Day Twelve: Close-Up
Her age shows up in her hands more than anywhere. The bones on the backs of her hands stand out like narrow tree trunks sculpted in a rainforest frieze, with ropy, blue veins tangled over them like heavy jungle vines. And the creases! So many narrow creases time has laid at the base of her wrists like bands of loose-fitting bangle bracelets. There are age spots, too, but not many, and the abundance of wrinkles makes them hard to see unless her hand is fisted.
Her fingers tell individual stories, some still straight and lean, others beginning to twist out of alignment. Some of her knuckles are enlarged, swollen with arthritis, and two small Heberden's nodes sit atop the first knuckle of her left forefinger. When she stretches her hands out, palms downward, there's a hint of a tremor there.
These are hands that have always been busy, not with hard work like planting fields or scrubbing laundry with lye soap on a washboard, but steadily busy with schoolwork, then childcare, cooking, sewing, office work, arts and crafts, stroking her beloved dogs, and, most recently, writing about her life on the Internet.
Her hands, my hands, are the ones that typed this post.