These are my hands.
They are small and dry and wrinkly.
They've always been this way.
As a young girl, none of my friends would hold my hands.
They told me that I had "old lady hands" and would laugh at me. Often, they made me cry.
So, I've never really liked my hands, and my sausage-like fingers.
It didn't help that I bit my nails, either.
By the time my daughter was about 12 or so, her fingers were longer than mine, by about an inch.
She has lovely and delicate hands.
I don't like to draw attention to my hands, and quite often over the years, I've even forgone wearing my wedding rings.
But, as one does when they get older, I started to forget about my hands....though occasionally I'd see a picture of them, and have a momentary pause.
A few months ago though, as some friends and I were turning 50, we planned a reunion for all of the girls that we had gone with to elementary school.
One girl was unable to make it, but sent a message to me via another friend.
She said, "Tell Barb that my hands have caught up to hers, and I always think of her, when I look at them."
That gave me a moment's pause again.
I thought that was an awkward thing to be remembered by.
But then I thought...
These are the hands that my husband loves.
The hands that held his at our wedding almost 30 years ago.
The hands that held my babies and wiped away their tears.
The hands that stroked my dad's hands and face as he slipped away a couple of months ago.
The hands that paint and create and take pictures and write and type and garden and sometimes cook ( but not too often bake )....
and snap my fingers and wash my hair and scratch my leg and brush my teeth and pet animals and rub my husband's back and brush my fingers through my hair and put on lipstick and peel an orange and eat a baked potato and prime rib dinner and drive my car and...
They are the hands that will hold a bouquet, when I stand up as my daughter's matron of honour at her wedding in October.
And I am reminded of all of the joy and love that my hands have brought me over the years, and I realize that I love them right back, afterall.