Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Hand’s Breadth of Time

As I’ve mentioned before, my precious grandmother died at the same exact time that her first great-great grandchild was being born.  I was at my grandmother’s bedside as she took her final breaths, and then I made the mad rush to another hospital for my great-nephew’s arrival, only to learn that we couldn’t see him yet.  They had had trouble getting him to breathe at first, and now they didn’t want a lot of visitors.  (Don’t worry, he’s just fine.)

This all happened in 1997, and yet it’s still fresh in my mind.  You can imagine that such a day would be hard to forget!  (The blown-out tire that we experienced on the interstate on the way home from the hospital didn’t help, either!)

Anyway, that day didn’t come directly to mind for me when I saw the topic for a recent FaithWriter’s Weekly Challenge.  But after I sat back and read what I wrote for that challenge, I knew that I had written about the day Nana went Home and Sheldon was born.  The topic was “Beginning and End,” and here’s what I wrote for it.  (No, it didn’t win or get honorable mention or anything like that in the contest.  Oh well.)

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A Hand’s Breadth of Time

baby hand 5 by demordian

Hands 
So tiny
Curled into themselves,
Washed clean of all the mortal gore of birth.
Innocent,
Ripe with potential unknown.
Miracles, really
Knit together in secret
Muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, skin
Perfectly engineered for a lifetime of service.


You don't know how to use them yet.
When they move before your eyes,
You don't even know they're yours.


When you figure it out, and find out what those hands can do, you'll be amazed!


Use them well, Little One. Use them well.

***

Hands
So tiny
Shrunken, melted with age,
Washed clean of the grime of your dying days.
Innocent? No. But good. Very good.
Potential? Gone...but not wasted. Well spent.
Miracles, really.
Ordinary, everyday miracles of love with skin on it.
God touched me with your hands,
And yet you probably didn't even know it.

When you step into glory, and realize all that those hands of yours have done, you'll be amazed!

You used them well, Dear One. Let them rest.

Grandmom Hand by Aapiej

4 comments:

Mary Moss said...

This is just wonderful! I preached this afternoon at a retirement community. One of the things I talked about was my emotional struggle when my daughter left for college.

Beginnings and endings - all a part of life, but still bittersweet.

Laurie M. said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. Somehow it seems just right for Mothers' Day as well.

karin said...

This is just so touching! I've always loved looking at hands - comparing a brand new babies' hands with the hands of our seniors. Mine are starting to look spotty. I love when my grandchildren play with the skin that is no longer as elastic as it used to be. I just pray that I have used my hands wisely and in his will. Thanks for sharing your beautiful poem!!

Sherri Ward said...

This really stirred me - brought a tear! Wonderful, Betsy!

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