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My Old Hands | Alzheimer’s in the First Person | Barbara Taylor Vaughan

Photo credit: Gabriela González

I love to have my old hands massaged. Missy was giving me a bath this morning. She always massages wonderful smelling lotion on me after my bath. On days that she feels ok, she massages my hands for a long time with the lotion. It feels so good. It is a treat she gives me.

Today while she was massaging my hands it made me think of my husband, he used to massage my hands at night after I had worked hard in the factory all day, his old arthritic hands, massaging mine.

When he was dying of cancer, Missy used to get in bed with him and massage his back and hands for hours to help his cancer pain. When she would massage his hands he would just smile at her…I will never forget that sight, such love.

One night I was massaging his hands and he told me how beautiful I was. I told him he must be hallucinating. He told me he was sorry over the years he didnt tell me enough. He said, “You know its like living by the beautiful ocean, or by the Grand Canyon, you see it everyday, you forget the ahh of it.”  He said, “I forgot becuase I saw you every day, how beautiful you were…I took your beauty for granted.”

Him massaging my hands, Missy massaging his hands and trying to ease his cancer pain, this morning Missy massaging my old hands. Just beautiful memories, even though sad. I hope Alzheimer’s isn’t letting me remember these memories one more time because the Alzheimer’s is planning on erasing them from my mind. Memories are our life…and I hope Alzheimer’s isnt planning on taking my beautiful memories and my life from me.

Just massaging my old hands…I told Missy how beautiful she was. She giggled and told me I was silly. I dont want her to think I take her for granted…I will try and tell her everyday…memories…just from having my old hands massaged.

These hands…

held the joys of a lifetime,
the sadness of times lost,
worked tirelessly to care for a family,
and were wrung on nights when the sands of time seemed to be slipping away.

– Annette Zeidman

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