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.
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