this is the picture the entry below references:
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
There are a few pictures of me that I really do like. This is one of them. Actually, it is the only favorite one I currently have in my possession. I was four. I was wearing my favorite sweatshirt. I was very happy. See?
It was my dearly departed maternal grandmother’s favorite picture of me. She had it inside a locket she wore on her necklace. I think my mother still has the locket, for safe keeping, with other very special mementos.
Can I be found in that little girl from then? Is there a part of that little girl from then in me now? Yes to both questions. I am still the same in many ways.
I experience happiness and joy the same now as then. Last night, a smidgeon of that giggly ecstasy broke through when I got the wonderful news about the Heartsong Award. I still chatter on ceaselessly, wearing out the ear canals of just about anyone who will listen to me. I still am a klutz, tripping over my own feet and sometimes losing my balance for no apparent reason.
When I first came upon the picture last year, I scanned it into my computer and e-mailed it to several friends. Most said that they could still see little resemblance. One said that my hands have not changed a bit, other than they are now slightly larger.
I peered closely and she is right, my hands do look remarkably the same then as now. I did not realize that could be so. Somehow, this seems important to me. I am not sure why.
I do know that hands tell lots about a person. I come from a line of seamstresses. My mother went to work at the shirt factory her mother worked in, within a week of graduating high-school. My mother told me that if ever I went to work in a sewing factory, she’d break every one of my fingers. I believed her.
My grandmother seemed like such a very old lady to me, as a small child. I loved her very much. One day I told her that I could tell she was an old person. Know how? Cuz she got scruchee skin, I pronounced, rubbing the back of her hand carefully. I hope I age as gracefully, lovely as she did.
My mother’s hands are fine, slender fingers with naturally pretty nails that are strong. Her cool palm held my forehead when I would be sick. Her fingers move nimbly about, threading needles, kneading dough, doing a multitude of tasks.
But, years of labor have curved her fingers, leaving her knuckles swollen and arthritic. She has beautiful hands; hands that raised the four year old child pictured to the woman who uses her hands to write/type now. Her skin is only slightly scruchee.
My hands are scarred with numerous tiny creases from untold, unremembered cuts, scrapes, and such. Recently I went through an elaborate fingerprinting process so that I could be cleared for a background check in order that I might volunteer with a very special segment of our population, those with mental retardation. I was quite fascinated with all the whorls, swirls, interruptions, creases, and the like.
I don’t know what I would do without my hands. I’ve grown rather attached to them over the years. I hope I might keep them always. Even when I am old and they are scruchee.