recently, i’ve been thinking about my mums hands. when i look down at my own hands, i see an almost mirror image of mum’s long fingers, funny sunspots and fingernails – even my funny middle nail of my right hand, bent and flattened way out of shape from holding my pen so tight when i was at school. she used to say that i had my grandfathers thumbs… big square nails with lovely full “half moons”. dad says i have piano playing hands – long fingers that spread far enough apart to reach both “c’s” quite easily – mum’s were the same. my nails are weak and quite soft. i wear clear polish to compensate for the many years of chewing under stress that has weakened them. i like my hands. my nails are now long – unless i get stressed!
recently i’ve been thinking of mum’s hands. some nights, actually most nights, i wake. usually around two or three in the morning. thoughts of mum always pop into my head. most times the thoughts bring tears, silent tears that usually don’t quite fall far enough to wet the pillow, and certainly aren’t heavy enough to wake my sleeping (snoring) husband, just little memory tears that wash clean my thoughts, cleansing me.
last night i thought of mums hands. i was heavy with these thoughts though. her hands were tucked under her face, while she slept, the deep and restful sleep of the unwell. when she stirred, probably in response to me moving in the hospital chair next to her bed, her hand moved from under her cheek. it was all crinkled and pale. cool to the touch.
my hands are cold today. perhaps their warmth is going to the angels who look after mum.