Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Remembering My Mom's Hands ... (eight years later)

I  love hands. Some people notice eyes, others notice smiles ... I notice hands.

a few of my favorite hands


We recently passed the eight year anniversary of my mom's death. I remember when my friend, Judy, lost her dad, she told me it was a club you never wanted to join. As I am very close to both of my parents, it is a club whose membership I dreaded.

But eight years ago, I had to join it. And in honor of my mom, I have been reflecting on that day.

My adorable mom, Hallie, was always active, healthy and a "gamer." We had very little warning that anything was going on. 

After a few weeks of not feeling well, her doctor thought she had a sinus infection and the flu. But when symptoms persisted she went to the emergency room one night, and a CT scan brought us the bad news that she had cancer. 

That next morning, Christy and I drove to Spokane to hang out with her and be an encouragement. Dave was on a mission trip to Senegal and Jenny was studying at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. 

It was so lovely to see her and I was thrilled that we had recently moved from Minneapolis to Seattle, so a quick 5 hour drive and we were sitting in her bedroom talking and laughing. 

Mom was experiencing some unusual pain in her leg, so she and dad were back to the emergency room,  where they discovered a blood clot. They scheduled a quick procedure for the next morning to stop that blood clot from causing problems. 

Of course, the big, crazy, loud and fun Johnson clan was going to descend on mom's hospital room that night to keep her company. But dad called and said she was resting well and wanted to see us all the next day.

At 2 in the morning, dad called again, for us all to come, as in the night mom had thrown the blood clot and things did not look good. And we came in sweet mass.

Those short hours are ones I will never forget. Mom could not talk, but the doctor assured us that she could hear us. As we all huddled around her bed, we took turns speaking quietly in her ear. 

I remember telling her that Dave and Jenny were not here but that they loved her too. I remember my dad telling her that we would all take good care of each other. (and we did) 

But what I remembered most is thinking, I will never see my mom again (this side of heaven), and I wanted to spend as much time as I could holding and looking at her beautiful thin hands and her long fingers. And that is what I did.

My mom, Hallie, was both an introvert and shy, so she often showed her love with her hands. She made quilts, sewed Cabbage patch dolls for all of her grandchildren, decorated her home, fixed yummy meals, wrote hundreds of letters and thank you notes, typed all of my dad's books he wrote for pastors, ... and much more. 

I loved her busy hands. They were beautiful and they expressed her fun and giving spirit. And I miss them often. 


 You would have loved her hands her, too.


 Linking with Jen.

31 comments:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mom! Blessings.

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  2. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I notice hands too and I love the way you appreciate her busy hands so fun of love. Brought a tear to my eye this morning. Have a lovely day.

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  3. What a wonderful legacy you have! Wonderfully written Glenda! While I did not have the pleasure of knowing your Mom...my good friend, Sharon Germaine always spoke SO highly of her from their time serving together in the Philippines.I know Sharon was very sad when they left...I can see why! :)

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  4. Lovely memory! Your mother also had a sweet smile.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. I'm thinking of you today, Glenda, and sending a hug. This post touched my heart.

    XO,
    Jane

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  6. What a lovely homage to your Mom. I'm so glad you had those precious hours to hold her hand!

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  7. I'm sure I would have! She sounds like a wonderful woman. My Mom passed away three years ago last spring. I miss her still, but like you, have such great memories.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Karen

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  8. precious post...and yes, hands...and His were pierced for us, they truly are beautiful...as you have shared and your mother's hands

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  9. Beautiful words, Glenda. I, too, look at hands. Hands tell so much about a person.

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  10. This is an eloquent tribute to your mom and her faithful and creative hands. How sad to lose her, my parents are in heaven too.

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  11. Oh, Glenda! This is so hard. I knew your mom had had cancer but I'd never heard this part of the story. I am so very sorry for the suddenness of it, but grateful you got to whisper in her ear. My journey is so very different, also very hard. There is no easy way to lose a much-loved mom. Love to you on this day of remembering.

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  12. Such a great way to remember your mom...thinking of you in this time.

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  13. Hi Glenda, it is so encouraging reading how close your family is. And I love this sweet tribute to your mom.
    God bless
    Tracy

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  14. Yes, I'm a hand person, too. It's the first thing I notice about anyone. Perhaps because my hands are my finest feature :)

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  15. Beautiful family remembrance. Missing our loveable person will pain for ever...

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  16. HI Glenda! Thank you for sharing such precious and joyful and painful memories. That is a gift to all of us who have lost our Moms. I became a part of that club three years ago.

    No wonder you notice hands! Your Mom's hands showed her love to you. And now your hands type your love for her. What a beautiful circle.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!
    Ceil
    (My son lives near Seattle. We were just there visiting. What a gorgeous place it is!)

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  17. Losing a Mama is hard. My Mama passed when I was only 28. I still miss her so much. You Mother sounds like a delightful person. She has rubbed off on you because you are such a delightful person too! Bless you today, Glenda!

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  18. Beautiful post. My mom suffered a stroke in early September. It took away the use of her right side, her speech and, frankly, the mom I knew. This grief is hard. Last time I saw my mom, I reached out and held her left hand many times.

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  19. What a lovely tribute to your mom Glenda. She sounds like an amazing woman which is no surprise because her daughter is amazing too.

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  20. Oh, blubber, blubber. Tearing up here, my friend. Your mom looks she was the friendliest woman--what precious memories. Thank you for sharing.

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  21. Hi Glenda
    Just read your post and only just managed to hold back the tears. I lost my mum in April, she was my best friend and like you can't grasp that I won't ever see her again. Every day is hard and family events are almost milestones for me I would go shopping often with her and feel lost without her. It was around September time last year she was diagonosed and I saw her gradually getting worse and was with her at the end.
    Sorry to sound so morbid I know she would want me to be happy but my colour aren't as bright as they were.
    Hugs Sarah x
    She had lovely hands too.

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  22. Thank you for this touching blog! Cherish your memories! I also like hands. Hands say a lot. xxx

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  23. I told my daughter last Sunday that my hands remind me of my mother's. I wonder if you see your mother's hands in yours? I love seeing your blog updates in my e-mail.

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  24. What a beautiful tribute.

    Blessings,
    Heather

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  25. Glenda, what a beautiful tribute to your mother. And a reminder that so much love can be shown and shared with our hands - hands and hearts surrendered to God for His use. Thinking of you as you remember your sweet mother.

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  26. Nice, I'm sure your mom would've loved to read this!!!!!

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  27. What a beautiful lady! And a beautiful memory. My dad went to be with Jesus ten years ago and I've never forgotten his hands. They were big and strong and in the last months I held them often and they were thin and frail. But they were so HIM! The last photo taken of him and my dear mother show his hands and that is a special feature of the photo for my mom. And for me. Thank you for sharing the memory of your sweet mother and her hands.
    ~Adrienne~

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  28. I have tears in my eyes. Beautiful, Glenda. Thank you for sharing.

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  29. Glenda, This is a beautiful tribute t your mother and a good reminder to those who have not joined "the club" to slow down and enjoy those loved ones.

    Hope your family have a fabulous holiday.

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  30. Thank you for coming by my place so I was led here. Aren't mothers so special? I just love mine and I can hear your love here for yours. I am a hand noticer too, but I also notice eyes. . ."windows to the soul" is so true.
    Blessings to you~

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