.  Those hands were love.

I remember my father’s hands were strong and useful. He wore his grandfather’s wide gold wedding band from the 1800’s.  Dad’s hands prepared tasty Saturday hot dog lunches for me and worked hard in our yard to create a wonderful place for us kids to play. His hands taught me patience as we fished and tied flies together.  His hands tucked me in bed each night with a kiss.  Those hands taught me to play gin rummy and cribbage.  Those hands edited my papers and encouraged me with great applause through all my attempts of new things. Those hands were love.

I remember my sister’s hands were always there to put a band aide on my scratched up elbows. Her hands taught me how to brush my teeth and how to set the table properly.  Her hands taught me how to make chocolate chip cookies.  Her hands helped me get dressed and curl my hair.  Those hands helped me learn to serve others as we helped our neighbors.  Those hands taught me to drive as we discovered the world together. Those hands were love.

What other hands do I remember?   I remember teachers’ hands which gently corrected my papers and patted me on the back with encouragement. I remember a neighbor’s hands that let me help care for their new born puppies and then paid me a few dollars when I raked their yard.   I remember the hands of Sunday School teachers who taught me to pray.   So many wonderful hands were a part of my life as I grew up.  Think back to the hands which have been a part of your life and molded you into the person that you are today.  Be thankful and let them know that their loving hands made a difference!  May you also use your hands to teach, help, serve, love, and encourage others!

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IT’S SPRING

It’s Spring!

April 7, 2016

“Perhaps it’s because April is so full of dazzling sunlight. Perhaps it’s because the earth seems greener. Perhaps it’s because resurrection is this month’s signature. Is this why our spirits soar? Now the season of darkness diminishes as the season of Light increases in strength…….This is the season of renewal and replenishment……Take comfort and joy in simple springtime rituals of rejuvenation.”                                                                                          Selected writings from  April in Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

As the sun warms our Colorado days, green leaves begin to poke themselves up through the hard cracked soil.  It’s always so exciting when we spot the first crocuses in bloom and the delicate daffodils bobbing their cheery yellow heads in the cool breezes. Spring is upon us!  Hooray!  We have made it through another cold dreary winter.  And now, spring’s optimism fills us as we embrace another chance for renewal and reminder of Vivaldi’s dance of the Seasons.

If you are able, take some time today to experience nature all around you. Take a walk to soak in the sounds of spring with the chirping birds, the gentle spring breezes, the creaking boughs bursting with buds.  Sit on a bench and observe the robin carrying a wiggly worm, bunnies playing a great game of chase, the deer families enjoying the cool shade of a tree.  Soak in spring as you create solace for yourself; our lives intersect with the hope of longer days and warmth in our souls! Be thankful because it’s spring!

Submitted by Ann McClellan

 

Please enjoy the springtime video!  Click on this link and make sure the sound is on.             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFWQgxXM_b8 

Grandma Nell

Grandma Nell confirmed for me that dying at home is not the worse thing one can imagine. At my last visit with Grandma Nell during the Christmas holidays she told me what she told everyone who would listen, “Pray that I do not have to go live somewhere else”. Her message was sometimes hard to accept as she had fallen once and broken her hip and it appeared that she had a hard time getting around her home. Questions came to mind about how she fed herself and how she would remain safe in her home with some uneven flooring. And yet, Nell expressed with clarity, “I want to live out my days here in my home”. She got her wish as she was admitted to the hospital a couple of weeks ago and died this week after asking her doctor to not perform any “heroic efforts”. As far as I can tell, Nell did not suffer any more than she was willing to suffer. She most likely suffered more than I would want to suffer. Most important, she was able to direct her goals for the end of life to her doctor and family. Nell will be missed, but she gave me and others a great gift. The gift was her recipe for making Hershey Chocolate Cake with the added information given this Christmas, “Add a little sour cream”. I was not able to make her funeral today, but I plan on making her cake again. I always thought she was the richest person in the world because she had a large box of Hershey Chocolate bars sitting on the counter in her home. Thanks grandma Nell for speaking what was on your mind, for staying mentally sharp all of your days, for your cards and calls on my birthday and wedding anniversary, for your care for Papa Mack as he lived out his days on this earth, and for your recipe. May you rest in peace with all those who have gone before us to be with our God. You will be missed.

From Your Grandson With Love,  Khan