It’s no secret that for nearly two years we created a lot of good memories living in Utah. Among our memories were the many times that we visited Grandma Hill. It still surprises me that while her age may be affecting some of her other skills her mind is as keen as ever. Whether it’s a couple of weeks or an afternoon any time spent with her is absolutely delightful.

Over the years, Chrissy and I have always tried to leave her house the same, or better than we found it. Organizing things in the garage, sweeping, or just making sure we washed our own sheets and changed the beds, we tried to be contributors. When I found out how Grandma’s piano was silenced by her arthritis I would sneak a look at her hands. She’s not too fond of the way they turned out. I’m sure catching me looking a time or two didn’t help.

I imagine that if I took a poll to ask how we’d describe her hands I’d hear things like: weathered, worn, wrinkled, knotted, tired, and old. I’d also like to thing that some of us would see those hands for what they are and use adjectives like: beautiful, loved, patient, kind, and caring.

I’d like to propose a capstone word which is also the caption of the photo below. “Trophies.” Grandma doesn’t have a single trophy of her own anywhere in her house. I wonder if she’s ever won anything in her life. What the world has failed to recognize in her accomplishments God has not ignored. Her hands are her trophies. God has watched them bake innumerable meals, hand sew dresses for her daughters, play the piano, make milkshakes, hold her babies (and their babies, and their babies), change cloth diapers for 7 children, braid hair, give daughters away, welcome sons-in-law, and bury three children. If my hands look so weathered in 50 years I hope I will have done half as much good to this planet as grandma has done in caring for us.

The oak trees with the thickest, weathered, bark generally provide the most shade. I appreciated having so much time under those branches. We got grandma up to Logan Utah the weekend I graduated and I had a photographer snap a photo of her hands. I’d like to share that photo with as many folks in the family as possible and encourage them to download it, print it, and hang it up on their walls.

Clicking on the image below will bring up the high-res version. Please pass the link to this post around the family, it will likely be the only Christmas present we ‘buy’ for everyone.