The Mom Photo Essay Project On Instagram: Seventeen

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Connections, leaps, links: the way the mind brings thoughts together. This begins with the previous photo in this series, with mom's fall, the trip to the ER, the Coumadin, the 3-stitches in her head. In this photo, I see the results of the Coumadin (not fall related) – the dark patch on the back of her hand is a perpetual bruise from the Coumadin. My mom uses scissors to open her mail, & they constantly slip from her lap into the gap at the side of the chair, between cushion and arm. Squeezing her hand into the gap results in a bruise. The fact that this happens more than once a day makes the bruise seem never-ending. Then I see her hands – the arthritic, swollen joints. Not age-related: she had swollen knuckles by the time she was in her 30s. They've just grown over the years. I've often thought of various comments/writings I've seen from women, talking about 'having their mother's hands." Often it seems they're talking about the beauty of their mother's hands, or the strength. I wonder what they'd make of my mom's hands which have never been strong. Then I think of the strength of the knuckles in those hands. My mom was fond of giving us a backhanded smack if we mouthed off. With those knuckles, it was a true 'knuckle sandwich'. More than once my brother and I had a bloody nose or a split lip from those strong knuckles. And I think of the time my lip got split rather deep, from a backhand for some smartass remark. And how there was no trip to the ER "the doctor's will think I'm abusing you." So, some gauze and tape for a few hours, and very cautious eating for a few days – I still think of the sting of the vinegar in the Italian Dressing that sent me running from the table to try and rinse it off the still-raw split. Connections, links, thoughts – one thing, one thought flows into the next: Coumadin, blood, bruises, arthritic hands, smacks in the mouth, split-lips, vinegar stings. #aging #caregiver #mom #elderlyparent #flashessay #memories #MyMothersHands

A post shared by John Francis Nooney (@john_francis_nooney) on

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