Reading Julianne’s guest post reminded me of seeing the musical Wicked. For me, one of the most touching moments in the entire show comes at the very end when Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch share a beautiful song entitled For Good, in which they share with one another the impact they have had on each others lives. In the song, Glinda sings to her friend:
“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason…
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you.”
“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good.”
In an equally heart-warming response, Elphaba, Glinda’s sometimes rival and longtime friend, sings:
“In this lifetime
Let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.”
Julianne shares with us about the handprints on her heart:
Confession: I have a long and passionate fixation with hands. My mom and dad have both passed on, but I can confidently say they had beautiful hands.
My dad’s were massive, strong and soft, and his nails were always neatly manicured. He accomplished so much with his hands. They fought in WW II, pumped gas, turned pages of hundreds of books, solved crossword puzzles, held Camels, roofed, fought fires, boxed, carried a tennis racket, held his daily rosary, steered countless cars and eight children, pulled teeth, wiped noses, held all of his grandchildren and tenderly stroked cheeks to coax away the tears. I remember his hands vividly and can still feel his in mine.
My mom’s hands were beautiful and soft, with long elegant fingers and well-tapered nails. My mom’s hands worked as hard as my dad’s but differently. My mom held countless bottles, polished, phoned, answered, washed, folded, ironed, dabbed Mercurochrome, spread Vicks, kneaded bread, frosted cakes, clapped, cooked every single day, crocheted, changed diapers, wrung with worry, showed us how to form letters and numbers, fingered her rosary beads, rubbed arms and stroked faces to encourage strength. I will never forget my mom’s hands and how they held on.
My brothers and sisters all have beautiful hands as well. Not to brag, but we were all blessed with great hands and none of us were nail biters. In total, their hands hold golf clubs and grandchildren, crunch numbers, hold books, wipe tears, create prose, wield gavels, steer cars, dial, tie ties, cook, talk, bake, snap, type, and pay bills. Their hands serve them well.
My husband’s hands are soft, strong, talented, and loving. His hands held mine, then took my heart. They fix everything, paint, play, clean pools, pull weeds, wash floors, cook, bake, pull, protect, defend, hold our children close, care for any child, and pick me up when I fall.
My son’s hands are strong, powerful and calloused. His hands work hard. His hands are instinctive. They catch, barbeque, throw, toss, hoist, deliver, carry, tenderly hold a baby, soon will take his bride, build with blocks, and play hard. His hands will help make him a great dad and already make him a great man.
My daughter’s hands are pretty, delicate, soft, and lovely. Her hands create, cut, dye, type, text, care for children, play, scratch, rub shoulders, cook, tickle, paint, write, apply makeup, and are deceptively strong and tender. Her hands will help make her a wonderful mom and a beautiful woman.
My youngest son’s hands are still growing, but already they have the signs of being good hands. His hands text, write, protect, clap, turn pages, carry laundry, toss bags, tape ankles, grill cheese, throw balls, slice pizza, hold him up, pour Gatorade, create, pick up babies, and play. He has the hands of his dad, no doubt he, too, will be a great man and a wonderful dad.
When my children were very young, I would interlace their hands with mine and then gently trace each finger. That’s how I created a memory. I am so grateful for all of the hands that have shaped my life and the memories they gave.
Julianne P. Joyce
Who has left a handprint on your heart? Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time.