“Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.”
My body is falling victim to some terrifying vandalism and the latest body part to fall prey is my hands. I don’t know when it happened, but one night “they” came, crept in while I was sleeping and took my beautiful, youthful long-fingered soft-skinned hands and left me with these (I have another one that matches).
I hadn’t really paid a lot of attention to my hands until I downloaded some pictures and realized I had inadvertently snapped a picture of my hand – there was the evidence. It was really quite shocking, like the first time I realized Mick Jagger was old enough to get the senior’s discount at Denny’s (not that Mick is heading there for a Grand Slam breakfast any time soon.) I don’t know who these hands belonged to before, but they look like my grandmother’s hands, not mine. While the rest of my body is getting a little more… well…rounded, these hands are almost skeletal, with veins popping out, scaly skin and spots appearing everywhere.
I’m alarmed. I don’t know who “they” are, the perpetrators of this horrible crime, running around willy-nilly wreaking havoc in the night, but I can’t imagine what body part they’re going to take next and who they are switching parts with. All I know is some dear old lady is sitting in her chair admiring a pair of beautiful velvet-skinned hands at this very minute, wondering where on earth they came from.
Now, I live in California, land of sun, surf, and surgery – cosmetic surgery that is. You may find this hard to believe, but one of the latest trends in cosmetic surgery is hand rejuvenation treatment. Yes, it’s true. Just when we thought there wasn’t a single inch of our bodies left that someone hadn’t nipped, tucked, plumped or tweezed, the caring physicians in the field of cosmetic surgery took it upon themselves to show us how critical it is to our health and well-being to take care of yet one more flawed body part.
I became aware of this vital information recently while purchasing tacos. Yes, I do all my heavy reading while sitting on a bench waiting in line on Taco Tuesday. Our illustrious Orange County magazines are jam-packed with ads for cosmetic surgeons ready to nip and tuck you within an inch of your life and apparently, the latest part of our bodies that should bring us mortal shame is our hands. So, for a mere $300-$3,000 (I guess they need to see them first) they can “restore a youthful appearance” to my hands.
As I am sitting here writing about this, the dots are starting to connect. Be patient with me, sometimes I’m a slow learner. I suppose it’s no coincidence that on Taco Tuesday I stared at a magazine with several ads for hand rejuvenation, shaking my head at the vanity of some women while admiring the gorgeous hands in the magazine.
Less than a week later the fateful picture was taken and I saw my own hands in a way I had never seen them before, as the hands of an old woman – “my grandmother’s hands.”
Now I’m starting to wonder, what is wrong with my grandmother’s hands? I love my grandmothers. I named this blog after both of them. They were powerful women of faith and integrity that raised their children to love God. What I wouldn’t do for the chance to sit beside either one of them for one more hour holding their precious hands.
A lot of hard work went into getting my hands to look this way. These hands have changed diapers, washed dishes, pulled weeds, done the wave at baseball games, applauded at countless recitals and award ceremonies, been folded in prayer, been caressed, washed dishes, dried tears, grabbed the remote, brought comfort, built sandcastles, pet the dog, did I mention wash dishes (?) and been held by my husband twice while he placed rings on my finger – on my wedding day and on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
Every line tells a story, every wrinkle is a part of my history, every freckle has been earned. I guess I figured out who the body snatchers are and they are not prying a dollar out of these beautiful hands! They are mine and I’m keeping them.
“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.
Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half;
Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!'”