The following was written by my sister and used in the program for Mom's Mass.
A Mother’s Touch
When we think of our mom, we think of her hands. Average in size, nails trimmed—never too long—and adorned by one ring in particular-a white gold, square-shaped wedding ring. These were the hands that tucked us in each night, squeezed a little too hard when we strayed from expected behavior, and fingered a rosary more times than can be counted. They kneaded bread for cinnamon rolls and peeled potatoes, or mixed dirt for some new plant or exotic Japanese tree. They held us close, held us accountable, and patted our backs as she sought sleep. They cradled babies, held cards, mops, and telephones. They wiped away tears, spread on layers of Neosporin, presented horrible tasting medicines, and firmly placed numerous thermometers in our unwelcoming mouths. If you were lucky enough to squeeze in next to her at church she would hold your hand in such a way that told you, “Good job, you are here.”
These hands flew over typewriter and piano keys, packed lunches, and poured gallons of hot peanut brittle. Tenderly they stitched wedding veils, hemmed countless pairs of pants, and fed material through sewing machines. These were the hands that took down the gray-flowered china each Easter, the ones that ironed the linen tablecloth and polished the living room floors.
As she passes on, we hold her hands one last time and feel an overwhelming sadness, but not for very long. She has given us far too many gifts to idle away our time mourning. There are so many things for us to do with our own hands; letters to write, tears to wipe, and children to guide. We have our partners to hold and our own children to lead. We ourselves will pray, holding hands clasped together much like she did for us for so many years.