To all women and girls who have been celebrating International Women's Day in one way or another.....This is my photo for this year's Women's Day Celebration...to celebrate aging with grace - to accept the lot that we have been given - to fight the good fight - and to love our beautiful slim fingers now and later the crooked arthritic ones........
How often do you study your grandmother's hands? Do they have crooked and knobbly fingers worn almost transparent and thin by long years of hardwork?
Can you read love into the thin and frighteningly looking bony fingers which may break any moment?
What can you remember? Can you remember her combing your hair and straightening your collar so that you look smart before you skip happily to school? Can you remember her shaking hands trying to tie up your shoe laces before you could tie them yourself?
Can you remember her immediately pouring a glass of warm water for you when she heard you just having a small sneeze?
Can you remember her loving hands folding all the nicely dried fresh from the sun laundry as you sat doing your homework?
After so many long years her fingers have grown crooked and often times she is in pain. But silently she bears all. And now she is holding a bowl of soup to her mouth because it is hard for her to hold a small spoon and you watch her......Where have all the years gone? Her love for her family summarised by the arthritic knobs and swollen joints on her fingers.
My aunt's fingers are all arthritic - crooked and in the joints swollen and painful. Her palms are rough. And she has a lot of stories to tell.
Her left hand's middle finger was once injured when she tried to slaughter a big chicken. Because she had to cook for her family she did not even bother to go to a clinic immediately. She dressed her wound only after the last guest left the house. By the next day the finger was all infected and nothing could be done to straighten the finger.
Here's another one to share with my young relatives.......
Grandchild : Grandma why are your fingers crooked? They look like a witch's fingers. They frighten me...aaahhhhhh.....!!
Grandma : My child - my hands have been used to cook and serve all of you and your uncles and aunties and your great grandparents since I was a child!
Grandchild : Why are my mother's hands so white and smooth?
Grandma : She goes for manicure! And she does not have to tap rubber and feed the pigs! She does not have to carry water and wash clothes in the Rajang River.
Grandchild : Why are your hands shaking all the time?
Grandma : I am old already. My nerves are not so strong now.
Grandchild : God should be able to make your hands like my mother's!!
Grandma : No..it is ok. God understands why my fingers are all crooked. May be his fingers are like mine too.
Grandchild : I am afraid that my fingers will be like yours!
Grandma : We don't know what the future will hold.....