Mothers Hands

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 18, 1999

A few years ago, when my mother was visiting, she asked me to go shopping with her because she needed a new dress. I don’t normally like to go shopping with other people, and I’m not a patient person, but we set off for the mall together nonetheless.

We visited nearly every store that carried ladies’ dresses, and my mother tried on dress after dress, rejecting them all. As the day wore on, I grew weary and my mother grew frustrated.

Finally, at our last stop, my mother tried on a lovely blue three-piece dress. The blouse had a bow at the neckline, and as I stood in the dressing room with her, I watched as she tried, with much difficulty, to tie the bow. Her hands were so badly crippled from arthritis that she couldn’t do it. Immediately, my impatience gave way to an overwhelming wave of compassion for her. I turned away to try and hide the tears that welled up involuntarily. Regaining my composure, I turned back to tie the bow for her. The dress was beautiful, and she bought it. Our shopping trip was over, but the event was etched indelibly in my memory.

For the rest of the day, my mind kept returning to that moment in the dressing room and to the vision of my mother’s hands trying to tie that bow. Those loving hands that had fed me, bathed me, dressed me, caressed and comforted me, and, most of all, prayed for me, were now touching me in the most remarkable manner.

Later in the evening, I went to my mother’s room, took her hands in mine, kissed them and, much to her surprise, told her that to me they were the most beautiful hands in the world.

I’m so grateful that God let me see with new eyes what a precious, priceless gift a loving, self-sacrificing mother is. I can only pray that some day my hands, and my heart, will have earned such a beauty of their own.

By Bev Hulsizer from Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul Copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery and Nancy Mitchell

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26 comments
  1. ramblingsofabipolarwoman said:

    I involuntarily cried just now. What a beautiful story indeed. I care for my grandma and sometimes it gets so stressful, but this reminded me of how she used to be and how she used to look after me….now I am here to care for her…..needed your post to remind me of so many things. Thanks for sharing….

  2. Thanks for sharing this story from Chicken Soup. Sometimes we all need a reminder to look through “new eyes”.

  3. bowtalks said:

    A beautiful , emotional , heart touching post.Thanks for this !

  4. This is a beautiful and very touching story. So true. It is so easy to forget that our parents were once young , active and independent. It’s only as we start to lose a bit of our own hearing or sight or find aches and pains setting in that we come to appreciate this.

  5. lilyboat said:

    So beautiful.. I had a moment of deep bonding with my mom yesterday too, so this story really touches my heart.

  6. Anonymous said:

    Very moving. Brought tears to my eyes.
    My parents are getting older, and I need to be more patient and compassionate.
    Thank you

  7. As I enter those years of early old age, I am keenly aware of times I have been impatient with others who have gone before me. Hurts my heart.

  8. Patty O said:

    Such a beautiful story…as I miss my own Mom who passed away almost 8 years ago now. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Joy HILL said:

    very true story, but I always thought that of my grandmothers hands and kissed them all the time and held them, when she passed away, I remember them so well, sadly though my mom passed away 5 months later so I never got the chance to hold and kiss her hands. though i do know she had beautiful, young looking hands, they were soft, and they as well helped us thru our ups and downs and held our own chidren. I miss her so much.

  10. So beautiful — tears did well up in my eyes. I remember my grandmothers hands — her beautiful hands with the crepe paper thin skin while she washed my hands in addition to so many other acts of caring.

  11. I agree, shopping is not my thing…God bless mothers.

  12. I remember going thru that with my mom. she’s gone now but I think of her often. Thank you for the post

  13. It is with pleasure that I use things that my mother crocheted for me because I knew how very difficult it became for her to hold the crochet hook. That’s how I remember her hands.

  14. What a beautiful story ! Thank you so much for this

  15. marcelino guerrero said:

    very moving story, thanks for sharing.

  16. Now that is a beautiful love story. Mothers’ hands are so precious.

  17. I pray the same. My mother has won her beauty, though it be not the beauty of the world.
    Thanks for stopping by The Letter Drawer today!

  18. Mothers probably make a bigger difference in the world than anyone else, including the President, the Pope, and Brad Pitt.

  19. Reblogged this on Living Life Day by Day and commented:
    I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer is 2009. She was 69 years old and we never got to celebrate her 70th birthday in fine fashion. Since she has gone I think of the times when I was impatient or abrupt (like when we went shopping or when – in my opinion – she took too long to make up her mind about something) and admit that I would have behaved differently if I knew her life would have been so short.

    Now I tell others to cherish their moms because you never know how long you will have them with you. Doesn’t matter how frustrating she is, or how slow she is, or how stubborn – at least she’s still with you so love her and love her lots!

  20. Lovely and heartfelt post. My mother has always told me she has ugly hands. She has never understood why I think they are beautiful.

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