I have my grandmother's hands. That was the first thing Steve noticed when he met her. My Mom-mom Elizabeth was cantankerous at best, and most people had a really hard time getting along with her. She and I got along like peas and carrots. I think it bothered people that she didn't bother with niceties. If she didn't like you she didn't tell you or anyone else about it. You simply ceased to exist in her world. End of story. I love that. I live that. That mentality has saved me so much heartache and unnecessary drama in my life. I have plenty of friends, and I have learned what type of people I want around me, so I actually don't have to cut people off that much. Besides, I don't set the bar quite as high as she did. Steve was always amazed at her strength and the size of her hands.
Today I felt a pain in my left index knuckle, probably the cause of too much typing at work and too much knitting at home, and I thought of my grandmother's hands. Her knuckles were riddled with arthritis, something I will always have to be on the lookout for. Her joints were swollen and the skin was always red and flaky. Even with her pain she could roll out a bowl of dumplings or bread chicken for the frying pan every night. Even after dialysis and polycystic kidneys, it was a car accident that did her in. She was on her way home from visiting one of her younger sisters whom she hadn't talked to in years, even though they only lived 10 miles apart. My mother said she looked so peaceful, as if that was the way she wanted to go, not wasted away by some disease.
My friend Barb's grandmother also had arthritis in her hands, and when a joint would dare to get red or puffy she'd smack herself in the hand with a hammer as hard as she could. Can you believe the woman's knuckles never twisted or swelled her entire life? True story. I wonder what else in life that philosophy could be applied to.