My Grandma's Hands

10:34 AM Elizabeth Seckman 5 Comments

My grandmother taught me many things. Almost every interaction was a life lesson. Even my wedding card came with a note of guidance. It was who she was, the matriarch and teacher, the gentle scolder, the do right prodder. I can honestly say, most all of my conversations will include at some point the words, "my grandma told me".

Even when she wasn't intentionally spewing wisdom, she made me a wee bit wiser.

My grandfather passed away in April 1993. He and my grandma were more than husband and wife; they were the best of buddies. They were Bud and Rose. Even their names were intertwined. Everyone worried about my grandmother adjusting and surviving to life on her own. Then in April 1994, almost to the day of my grandfather's death, my first son was born.

My grandma arrived at the hospital near tears. She told me Caleb was God's way of reminding her good things still happen in life, even among the April showers. She stood over the little plastic hospital bassinet and smiled. I told her she should hold him. She grinned at me and scooped him up. As she patted and cooed she said something that taught me one of the biggest lessons of my life. She said, "I AM going to hold this baby. Normally I don't. Babies are so beautiful and perfect and my old hands just look like twisted, bony crone's claws against their new skin."

Seriously? She thought those hands were ugly? In a stunned instant, I thought of the countless times those hands tended boo boos, gave hugs, or amazingly peeled the skin from a potato without an ounce of flesh lost. They were my grandma's hands. They were beautiful and perfect, even in their imperfection. I gave HER a scolding. She argued her point a bit...her hands were calloused. Bull. Those were just a testimony to her strength. She threw hay bales and hoed a garden as well as any man. Her nails were always broken and she never had them manicured. They weren't very lady like. Not lady like? My grandma’s hands could knit lace finer than any belle from the deepest south.

 She lost the argument. She had to admit that she didn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

 I smugly felt like the student had become the teacher.

 At least until I hit the post partum wall of blah. I found that even though the scales said I was back to pre baby weight, it was all shifted and so NOT the pre baby same. I was depressed. I made the mistake of whining to my grandmother.  She reminded me that we are most beautiful in our imperfections, are we not?

 Touché savvy lady, touché. I will certainly miss her ALWAYS besting me.


  1. I did not. know Rose had passed. What a tribute You need to have that published. You have such a gift.

  2. A beautiful tribute! You made me cry. Now I'm going back to read my story about my Gramps one more time on my own blog! :)

  3. Thanks guys. Ahh, Suzanne, if only you were an editor...

  4. You have GOT to find a magazine or something to submit that to! Such a beautiful tribute.

  5. Thnaks Kristen...maybe I will...may as well add some magazine rejections to my file. :)


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