Folded over a rosary, the hands that were busy for 77 years, were quiet and still.
They didn’t really even look like her hands. I am used to seeing them lively – molding fabric into a dress, laying oils onto a canvas, and stirring ingredients into a meal for over 20 family members. Later in her life, her hands trembled and shook with Parkinsons. They became difficult to control. But the heart and mind won out over the hands and commanded them to continue making art… making dinner… holding a hand full of playing cards…
Fifteen years ago – maybe not even that long – we were gathered around the kitchen table pealing potatoes. She was cooking a batch of frites (fries) in the oven. She pulled them out. We laughed, smiled and breathed in the aroma of a delicious meal. She walked toward us, still smiling. But then, a great hiccup of life and the first symptoms of disease, pulled the pan out of her hands. All the air in the room was still. The pan clattered to the floor – her hands frozen in position.
At first it was shaking and then it was full on tremors. She made my sister a coat, me a dress, and drapes for her room. She broke her hip. She cooked countless more dinners. She lost her husband. She painted. She bought a motorized chair to cruise through the house. She sketched and drew.
But after 77 years of creating, today her hands were still.
Good bye, Nani, and good night. God bless you.