Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘memoir

Whose Hands?

with 6 comments



I remember her hands, slim and graceful,

gently rounded fingernails

sometimes painted with a soft rose nailpolish,

sometimes cut up from yardwork or from building something.


Hands that could wield a hammer or a needle,

 pounding work or delicate work,

                sometimes doing construction as when building her house

                sometimes doing embroidery or cruel needlework.



Hands that made crocheted gifts for Christmas one year and

hand drawn with the recipient’s interest painted on tee shirts the next. 

                sometimes making and carving candles

                sometimes making beaded flower arrangements for all.


Hands that hammered two by four’s

hands that carried large cement blocks

                sometimes up scaffolding while building a chimney

                sometimes making a retaining wall.


Hands that made things from scratch

hands reddened from boiling water or strained black raspberries,

                sometimes making tofu or bread

                sometimes canning veggies and making jellies.


Hands that hammered wallboard

hands that spackled and sanded each wallboard joint

                sometimes painting ceilings and walls

                sometimes slapping on tar to waterproof basement walls.


Hands that danced through the air

as explanations needed visual expression,

                sometimes in graceful dancing

                sometimes in pointed conversations.


Hands that changed diapers

hands that delighted to convey love to others through touch, 

                sometimes to hold and caress

                sometimes to massage and heal.


But what has happened to those hands?

Whose hands do I now see?

                sometimes bloated from water retention

                sometimes aching from too much work

                sometimes not seeming like the same hands of yore

                sometimes I wonder: whose hands are they?


They are my hands now: aging, not as graceful

hands that convey the passage of time,

                sometimes still able to massage and heal

                sometimes to make bread or draw

                sometimes to build something or paint

sometimes pull weeds and plant.


More likely than not they are dry, needing lotion

or aching from too much writing or weeding

                always wanting to impart love and touch

                always wanting to distill a little more beauty

                                into gardens, or recipes, or creative gifts

                                into life, work, people, love.


They are my hands now—no one else’s

 I am proud of the legacy they reveal

                only to those who have the wisdom to see

                life enhances, not detracts, from the beauty of hands.



Written by thalia

September 9, 2008 at 10:50 am

Questions for the Doctor

with 7 comments

Let’s see now. What else should I ask? Where’s that list? Oh, yes, so far I’ve got:

  • Is it really cancer? That word, cancer, sounds so unreal. Mom and Dad had cancer so I guess it’s possible or probable that I would also. Should that be the first question? Well, it IS the first question. How can it not be?

  • How big is the tumor? I didn’t even feel it or know it was there. How can it have been growing inside me and I not know it? Just like Mom’s brain tumors growing big and no one knowing they were there.

  • What, exactly, is adeno… adenocarcinoma of the uterus? What a lovely sounding word, yet isn’t lovely to have. ah-den-oh-car-sin-oh-mah Just rolls off the tongue. Could even be the name of a character in a story. Adeno Carsin Oma was the grandmother (yes, the Oma) of five delightful grandchildren. Oma loved to hold them when they were babies, but now they are growing up and don’t want to be held as much as to have stories told to them, particularly of the time when…

· Could it be benign? Or must it be malignant? What will I tell everyone? And coming too close after Sis’s operation for a benign but dangerously placed tumor near her pituitary gland. I’m glad I had a chance to be with her during her recovery last month, but how will everyone deal with me having cancer right now?

  • How long have I had it? Growing inside, like my fingernails grow, like my cells grow, like all the life processes go on inside without my awareness. A part of me wants to just get it out quickly, yet… really… it is just doing what is its nature to do. Grow, survive, reproduce, grow more. Just like us humans as we take over the earth thinking we are the important ones…free to kill animals and destroy forests and oceans…Who has the right to be here? Or maybe we all have the right to be here in this world of duality. Maybe we are all struggling souls.

  • What is the treatment? Treatment? Is treatment necessary? What exactly are we treating? Something that will continue to grow and take over my body and all its processes. Something that is doing what it is designed to do at the expense of the “me” I know. So many other aspects of my body have changed over the years, is this the final change? Or can it be altered? What is the right thing to do? I sure don’t know what is best for me spiritually. What is “Thy Will”? What is best for my spiritual self? What lessons are yet to be learned? From what choice? What is “Thy Will”?

  • Surgery? Initial difficult shock for the body then 6 weeks of rest at home, then a long scar downmby belly. If they can get it all, that’s the end of it. No cancer and no more uterus. And after all my uterus has done for me – what a shame. This seems to be the course for now and then we’ll see. Six weeks of rest sounds good – a chance to meditate and mull and relax at home where I love to be, looking out at the garden and the clouds drifting by and the birds twittering and the butterflies and bees as they enjoy the flowers.

  • Chemo? Radiation? We’ll wait and see about these possibilities until after the surgery is completed and the biopsy results are back.

  • How long a recovery? Is there ever a full recovery? Perhaps physically, but how about emotionally? I would think that experience stays with you forever, particularly if it becomes part of your personal growth. And I would hope that something of this nature becomes an aware-part of personal growth. What is the point of it all if not? Part of the process of having us ready to move out of this world when it is our time. Dying to live – living to die. The only choice can be “Thy Will be Done!”

I guess that’s all the questions I can think of now. I’m sure that others will come to mind as I listen to the doctor’s replies. But I had better not misplace this list. They say that you have just a few minutes of the doctor’s attention, so I want to have the essential questions ready–the important medical questions the doctor will think are relevant. The rest is up to me and “Thy Will.”

Written by thalia

April 18, 2008 at 9:01 pm