Holy in the Daily

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The Treasure of an Old Woman’s Hands

an old woman's hands

I’d never given much thought to an old woman’s hands until I looked at my mother’s wrinkled ones covered with age marks. Now she is gone and I regret not giving voice to what those hands represented.

Funny how something so ordinary becomes holy when viewed through the lens of thankfulness.

I appreciated the blacktop on the road in front of my house when I started walking again after many months recovering from foot surgery. The blacktop made the road smooth. Uneven ground threatened my balance. The ability to walk and pray without having to constantly look where my foot was placed gave me a freedom I had missed.

Thornton Wilder once remarked, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” How alive are you today? What are your treasures?

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Mc Chavez

    I remember as a catechism kid, how beautiful I thought the Maryknoll sisters’ hands were. I don’t know what it was about them, but this always struck me. I’m thinking maybe it was they represented that I saw most beautiful, for their hands were outwardly simple, sometimes lined with age, and unremarkable in appearance.

    Either way, their hands blessed me, and so did their gracious and unassuming spirit in which they served.

  2. Susan Gaddis

    That is such a sweet memory, Melissa. Thanks for giving more definition to the treasure of hands.

  3. Barbie

    I can, remember every time I crossed the street in downtown Atascadero, my mother’s hand stretched out behind her reaching for mine. I remember her hands well and the ring that she wore. That ring is mine now and it means so much to me. I also remember my grandmothers hands. Always into biscuit dough, or dirt out in her yard as we planted Pansies. I miss the hands of the old women in my life.

  4. Mc Chavez

    “…reaching for mine….always into biscuit dough…”

    Love it!

  5. Susan Gaddis

    That made me wonder if my kids and grandkids will remember my hands and if so, how will they remember them? I agree with Melissa–well said, Barbie.

  6. Donna

    What this evokes in me is the regret you touch on. I wish I had had more intimate, meaningful conversations with my mother, who I lost when I was only 40 (she was 62.) There are so many questions I have now that will ever go unanswered. The value of the regret, though, is that I am able to go deeper with my own daughter – and try not to let opportunities be missed because of my awareness of the preciousness of being in the moment.
    I really appreciate the simplicity, full of richness, of your writing and how it draws us into reflection, reminding us again and again of the “holy in the daily.”

  7. Carolyn

    When I was a young girl, going to our annual family reunions I can remember all of the elderly family members all sitting in a line and my siblings and I, would have to walk by and shake hands with all of them. Their hands were all kind of shiny and so so smooth. I didn’t like touching them. They were hands that had worked hard. Definitely a good memory! Then there were my Grandma’s hands. Wrinkled, veins raised and age spots. I love those hands. I would rub my fingers along her wrinkles and veins and pull up the loose skin and it would stay put. Great memories that I’ll treasure forever! My grandchildren now look at and touch my hands that have veins risen and some loose skin. I know they too are building memories even though they don’t know it! <3

  8. Barbie

    Carolyn, I loved reading your memories here. It really blessed me. :>)

  9. moira

    …..funny how everything changes when you loose the person you love more than any one else in the world….apart from God.
    Suddenly EVERYTHING is seen through a different lens.
    At least this is my experience…..
    Gratefulness just takes center stage, without even being invited…..for which I am eternally ‘grateful’

    It has certainly effected my outlook on life and everything to do with living in this world. My sights are on Eternity while living down here in suburbia…..in gratefulness for my next breath AND my next door neighbour……

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