Monday, August 13, 2012

The Hands of Time

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I wish I’d been a smarter girl.  I wish, when I was younger, that I’d had the foresight to see what would be so very important to me when I was a much older girl. 

But, that’s often the case with all of us, isn’t it?

I wish, when I was a young teenager, that I’d taken my little pocket Kodak camera with cube flash…and captured the beautiful, wizened hands of my great-grandmother, Estella. 

Estella Stapley portrait

I have beautiful pictures of her face—of all of her—but not her hands.  Hands that cared for many babies.  Elegant, manicured hands.  I can still see those hands in my mind…

Hands that had spots on them, like mine do now.

I wish, just 11 years ago, that I’d had the vision to capture my grandmother Velda’s hands—just her hands.  I see them so very clearly in my mind.  Those hands left me just after 9/11…

Hands that raised three children.  Hands that cared for her youngest daughter through cancer and blindness.  Hands that buried that daughter at the tender age of 7.  Hands that traveled the world.  Hands that taught me how to crochet and to do many of the homecaring arts…

Velda & Julie--my wedding day

…hands that loved me.

Hands that had spots on them, like mine do now.

I finally got smart.  I captured my mother’s hands just a few weeks ago…

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The first hands {besides the doctor!} that ever touched me.  The hands that so lovingly cared for me {and still do!} The hands that taught me everything I know.

Mom in doll shop 2010_edited-1 {Mom in a doll shop that was featuring a few of her beautiful, hand-made dolls}

An artist’s hands.  The hands of a skilled dollmaker.  Not just any dollmaker, but a sought-after dollmaker by those who know the art…and she’s my mother.

I remember those sweet young mother hands—smooth and lovely.  Are any hands as beautiful in your mind as those of your mother? 

Hands that have spots on them, like mine do now…

I had my middle daughter capture our hands together…

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Two pairs of hands eternally bound together…neither pair that young anymore…one pair 72, the other 50…

And then my oldest daughter added her hands to the group. 

A young teacher’s hands.  Loving hands that have always done good…and I suspect they always will.  Hands that have yet to be a mother’s hands, but they will…

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Hands that do not yet have spots on them, like mine do now…

Three generations of first-born girls…How would it have been to capture all five?  I wish……………………

But those earlier hands—and the beautiful lives they led—live on to me.  When I look at my hands, I see them all…spots and everything…

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And I love them.

Capture yours…

Julie

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