My mother's hands are showing their age. Her knuckles are swollen from arthritis and age spots dot the back of her hands. But, those hands of hers.......God above.....they mean so very much to me. Growing up, she would tell me stories of her own youth. She grew up one of eleven children. My Grandaddy was a farmer who was quick to put his brood to work in the fields. Mama would tell of how she had to crop tobacco and all the hard back-breaking work that goes into getting it to the barn to be cured. I'm fuzzy on this, but I do believe she might've picked some cotton also. I heard of how a couple of my uncles ran to hide in the corn field to escape punishment and how my Grandaddy sat and waited for it get dark and for them to get hungry. They came trudging out of that corn field to get supper and good whuppin'.
Then she got married and worked in a sewing room for many years. Alot of times she worked production and work hard. This was so she could make some extra money. Decorating cakes on the side for some change, along with the sewing has made arthritis her constant enemy. She finally got an office job that she knew nothing about. But, she taught herself business, computers, and public relations. She totally ran that place by the time she left.
Now her sewing skills are back in play and she works by her rules. When the arthritis is too bad, she can rest and not be penalized for it. Next time you visit a Medieval Times show....my mom probably made that ornate costume you're admiring. I am in awe of her abilities.
Because my mom has worked so hard all her life, chances are I may not get this debilitating arthritis in the knuckles of my hands. I might get to avoid the constant pain that years of sacrifice can cause.
As I sat in church today, a spot on the back of my hand caught my eye. At first I thought I had something there and tried to wipe it off. It stayed. I then licked my finger to see if that would do (because we all know Mama's Spit is magical stuff). It stayed. I was hit below the belt unexpectedly. I've got my first age spot.
And I started thinking about my Mama. How I've looked at her hands and winced because I know how badly they hurt her. How the knuckles will only get worse with time and there's nothing I can do to take the pain away. How those spots that bother her vanity on occasion show up in bright sunlight. Spots she got from working in the sun as a young girl when sunscreen wasn'teven an option.
Where did my spot come from? It sure didn't come from working in the sun. I was never made to do that. My mother and father made sure of it. Yes, I got a public job starting at age 16. But, it was indoors. In a nice climate controlled pharmacy.
I didn't wear sunscreen because I forced my Nordic type skin to tan summer after summer. By hook or crook, I had color that was not supposed to be me. Laying out for hours.......baking in a tanning bed. Looking back now and having had two suspicious places removed on my back, I just mutter "stupid stupid stupid" over and over again. I refuse to allow my own daughter to lay out in the sun...trying to preserve her precious Nordic skin. I slather all kids with sunscreen when we venture out in the hot blazing sun.
My mother will leave this earth one day. And when she gets to the gates of heaven ( I know for a fact she'll see that gate), she'll be able to hold her hands out to Saint Peter and show him personally her evidence of hard work on this earth. What will I show him? Age spots from a stupid youth?
But, she will go through those gates. And she will be rid of swollen knuckles and spots that won't go away.
I just have had my Mama on my mind today. It's not Mother's Day* or her birthday. It's just me, taking the time to let her know ....well.....that I know. I finally get it.
*Reminder: I will be posting weekly reminders. Mother's Day is still the ROYAL WEEKEND here. Fred's dad mentioned he might come for a weekend visit in the not so distant future. I told Fred to tell him to come that weekend so he can participate in the royal activities. Then, I was like.....maybe that's not a good idea because the two of them will be gone playing golf all day and me chasing Vitt is not my idea of royal treatment.