IT IS THE EARLIEST SNAPSHOT of me and my mom, dated January 1957.
Photos with her are rare; the next comes four years later. Yet, it matters not that my childhood photos fill only a few pages in an album. They are enough to see my mother’s love.
I see it in her hands, always the hands—clasping a baby or holding a toddler or encircling a child.
Hers are the hands that wrapped six babies in blankets, including me, her eldest daughter.
Hers are the hands that guided soiled cloth diapers and my dad’s grimy barn clothes into a Maytag wringer washer.
Hers are the hands that dumped buckets of water into the old tin bath tub on Saturday nights.
Hers are the hands that held books and rocked babies and swiped mecuricome onto skinned knees.
Hers are the hands that seeded seasons of gardens and hoed weeds and preserved the bounty of the earth.
Hers are the hands that peeled potatoes and stirred gravy and fried hamburger into blackened hockey pucks.
Hers are the hands that pressed coins into tiny hands for Sunday School offerings.
Hers are the hands that folded in prayer–for children and husband and her own healing.
Hers are the hands that reached out in love, always, to soothe, to calm, to protect. For nearly 57 years she has been a mother. It has been her life, her calling, and I have been blessed to be her daughter.
These are the hands of my mother, the mother I love always and forever.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling