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Hands Project - Arlene | by robherr
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Hands Project - Arlene

My parents may have given me a flawed brain, but they gave me great hands.


They were never pretty, but they literally did the job. I took my hands for granted, of course, as most of us do. They made play time great for me and loved to draw and color and make all kinds of things.


My hands and I were raised by my grandmother, Mary Price Petersen. In exchange for an Uncle going on a mission to Finland, a local music teacher gave me free piano lesson for the duration of the mission. It was a good trade-off for me.


When I was a teenager a friend's mother offered to give several of us piano players organ lessons. That was an opportunity for my hands and feet!


Because I was a business major in High School, I learned to type and take shorthand with my hands. The connection held - the brain took in the information and my hands worked effortlessly at translating the brain waves.


These ugly, wrinkled hands learned how to make love, hold a tiny infant, change four trillion diapers and safely bathe infants and wriggling toddlers and force reluctant teenagers to bathe.


They did housework, made clothes, patch torn clothes, cooked food, took care of wounds and helped me pray.


Now they help me do genealogy research, operate a computer, make quilts and do housework. We won't talk about cooking - I'm not much help to my hands in that department - they are on their own!


My son-in-law took a picture of my hands recently. Now, there was the shocker. When and where did I inherit the hand of an old woman? The last time I looked at them, it was through the rosy lenses of deception, I guess, and my hands were the same hands I had carried at the ends of my arms since I was born.


I have hope that the picture of my hands doesn't speak the blunt truth, but I suspect my hands will only get older and older.


Count it a blessing then - I have two hands!


Arlene Thalman Torst, born 1937

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Uploaded on September 16, 2009