Without thought, I looked at my hands each day. I typed, played the piano, washed dishes, sorted and folded laundry…held little hands. One morning, though, I saw not my hands, but my mother’s hands. What happened to my soft, smooth hands—the ones with only one joint larger than the others? (It was the result of a jammed finger from a childhood softball game.)

That morning I saw only wrinkled, creased fingers with knobby, swollen knuckle joints. Were they really my hands? How long had I had purple veins on the tops of my hands?  I looked away from the brown age spots. What happened to the strong, firm hands that changed diapers, picked up toys, and caressed the foreheads of my young children?

Soon my daughters’ hands will look like mine, and they will wonder how time passed so quickly. My granddaughters’ hands will change over time, too. So, for now, I’ll cherish each moment my timeworn hands get to hold their beautiful young hands—those smooth, soft hands with the beautiful, many-colored nails.


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