Friday Thoughts

This is my nana, she walked me to school every morning and picked out my clothes. She also cooked everyday, did the laundry, and kept the entire house impeccable. She turned 78 this month and we had a small get together at her house to celebrate. It was then that it hit me, I still have my grandmother and wasn't making use of it. I see elders as a source to wisdom and knowledge, their stories are better than any book you can read. My nana has endured much in her lifetime and yet she is always happy and thankful for what she has. 

She has this incredible love for children that seems to draw kids to her like a magnet, every child that meets her loves her, even those who don't speak Spanish. In elementary school I had a classmate who's grandmother also walked him to school, she spoke Mandarin. Our grandmothers somehow became friends even though neither spoke much English. At the time I thought it was funny, now I think it's simply wonderful. 

I had written this post a week ago now but never felt it was complete enough to post. This morning I was going through my inbox and found this email that I had forgotten completely, I read it again and it brought tears to my eyes. It is truly one of the best emails I have ever read. Thank you to whoever wrote it.

"I was privileged to take a photo of "Five Generations of Women" shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year.

The photo shown below, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece and Great-Niece.  While I can't take credit for the idea, I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar, which turned out so beautiful it became a special keepsake, prior to her father's passing. 

A must read through to the end please!!!!!!

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

"They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma.  I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face." 

Isn't it beautiful?

Happy Friday, and have a wonderful weekend.


Anonymous said...

OMG! This post is so touching, and I am such a softy so naturally I got all teary-eyed. I think your nana is so cute. You can feel her happiness radiating from the picture. And the five generations of hands reminds me of my family. There are mainly women in my family, and when my cousin had two little girls, our newest generation, it reminded me that their little hands are a part of this picture!

Thx Anaiz!

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ah, this is truly so incredibly touching. My grandmother passed away when I was just a few months old, so I never knew her, but it always makes me happy to hear stories about her. :)

Indie.Tea said...

How beautiful indeed.
I grew up with one of my grandmothers, in the same household, and we were very close...

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story and pictures, they are amazing!

Leah said...

What a precious post and what a precious Nana!


Rosie Unknown said...

This post is so beautiful!

You are so lucky to have such an amazing grandmother, and I'm sure she feels very lucky to have such a wonderful granddaughter.

Kristin said...

Thanks for making me cry. HA!