Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Hands


Mother's hands never seemed to rest. When I was a little girl, they combed my hair, brushed my teeth, doctored my battered knees. Like restless white birds they busied themselves, doing all of the things that require time and patience. The kindest hands I've ever known.

Some of my fondest memories occurred during the awkward teenage years. Although my relationship with Mother was often strained back then, I admired her from a distance.

On sticky, summer nights, after the sun went down and the supper dishes were put away, Mother slipped into silky pajamas and disappeared into the sewing room—if you could call it that. It was nothing more than a narrow passageway from the laundry room into the den. So tiny was the room that she could not keep the ironing board up while she sewed.

For hours, she busied herself with cotton prints and small buttons, with satin ribbons and yards of lace. She whipped out dresses fit for a princess to wear.

Oftentimes I'd listen to the gentle whir of the machine, hear the snapping of her scissors. And in those quiet moments, I wanted to call out, "I love you, Mother! Do you hear me? I love you in there in your silky pink pajamas with that old sewing machine humming." 

Mother taught me how to live by her example. Willingly, she opened her arms to the poor, the lonesome, the outcast, the confused. Somehow, she found time for these people. They became her friends; she, their counselor.

And they came by the dozens—divorcees, teenagers, singles, newlyweds—to hear what she would say. It wasn't unusual for me to perch at the top of the stairs, straining to hear their hushed conversations.

I discovered that, instead of judging them, Mother listened. And then she wasted no time in offering answers. She knew right from wrong. Her friends didn't always leave smiling, but they always left with an answer.

Kindness, fairness, and faith in God flowed freely from Mother's hands. Those hands helped shape my life. She was—and is—a mighty rock in the shifting sands of time.

I try to see Mother as often as possible these days, and whenever I make the trip home, she is waiting for me by the door. Smiling, she rushes to greet me. And then, her hands touch mine. Soft hands. Strong hands. Reaching out to steady me, just like before.

***

Happy Mother's Day





16 comments:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your sweet mama.

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  2. Beautiful tribute! Happy Mother's day to you and your mother. xoxo

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  3. Oh, I loved this post, Dayle. (Of course, I love ALL your posts!)

    Loved the phrase, "a mighty rock in the shifting sands of time."

    Your Mama has been an inspiration to you and to many others. When she goes to the other side of life, you will be a beautiful legacy of her life. Susan

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  4. As you well know, I love your mother. You so eloquently put into words what a loving wonderful Mother she has been to so many people, me included. I love you, Dayle. Happy Mother's Day to you and Mom Allen.

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  5. Oh those are just wonderful images! I just love looking at old pictures.

    Have a beautiful weekend.

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  6. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. I love your collage of black & whites. It is easy to see that she has had a great impact on you. Cherish every moment with her...as I'm sure you do. Happy Mother's Day to you both!

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  7. It's funny. I read and hear a lot of stories about mothers and what we remember and cherish about them. Rarely do they have anything to do with glamour or superficial stuff. It's the solid stuff like this thanks seems to cement its way into our heart and head. I loved this.

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  8. Dayle, precious post indeed! So sweet. I also cherish my mom, and live for those moments when she first sees me after being away for awhile. There's nothing like that smile, and the delight I see in her eyes. All for me. Sigh...

    And, might I just comment that you look so much like that early picture of your mom!! It's uncanny. Both of you are beautiful women, both inside and out.

    GOD BLESS!

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  9. p.s. on May 13 Dear Dayle...I wanted to thank you for your kindness in visiting and commenting on my Honey Cat post. My beloved pet has been gone a week now. So very sad. Your words meant a lot to me. Susan

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  10. Hello, I wanted to say hello, and to tell you I can see why you have been published in so many places!
    You have blessed me with this precious post about your Mother! I also loved the pictures of your Mother. I did put a picture of my Mother on my sidebar awhile back! You are a very gracious lady and I enjoyed my visit her today! Hope to see you pop in and give me a shout!!
    Blessings, Roxy

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  11. I love our dear mother. Wise woman of God.

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  12. Dayle,
    Wow. I love this post, Dayle. It is a blessing beyond words to have a wise, good and godly mom. My mom is such a mother too, and the legacy she is leaving our family is priceless.
    If you know Sue at Pear Tree Lane, you will love her Mother's Day post, also entitled Mother's Hands.
    http://peartreelanefarmhouse.blogspot.com/2014/05/wishing-you-most-blessed-and-happy.html

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  13. This was lovely, Dayle. The old photos are so special. You look just like your mother, by the way!

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  14. Your mother is beautiful....I see why you are the way you are, too my friend. Beautiful inside and out! Sweet hugs!

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  15. What a beautiful post. Like you, I am conscious of memories of my mother's hands. This year's mother's day card was a picture of a sewing machine and a blank page in which I could write to Mum about my memories of all the sewing she did for me - all those dresses, formals for proms and even a suit. She is amazing.

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle