Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 35: Old Hands

Day 35: Old Hands, originally uploaded by susanvg.

Old hands - they have lived 100 years - performing the myriad of tasks hands do. And now they feel purposeless with no future. I sat with my late husband's mother today and listened to her. At times she spoke with incredible clarity - of feeling that emptiness of nothing to look forward to. At times she drifted into the timelessness of old age, blurring the past and the present.

These hands have washed babies, cooked meals, held cards and caressed. They have scolded, steered a car, selected items while shopping and counted out money. And now they sit idle - except for the wringing of despair as confusion washes over their owner.

As I age will I still be able to focus on moments? Will I be able to find the positives that are left to me as my life diminishes? Perhaps that is what this exercise is all about - learning to live in the slower lane, so when complexity is no longer a choice, I'll be able to live in now.


  1. How poignant - there are tears in my eyes as I read the tribute to your connection to this wonderful woman. At some point, don't we all question the quality of life and living? Yet, the thoughts are usually fleeting.

    The photograph is magnificent and though I sense the worry that you so eloquently put into text, I see accomplishment, confidence and peace in those hands, as well. Thanks for sharing...

  2. The wonderful part of this story is that you are there to listen to her stories. Your listening ear can bring her such great happiness. Aging is difficult but you feel a void for her!

    I applaud you for the beautiful picture and story. Your mother-in-laws' hands are lovely and I appreciate the goodness and service she has provided many others using these hands. Well done...

  3. What a wonderful photo - and you raise some provocative questions.

    I'm sure your visits bring happiness and some peace to your mother-in-law.

  4. The photo caught my eye, but your words touched my heart.