Hand Challenge: Entry #6 Mother and Son

In choosing my entry for this challenge, I was torn between two images I have taken. The one I chose not to enter was the hand of an organic farmer who regularly sells at the Rockwall Farmer’s Market holding a sugar snap pea that he had grown. His hands are dirt-stained and show cuts from hard labor. It is still a favorite image of mine; however, I think the nostalgia of the holidays… remembering happy times, caused me to choose this image.

This is a photo of my husband holding his mother’s hand. At the time she was in her late 80’s and living in assisted living in New Jersey. Each time we would go back to visit we would see her health gradually deteriorate. Now, the roles were reversed. She raised and cared for him and was always there for him. Now she needed him and the rest of the family for support in so many ways. She was no longer independent but she still had her pride.

We were preparing to leave to fly back to Texas and I knew that I needed to get a shot of my husband holding her hand. We never knew when it might be the last time we would see her. It was an impromptu shot. I took my black trenchcoat and laid it over his lap and had him hold his mom’s hand. This was taken in window light and as I remember, it was a cloudy day which gave a nice diffused light. I took three shots and this was the best of the three.

As I look at her hand, I remember all the holiday dinners she would make. And she would do it all! Everything was homemade and there were always three or four desserts… a pie, cake, cookies, and pudding. She showed her love to her family by cooking. I can never remember going to her house and not having something to eat. So it is in memory of my mother-in-law that I post this photo.

Mother and Son(Photo by Lala)

Mother and Son
(Photo by Lala)

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6 thoughts on “Hand Challenge: Entry #6 Mother and Son

  1. Lala,
    This photo is the reason why I started to love to take pictures of “hands”. I worked in a hospital before that they offers to “mold” the hand of their dying love ones. It is really a precious idea. I really wish at all time that I have my father’s hand pictured before he died, but did not have the opportunity to do it because of tons of reasons and money to buy a camera is number one reason.
    Thank you Lala for sharing this beautiful and very personal story.
    Let me end by sharing a poem that inspires me about hands.

    “Who will hold these hands and still see their grace and strength despite the wrinkles and deepened lines?

    Who will look beyond their gnarled twists and age spots to read the stories of how they came to be?

    Who will love them for what they have done and given even when they feebly tremble with sadness for not being able to do or give any longer?”

    By: Rhonda Lazo

    • Tessie…

      Thank you for your lovely comment!
      I have never heard that poem before but it brought tears to my eyes as I read it.

      I think as nurses we should well understand the meaning of this poem.
      How many times have we held a patient’s hand or witnessed a family holding a hand… perhaps for the last time.

      To hold a hand gives comfort and expresses love in so many varied ways. It is not intrusive, but rather an intimate connection between two lives for whatever reason at that very moment.

  2. Fay,
    What a touching image and heartwarming story. Such a wonderful way to keep memories in mind. I am so glad that you have shared the importance of photographing hands with us. Its so meaningful and because of you I ended up getting images of my fathers hands and my father and I holding hands. Your image of your husbands and mother-in-laws hands with all the different wrinkles, the pink nail polish, the size of the fingers is so powerful. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful image.

  3. Oh Fay this is a stunning photo and wonderful story!
    This challenge has really hit home with the emotions of photography and preserving memories through pictures!

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