Recently I sat on the massage table at the acupuncturist in my community awaiting my turn. It’s not a private kind of thing, its a place with multiple lazyboys where the folks come in, get their ache-and-pain stories heard, needles put in, and relaxation ensues for about an hour.
Anyway, I’m perched on this table looking around searching for my inner patience (table not chair because for me today my low back is killing me so face down I will go and hope for the best). The typical woo-woo (that’s what my friend Barb calls the kind of crunchy granola new agey stuff we believe in but we know is still a bit out there) music is on. There are two other women in their lazyboys, one eyes closed, the other smiles at me from across the room. I don’t know them and for some reason my ego is so big as to be surprised that I don’t because ‘certainly I know everyone in this town’.
But as I wait, something stops me, takes me elsewhere and it has been in my mind ever since. My eyes fell to my lap, my hands resting. What I saw welled my eyes with tears and my ears with the sound of her voice. My hands. My hands have become my mother’s hands.
Wrinkled, soft skin, her ring on my pinky finger since she passed away in August. As a child I liked to touch her hands, feel the squishy Irish skin, fascinated how it moved and was warm when I touched it. It was so curious to me, not understanding the construction or why it didn’t hurt when I seemed to move her veins around.
And suddenly they became mine…soft, wrinkly, squishy veins and all. I was filled with missing her, her voice calling me Doll, laughing about things together, holding those hands in my mind like I had done right up until she died. Each day now they remind me of you, us, and the moments that were only ours.