My Mother’s Hands

16 Aug

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My mother cupped the apple gently in her hands. My sister and I sat on the vinyl kitchen chairs, our little legs dangling as our eyes, wide with anticipation, stared at my mother’s hands. Her eyes met ours and we wriggled in our seats and gripped the sides of the chair in excitement. Like a magician, my mother moved her hands, cupping the apple in one hand and covering it with the other. She looked at us again, eyebrows raised as if asking if we were ready. We legs swung like pendulums as she gripped the apple and twisted her hands.

“Voilà!” she cried as she showed us the apple, now in two parts. Our little hands reached out for our portion of the magical apple as our legs finally stilled, anticipation sated.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about mother’s hands. They seemed to possess superhero powers when I was a child. I have inherited her small hands, but not their superpowers. And the little power they possess seems to be failing me.

I first noticed it opening a jar of tomato sauce. My little fingers have always struggled to get a good grip, but it is getting harder and harder to open jars. More recently, the struggle has included resealable packages. Why are they so hard to reopen after squeezing that little zipper closed? I worry about what will fail me next.

My super human mother, now 85, is shrinking. She uses a walker and cuts her apples with a knife now. When I talk to her about how my 51-year-old body is failing me, she merely replies, “It doesn’t get any better, dear.”

 

 

 

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9 Responses to “My Mother’s Hands”

  1. lisaorchard1 August 16, 2016 at 5:33 am #

    Growing old isn’t for sissies, is it? 🙂 I feel your pain. I’m not as strong as I used to be and it makes me sad. I feel like there’s still so much I want to do and I’m afraid I won’t get it all done. 🙂

  2. sallydonnelly11 August 16, 2016 at 8:52 am #

    I like how your post takes you back to being little and in awe of your mom and then to the older you who still is in awe of your mother. Your post reminded me of a facebook reply my 81 year old mom made to her cousin sharing she had a good day. My mom said Good Days are the BEST. With age, we keep going! I laughed at Lisa’s reply to you – not for sissies, indeed!! And at least we have mom’s showing us the way!! Thanks for sharing your honest story.

  3. Lisa August 16, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Whenever something like this happens to me, I find myself blaming the manufacturer for tightening the lids more than they used to, or changing the design of the zipper on the bag to a less easy design. And yes, I realize that does not help me sound any less old! 😉

  4. Alice Nine August 16, 2016 at 11:04 am #

    Beautifully told! Spanning life. Some days, I look in the mirror and wonder why my mom is looking back at me. And I’m finding that growing old in my consciousness of myself doesn’t happen as quickly as the aging of the body, aka, I don’t think I’m old.

    • Adrienne August 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

      The older I get , the more I look like my mother.

  5. Jaana August 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    I love these small things that we carry as memories of our parents!

  6. Dana Murphy August 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    Wow, what a lovely and well-written Slice. This one really resonates with me as I’ve been watching my own mother age recently (she is 72). I feel some aches in my own 41 year old body sometimes, too. I wish I could just slow it all down. It goes too fast.

    • Adrienne August 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks!

  7. Brian Rozinsky August 16, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    Your eye for little details — and big ideas — is awesome, Adrienne. Worrying about what will fail us… that feels familiar.

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