my mother’s hands

by | Dec 25, 2021

My sister and IIn these holy days I am flooded with memories of my mother, Yvonne; her hands, in particular. Hands that made hundreds of cookies, kneaded endless loaves of dough for bread and the sweet, cinnamon-y Swedish wreaths she made and Ole delivered every Christmas season of her married life. Hands that gently affixed a delicate manger scene and North Star to a mirror above the dining room table, careful not to tear the fragile foil shapes she had crafted in the long ago days when that’s all they could afford. Hands that hung the stockings and ceremoniously unpacked each handmade ornament while sharing a story of when it was made and by whom. Hands that cooked the Christmas Eve casserole and the Christmas Day feast, with always enough leftover so she could pack some for everyone to take home. Hands that eagerly opened the mailbox each day, savoring every card before placing it in the basket she would excitedly pass so everyone could read the news of dearly beloveds near and far.  Hands that carefully chose the yearly Olsson family Christmas card, always a depiction of the Three Kings who, according to the Bible story, didn’t arrive in Bethlehem until January 6th (Epiphany); thus, giving Ma a few extra days to complete her Christmas cards.

Hands that were once very young and not yet ready to care for a baby, but wise enough to find that sweet baby girl a mama who could.

Being the organizer that she was, Yvonne almost certainly played a part in bringing me together with the sister I never knew I had. And Imagine my surprise and delight when I noticed she has our mother’s hands.  Grateful. 

My mother at the holiday dinner table