By Carolyn Sowinski, May 2015

When I think of my mother Vivian’s hands I remember them as weathered, cracked and rough–a reflection of the life she lived. She worked on the farm when a child. Later, she was the wife of a farmer and worked hard on the farm and as a clerk in various businesses in New London.

At the end of her life, when others cared for her, her hands changed. During her last weeks and days the hospice nurses rubbed lotion on her body—including her hands. Her hands received the love of her caretakers, her family, and her God. What was rough became soft–ready to move into the hands of God.

Vivian’s hands–soft at her birth; witness to her life, her family and her faith; soft at her death.

Hands that worked, played, created and rested.
Hands that planted, watered, tended and harvested.
Hands that laundered, folded, sorted and delivered.
Hands that cared, caressed, healed, and hugged.
Hands that drove, gave, held, and received.
Hands that clapped, warned, bled, and lifted.
Hands that were a witness to her marriage.
Hands that worshiped, communed, welcomed and waved.
Hands that opened, enjoyed, called, and closed.
Hands that sewed, repaired, brushed, and painted.
Hands that cleaned, swept, mopped, and washed.
Hands that combed, curled, cut and sprayed.
Hands that stirred, baked, fed and nourished.
Hands of a daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend.
Hands of a child of God.

Pictured is Vivian holding 2 of her grandchildren, July 1991.