Tuesday, December 16, 2008

these hands


I don't have pretty hands. It's a fact. I've come to accept it. They have always been wrinkly, like I just got out of the bath, and my nails are often chipped and black from working with silver. I usually hide them in my pockets when I am feeling self conscience.

I tried getting fake nails to glam them up a bit, but they just looked like wrinkly hands with thick plastic ends. I spent the first day of my honeymoon ripping them off.

I inherited my ugly hands from my father, who, in turn, inherited them from my grandmother. My grandmother's name was Vola. Vola Wyatt. She was the pinnacle of our family. She made Christmas happen.

Her hands, her wrinkly hands, kneaded and draped and clipped and cleaned and stirred and smoothed until Christmas, Campbell style, materialized. Then she dialed and served and presented and hugged and made each of her grandkids feel like her favorite. I miss her so much this time of year my chest constricts each time I make one of her recipes or catch myself humming the way she used to hum. And, oh how I miss her hands. If only I could feel her stroke my hair or grasp my arm. If only I could plant one more kiss on her downy cheek.

And now it is up to me. I have to put my hands to work and recreate the type of Christmas I had as a child, the type of Christmas I want Thom to have. They are large gloves to fill.

7 comments:

Jeanneoli said...

I have stumpy fingers and short nails. Won't grow even when I am pregnant on vitamins and they chip all the time. But these ugly hands....love my babies, hug around friends, cook and fill up bellies, create and hold all the books I love:-)

Claire said...

I'd rather have wrinkled hands and do lots of things than have perfect hands and just sit around all day and watch TV. I think it's admirable that people use their hands every day to make a living for themselves, or care for their loved ones, or make themselves brownies. But then I have pitiful hands and this is just my self talk coming out......

Terri Fisher said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I'm sure you will do a splendid job of celebrating Christmas with your family because you were taught so well! Merry Christmas!

Heidi said...

Hey Apes, are you gonna make Grandma's Oprea Bar this year? It turns out much better if you sing "doo dee doo" to the tune of Silver Bells.

I really miss our sweet Grandma, especially this time of year. We will have to have an evening of Dime Pudding and "Snow Balls" while we are at Moms!

april said...

Opera bar? Done and done.

Jill said...

You have gorgeous hands, what are you talking about? Those hands are some of the most talented, most giving and most loveable hands ever!

Thanks for sharing your sweet memories of your grandma. I always think of my grandma at this time of year, too. She passed away on December 15th of my senior year. Aren't we lucky to have wonderful women as ancestors?

Love you lots! Merry Christmas!

Amy T (3rd sister) said...

That made me cry thinking about grandma. I miss her too-