I wrote this in 1982 for my Granny. I had heard so many stories about her life. How she sacrificed to keep her family together after the death of my Grandfather. Each of her children held her in the highest esteem. She was a wonderful woman. I adored her. So I wrote this as a tribute to her using the stories I remembered hearing from her 8 girls and 1 boy. She is my life's hero.
Was there ever anything more blessed than my Mama"s hands? Often I would watch them without ever realizing how very precious they were;
I remember Mama's hands upon my head as she brushed back my childish tresses; sometimes with soft tender strokes and other times as though to jerk each single strand right out of my head;
I remember Mama's cool touch upon my fevered brow; the worry in her face as she desperately nursed a failing child back to health;
I can still see Mama's fingers waving furiously before my nose as she scolded me for a youthful prank; I remember well the painful warmth of a sternly placed Mama's hand upon my backside;
Day after day I watched my Mama's sweet hands, scorched in redness from the many hours of near slave labor she performed at home and away; Isn't it strange that we think Mama will never tire out?
Poor Mama, how very exhausted she must have been; Daylight till dusk and we never even noticed;
Mama didn't have time for fun then but I remember how much fun it was for us watching her preparing snow "ice cream". It made the cold, bitter mornings around the radiator a little more bearable to know that the rare treat of snow ice cream was so near;
As for play, well, Mama didn't have time for much play; I wonder what kept Mama going all those years? I wonder what made her smile? What gave her joy? In those early years, did Mama ever get to play? Oh, how I remember, after we were all grown, gathering at Mama's house for special "BINGO" nights; Mama loved playing Bingo; We played for pennies and Mama made us pull down the shades when we played; gambling was illegal then. We would often, "accidentally" forget to cover one of our numbers just to see Mama's face when she won; My Mama was a winner;
Later in life, Mama did have a chance to find joy; Nothing brought her more pleasure than tracing a road map for the best highways and quickest routes as she traveled in all directions.
Although, she never learned to drive a car, Mama was a good navigator.
I remember Mama's hands as she held my child in her arms for the first time: She never seemed to tire of us, not even our children;
As I look back I believe one of the greatest joys in Mama's life might have been creating; She created quilted masterpieces for each of us; She spent hours tying tiny pieces of her old hose together to form one small throw rug; It took her months of knitting to complete a colorful and beautiful afghan;
I can still see Mama's little rapidly moving fingers as she tatted the delicate threads of her dining room table cloth; Fancy things were few then but we had the loveliest lace tablecloth anyone could ever want made by my Mama's hands; A few time when no one was looking, I would drape it around myself and pretend I was a beautiful bride; How little did I think then about the nimbleness in Mama's hands;
Dear God, Thank you for allowing us memories, tho oft times painfully remembered. Never would I trade them for anothers; Thank you, Father, for my Mama's hands and the story they tell; Your hands tell a story too, don't they? Like my Mama's your hands suffered, sacrificed and loved; only your hands were so much more than even my Mama's; Some day, Lord, I will see your outstretched hands and right behind them will be my Mama's hands reaching out to me. Just like they were so many times, saying "Welcome home, my child."
Sometimes I wrap Mama's afghan, the one she made just for me, around myself and hold it close while I remember Mama.