Lately, I have been fixated on my Mother’s hands.

Hands that held countless children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, neighbors and friends. Gently rocking them to sleep. Comforting them in sickness. Guiding them in their lives. Wiping tears away in sadness.

Hands that cared for my father through decades of illness. Preparing special foods for him. Cleaning and wrapping his wounds. Organizing his medicine and appointments.

Hands that took care of a home for over 66 years. Cleaning after 6 children, then their children, and their children. Cooking 3 square meals a day 7 days a week. Washing ,ironing and folding clothes for her family. Baking cookies and cakes.

Hands that sewed, and mended and darned. Making garters for homecoming, and costumes for plays, and flower girl dresses. Creating curtains and bedspreads and baby blankets for her family.

Hands that combed and brushed her 5 daughters hair. Learned how to give perms to them and their friends. Kept them from looking like “ragamuffins”.

Hands that cheered for her children in their activities. That rooted for her teams, The Packers, The Brewers, The Bucks and The Badgers.

Hands that disciplined. That grabbed our hands from crossing the road into traffic. Protected us from danger.

Hands that prayed. That took communion. Called others on her prayer chain from church to tell them who to pray for, or to ask for prayer for those she loved.

My mother doesn’t remember any of these things anymore. My last visit with her, she didn’t recognize me or my husband. I showed her a picture of myself with her and my dad, sitting next to her,she couldn’t recognize me in the picture either. But I am convinced while her head doesn’t remember, her hands do. Now, as she holds her beloved “Romeo” and rocks him like one of her babies, she takes her hands and pats him gently, speaking to him lovingly, and somehow I know he understands. He too feels all the love in my mother’s hands.

Bone for bone we are the same.

Bones get tired and can’t carry their own weight.

Mom don’t you worry, I will do the remembering.

Mom and Romeo.