The Powtown Post

Stories and photos from Powell River, BC.

This Mother’s Day, stop and look at your Mom’s hands

Posted by on May 6, 2016

Share this!


Think about your Mom.

Some people, maybe most, say a mom is the heart of the family. I tend to disagree. They are the hands of the family.

Days ago, my mom was ill. She is 83 plus years old and was having trouble breathing; she was coughing, becoming flushed.

I took her in. We waited, and waited, but this is not a criticism of our health care system. PR Hospital was amazing; they were on it. Tests, beeps, screens, needles and warm blankets. I watched her struggle, still stoic, still fixing her blouse beneath the wires.

Powell River General Hospital / Photo:

Powell River General Hospital / Photo:

Then it was what we waited for. The physician, the God, the helper, the end of this wait. She was gentle. She asked, “May I see your hands?” Mom politely held them out.

“I see by your history, you have had decades of Rheumatoid Arthritis; do you see the crooked fingers, veins and thinning? RA can be hard on a heart.”

My mom smiled in agreement, and still tried to concentrate on her breathing. I was jubilant with the arrival of this professional, this extremely smart person, this experience, and this knowledge. Oddly, my mind itself got defensive. I wanted to burst, but my grateful spirit held me back.

I wanted to say, I wanted to shout, “Do you know these hands gingerly rolled pastry on a pie dish, that they folded fitted sheets with military precision, they signed questionable report cards, and wrapped wax paper around a one slice sandwich of bologna? Do you realize those hands made a fist at a lippy teenage girl caught with a mickey of Southern Comfort? That they put their cold selves on a feverish head, while holding a throw up bucket steady?”

The doctor was kind. “I feel a bit of a tremble in your hands.”

Hands / Photo: chamywak on Flickr

Hands / Photo: chamywak on Flickr

Of course. Those hands always trembled. With pride, with clapping at a kids concert, with waving good-bye to a grandchild, with rewinding precious memories on an old VCR. Those hands wrapped gifts endlessly at Christmas, they wiped tears, and yes, they wrote cheques.

Mothers have good hearts, but what I won’t forget in my lifetime is my mom’s hands. They show their experience, they show illness, softness. Her grip proves her loyalty and her love; reachable, strong.

Her handwriting shows her elegance. When my mom is gone, I will picture those hands. I will place that memory in my mind, and maybe my mom will never really be out of reach.

So, wish your mom a happy Mother’s Day on Sunday, and if you can, hold her hands. If you can no longer hold her hands, picture them, close your eyes, and remember all the loving things they did for you.

Nancy Dietrich

Nancy Dietrich

Nancy moved from Vancouver to Powell River 23 years ago with her husband and two children. She has never looked back since! She loves the lake, the ocean, and the people.
Nancy Dietrich

Related posts: