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The Elderly Hands of My Mother

Hands? They tell stories. They are part of our journey. They hold strong symbolism. They are essential, such as healing hands, to give a hand, to hold hands, and to shake hands. They hold a unique imprint. They are used in creativity, tool holding, and when sharing intimacy. Hands are connected to the energies of our bodies, our spirituality and the portals to our consciousness, as seen with mudras and prayer.

The above are hands of my mother, who died in 2006. Months before her passing, I took these photos of her hands, in various positions, while she was in conversation. These hands tell a story. The story includes her journey, through the ups and downs, of her life. The hard toil of a farmer, when growing up in Italy. The subsequent work as a seamstress, when she came to the United States. They are the hands of an disillusioned wife, a mother, a caretaker, a survivor, a proud woman, and a Catholic devotee. These hands tell the story of a life. They are expressive. They bear the wearing of time. They are essential to the uniqueness of my mother’s passage through a life, now long gone. They are forever imprinted in the mind of her daughter, who loved her almost as unconditionally as she loved me. These simple hands, adorn by a simple ring, are the hands of an amazing woman, that once was. And the story they tell, is universal and personal to all those who observe what they have to say.

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