The Most Beautiful Hands

There is a close up photograph my nephew John took of my parents’ hands.  It is so unbelievably beautiful and, unfortunately, John cannot find it among his tens of thousands of negatives.  I would have loved to use that photo in this blog, but I have these other photos of my parents’ hands.

My parents got married in their hometown Grotte in Sicily on April 25, 1948!   Today, on my parents’ wedding anniversary, I think of them, of their undying love and respect for one another, and of their loving amazing hands.

This is how I will always remember my parents.

The most beautiful hands in the world are not manicured, soft, and bejeweled.

They are lined,

calloused from coal mining,

encrusted with farmed earth.

They smell of onions and garlic.

They are stained with tomato sauce from canning,

dotted with wet bread dough,

snagged from knitting and crocheting socks, scarves, hats, baby blankets and sweaters.

They are sticky from picking apples, figs,

pears, peaches, plums, almonds, walnuts, and berries.

Their fingers are pierced from embroidery and sewing.

Sometimes they are covered with meat and fennel from sausage making

or sprinkled with wine from the press.

They have made countless meals.

These hands are strong, full of expression,

fearless, protective, hardworking, providing,

worn to the bone.

They are firm and gentle

and have held, caressed, fed, and cleaned many babies and children.

Yes, they are kind beautiful hands.  They speak.  They tell a story.

Written on mom and dad’s wedding anniversary: April 25, 1948 — to eternity

Mom showing her perfect roses.

Dad showing his fig tree.


10 Responses to “The Most Beautiful Hands”

  1. Colleen Says:

    What a lovely photo of your mom and dad, Fran. There is so much love in the embrace and the faces. My parents too were married in 1948!




  2. Nancy Regensburg Says:


    That is just beautiful and your parents are forever lovely, charming and I
    wish I had known them………Happy Anniversary to them today! I also loved the
    pictures of you and family on Easter! My favorite holiday!



    • frangallo Says:

      Nancy, well, you can get to know my parents through me! And yes, Easter was always so much fun as a child. Did you see how happy I look in that photo as a child?! love, Fran


  3. Nora Says:

    Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, I miss you everyday but you are always close in my heart. Thanks Fran for writing these beautiful words on our parents Anniversary, I know they are smiling down and are so proud of you! (so am I) You have such a wonderful gift with words. love you, Nora


  4. zina brechbill Says:

    your tribute brought me to tears, such meaningful words and so symbolic of their love for each other and their family. Thank-you for helping me through a difficult day. Happy Anniversary mom & dad !


  5. Joe Stapinski Says:

    Aunt Fran,

    Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures and words. I always think of grandma and grandpa when seeing my christmas plant flower, planting my garden and seeing all the flowers bloom as they are now in Indiana. Take care and love you all! 🙂


    • frangallo Says:

      Hi Joe, grandma and grandpa are especially with us when we garden and do other things they taught us to do. We keep them alive in our hearts, always! You, too, have the Gallo trademark of the BIG SOFT HEART, pure kindness. I so look forward to spending some time with you at Christine’s wedding in August! I love you, Joey (can I use your baby name on the blog?) And thanks for subscribing to my blog!


  6. Vince Urbano Says:

    How true and beautifully put. You are a true insperation to our family. You know that I’m a very soft person inside(just like Gmpa) even though I stand 6’5″ tall and scare little kids when I go to pick up my own. We are so blessed to have them both in our lives. But knowing there TRUE character is the most important part to me. Fran they have really never left our side(if you really think about it), they live through are actions everyday. Thats the amazing feeling behind it, developing Gmpa’s green thumb and having them both close to our hearts. They are more alive than ever in NW Indiana here and this will continue until God decides it’s my time. Then hopefully one day my children will hold there end up and continue the things that make us who we are.


    • frangallo Says:

      Yes, they are still with us. I feel it more strongly some days more than others. I especially feel their presence, like you, when I am gardening! I love your big soft heart! It’s our Gallo trademark! I love you, Vince!


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