My Mother’s Hands

My Mother’s Hands

These hands
that have been worn through time
their knuckles swollen and distorted
by years of living and caring and praying.

These hands
that have feasted on joy
and been consumed by sorrow
that have collected tears
and rainwater in their cupped palms
and washed clothes and floors
and sprinkled flour on a counter
to make pie crusts roll out
in round circles of perfection.

These hands
have never fallen idle
in the passing of years.
They have carried me
soothed me
fed me.
They have pulled back my hair
when I was sick
and stroked my back
while I lay sleeping.

These hands have woven stories in the air
with their dancing insistence, they can speak
without words
they have given benediction and disapproval
without sound
always silently carrying
the burdens
of a past hurt, a long-ago pain.
In their silence
they have grown tired and weary.

They are resting now
these hands
that do not need to knock
at the door of eternity
for these wise and loving hands
know God is waiting
at the open door of the eternal beyond.

These hands are resting now.
They lie silently on the heart of my mother
who rests at this sacred threshold
as if to catch her breath in the here and now
before crossing over
into the forever after.

These hands are resting now.
Soon, they will be at peace forevermore.

14 thoughts on “My Mother’s Hands

  1. Dear Louise, your poem is wonderfully written with so much love
    and observation. These loving hands that have always been there for
    you and her family seem to represent a strong woman who knows love
    and doesn’t shy away from work.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Louise, an intimate and loving tribute. I don’t know what I will do when it is my turn to be in this position but I know it will be immensely hard and I hope to process with as much grace as you are here. Deepest sympathies for your loss, may she Rest In Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello Louise…. what a beautiful poem of love for your Mom. And while this is a difficult time, what a blessing for your and your sisters and family to be able to hold vigil for her, and all of you….In the passing of our Mom, and Dad, I created a vigil playlist that my sisters and I found great comfort, peace and reflection….in “Calling All Angels” by Jane Siberry, there is a line that “the sweetness of leaving”…. couldn’t understand that line until spending time in vigil with a loved one….
    Prayers, and Love to you today….
    I have the playlist titles if you would find them of comfort and can email if you like? Peace be unto you….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Harry! Thank you! I love Jane Siberry — I have been playing Deva Premal and my eldest daughter recorded a version of Kind and Generous by Natalie Merchant which I play for mom a lot.

      I would very much appreciate getting your playlist — that would be lovely.

      You are so kind and generous.

      Many blessings.

      Do you need my email? louise [at] louisegallagher [dot] ca


      • You are so welcome…. I will put list titles here and also send to you via email….
        Love to you all…..
        Vigil Songs

        Lullabye – Arcady, Celtic Twilight 3: Lullabies

        Gartan Mother’s Lullaby – Linda Arnold – Celtic Twilight 3: Lullabies

        Irish Lullaby – Bill Douglas – Celtic Twilight 3: Lullabies

        All Through the Night – Brian Dunning and Jeff Johnson – Celtic Twilight 3: Lullabies

        The Long Day is Over – Norah Jones – Lifted: Songs of the Spirit

        Come Away With Me – Norah Jones – Come Away with Me

        Passage of Time – John Whelan – Celtic Crossroads

        To Where You Are – Josh Groban – Josh Groban

        Calling All Angels – Jane Siberry – Love is Everything : Anthology

        For Helene Adam, Kurt Adam

        December 2008, November 2018


  4. Those hands are part of your living memory. And they too will caress you in times of joy and sorrow long after your Mother has finished her journey. Be strong, your inner strength will be your guide. Your poem gives strength to those who will go down this journey after you, as it gives a moment of quiet reflection for those who already have experienced it. Peace ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: My Mother’s Hands — Dare Boldly | Me In The Middle

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