THESE WELLING HANDS

handsGod has given us two hands, one to receive and the other to give with………

Billy Graham

I look at my decrepit old hands and see age spots and knobs on the joints and crinkly skin and can hardly believe that they are mine. My Momma always told me that I was blessed to have inherited the Welling hands. Hands that consisted of long slender fingers that could create anything and that rings were made for. Those days have long past but thoughts of what these Welling hands have done throughout my eighty three years begin to ramble through my mind.
As a small child, these hands would make the most desirable sand castles on the beach and pick up the finest most beautiful shells and splash in the sea. They could find sand dollars and starfish and conks that they  would raise to my ear and hear the Atlantic Ocean. They played in mud and dressed many a doll baby. They learned to eat with a spoon and a fork and to cut with a knife.   They tagged other kids on the playground. They would touch my Momma’s face adoringly and they loved to entwine their fingers in the fox fur collar on her winter coat. They steered my blue bike named Betsy far and wide through the streets of Charleston. They were put across my heart as I pledged allegiance to the great flag of my country. They collected tin cans and gum wrappers during World War II. They played the piano and were held gracefully in Miss Mamie’s ballet class. They held up two fingers as I recited the Girls Scout Oath and made fires and cleaned lanterns at Camp Agnes Anne. They would thrust the paddle in the water as I canoed around Lake Junaluska. They fed the chickens at my Grandparent’s farm and held the reins as I rode old Molly, their broad back mule. They picked cotton and shelled boiled peanuts and great beans sitting under the shade of my grandmother’s front porch.  They learned how to snap fingers and mold clay and not to point at people.
They held hands with my boyfriend in the Picture Show. They hugged my girl friends and patted them on the back when they achieved greatness. They did homework and learned how to knit and sew and cross-stitch.  They learned how to swim at the YWCA.
They washed patients, took temperatures and emptied bed pans during my Student Nurse days. They birthed babies and handed instruments to the surgeons during operations. They held the hand of a Mother whose teen age son was dying. They wiped her tears and mine as well.
They wore a wedding band as I gave an oath to my husband to love him forever. They waved good-bye as he boarded an airplane that would take him Seattle to catch a ship headed for Korea.
They held our babies and changed their diapers. They turned many pages of books that I read to them. They made beautiful creations that still sit on my shelf. They held on tightly to the hands of my children as I led them across a busy street and they pointed out mountains and rivers as we would drive along the highway. They led our children through life whether crossing a street or solving a problem. They made cakes and cookies and decorations galore. They clapped loudly when my boys were in sports or when my daughter performed on her guitar. They have wiped away my tears of joy and my tears of pain.
They have danced the night away and learned how to hula. They held the phone when I talked to my family and friends. They have cast many votes.  They touched my husband with love and stroked his hair as he lay dying.
In later years they would wave hello and good-bye as my grandchildren would come and go. They have played games and hugged all of these precious children.
They have written many cards and letters to friends and stories about my family so that generations to come would know what happiness our family enjoyed and sometimes what pain we endured.
These hands have always prayed and prayed over my eighty three years through the good times and the bad. God has always laid His hands on me and given me love, strength, joy, hope, and salvation.
I look at my hands now filled with arthritis and age spots and yet they continue to be useful. They continue to create paintings and stories of family memories to pass down for generations to come. They continue to hug love ones and pat my friends and family on the back when they have accomplished a task. They feed and pet my English Bulldog, Winston. They continue to pray for me and anyone else who needs or asks. They are no longer the pretty hands that I had in my Youth. Sometimes they ache and burn but I know they have been well used to help others.
I am grateful for these  Welling Hands for they have served me  well. They have won the right to be old, painful and filled with brown spots and wrinkles and knobby knuckles. They have lost their beauty but not their purpose. I pray these hands will continue to do God’s work until my days are done for as my sweet Momma told me, I was blessed with the Wonderful Welling Hands.

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