My Mother still has beautiful hands, but they give her the most trouble. She laments that she has difficulty raising her arms above her head, she laments that her fingers ache and swell, she laments that she has difficult grasping things.
She is thankful that she can still use them to take care of herself, dress, go to the bathroom, even though it takes long.
I can’t imagine my mother not being able to use her hands. When I were a child her hands were never still. She could fix things around the house, the electrical iron, a bench needing a nail to stabilize it. She basked and every Saturday I lived for her sweet potato puddings, coconut cookies, cinnamon role. She was the best cook, and as a result was asked to cater for the cricket teams, but I couldn’t get enough of her stew peas and rice and pepper-pot soup.
There is nothing that my mother couldn’t and didn’t grow. Everyone said she had a green thumb, African violets, gerbas, banana trees, all kind of fruits. She also had healing fingers. When the chickens had yaws she would rub aloe vera mixed with something else on them. If the dogs got in a fight during the night with the other neighborhood dogs, she would dress and bandage their ears. When I got chicken pox, she filled a great aluminum basin with water and tamarind leaf, which she boiled, then bathed me in the water to soothe my itching.
She made some of our clothes that many thought were store bought. She made curtains for our windows, crocheted doilies for the tables and dressers; she embroidered patterns on our pillow cases and our initials on our hand-kerchiefs; she knitted tops, she made beautiful needle point wall decoration, she churned ice-creams, made wine from local fruits, juices, various concoctions, all with her hands. Her needlepoints graced our walls.