I recently wondered the same thing when I visited Mom at her memory care community and held her soft, petite hands.
I thought of how those same hands fed me, rhythmically rocked me to sleep and tucked me in. They cooled my feverish brow, kissed my owies, buttoned up my coat before I headed outside to play and held my chin still long enough to wash my dirty face.
Mom's hands taught me how to hold a pencil, turn the pages of a book and stir cookie batter. They disciplined me when I didn't want it but needed it, hushed me in church and served vegetables when I'd rather have dessert.
They scooped up dead goldfish, ironed pillowcases and washed my favorite blanket when I wasn't looking. They spread gooey Dippity-Do gel on my hair before rolling it up into pink sponge curlers and held my doll to her ear while sharing conversations I swore were real.
They picked tiny stems and purplish green leaves from huckleberries before making pies, and sewed our clothes late at night while the rat-a-tat-tat of her Singer sewing machine gently lolled me to slumber land.
They held me when I was afraid, tickled me and gently enfolded over mine when she taught me how to pray. They chased the boogie man out of my bedroom and shooed him out the front door and down the driveway.
Mom's hands waved goodbye when I got on the morning bus and waved hello from the kitchen window upon my return.
Those same hands held Dad's for nearly 52 years, squeezed mine before I walked down the aisle and adored my newborns while they were still warm from the miracle of birth.
Today, I love to hold the hands that have served, loved and offered compassion to so many in her nearly 80 years. And as I enfold mine around hers, I realize that a mother's hands offer a legacy of stories to pass down to new generations.
For all of you reading this today, I wish you a legacy - the legacy of a mother's hands.