Hands of Time


Tina Blackledge

Sunshine peaks over my shoulder
through a window in need of some
attention. Warming rays ease the ache
in hands I find myself inspecting too diligently.

As often done before, I wait.
A crowded room, everyone on his
own journey either waiting to open the
next door or continuing their next step
upon a well worn path.

Although I hear the buzz of a busy office,
chit chat of fellow patients, a discussion of
lunch choices by hungry staff, and the
peel of laughter from daytime talk
show audiences emanating from a distant corner.

My vision is focused upon my hands but
my thoughts are inward. My hands are not
feminine, delicate, or beautiful. Rough skin
indicates years of laborious activity.
A lack of manicured nails accentuates the
fact these hands have seen
more work than pampering play.
A bit bent, a bit swollen, fingers
glide over the many scars that
have accumulated over the years.
Touching each evokes memories
embedded in the patterns.

These hands have know tenderness
tickling a niece or nephew to sleep.
They have known labor that was
both paid and to fulfill an open need.
Fury and rage have been expressed
when they were clenched tightly.
Yet, they have also created
beauty, recorded words of
some worth, and just
clasped the hand
of another whose
heart had just broken.

These are not great hands
of great worth but they
have done important
things for many in a small
circle of friends, family, and strangers.
I thank God because they should be
twisted and gnarled by now, useless,
and nothing but claws but
God has allowed me to keep
the use of my hands regardless
of my body’s failings. I Thank
God for loving mercy, for these
hands still work.

My thoughts are interrupted when
the nurse calls my name. I clasp
the walker and pull myself up
pausing a moment to allow my
legs to get the message that
it is time to work now. As
I take my first step,
clasping the walker
with all my strength, I silently
thank God for his mercy and love,
for I should not be able to walk.
No, I should be bed ridden, but
against the odds, I stand, I walk,
I have use of my hands and my
mind is still sharp.

As I traverse the waiting room,
I smile at fellow patients who
are at least two to three decades
older than I. Some are in
worse condition but some
are only beginning this journey.
They look at me with an array
of expressions; confusion,
skepticism, scorn,
judgment, empathy,
and the most destructive,

Again, I answer each of their
expressions with a polite
smile, for they do not
know my journey
and what I have
conquered to
arrive in the

feel pity for them
because they do not understand
but they will as the disease progresses
and begins to rob them of everything
they have ever held dear.
Eventually, they
will arrive where
I find myself today
in the
very lonely
very isolated

The doctor’s visits
have become routine used
only to fulfill insurance
requirements. The care is not
curative but palliative, for I
know she will say, “I am sorry
but there is nothing we can do
to stop this monster from
destroying your body.” Of
course, I already know this
and try to reassure her that it
is Okay and that I know
she has done all she could
do in modern medicine.

I am grateful, for
I know my now should be
much worse than it is so I
thank God for his mercy and love.
For some reason, He is delaying the
worst this disease has to offer and I must
take advantage of the now because
tomorrow will be too late.


17 thoughts on “Hands of Time

  1. i’m so happy for you. you have a beautiful disposition in life. you’ve maintained a clear state of mind aiding you to understand and accept things as they are or as they come. things happen for a reason and your having a clear mind makes the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful and touching post Tina! You are a very strong woman and I admire how you carry yourself amidst the pain. I admire your faith in the Lord. Be blessed friend, I am praying for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so very much for your kind and generous comments Arlene. My faith is the only thing that allows me to put one foot in front of the other. I live and breath the prayers said upon my behalf. I am blessed richly and I am grateful for all the people He has put upon my path. God bless you richly my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Tina, its not bravery but necessity. We all have a choice, keep going or give up. I have never given up on anything in my life. There may be times when I am holding on by a shred of a thread but the people God has put upon my path have always been there to hold on tight when I want to let go. Thank you, for being one of those people. Your encouragement, well wishes, and challenging questions help to keep me going forward. God bless you richly, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely, and I only want to tell you one thing please never give up, keep going. “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” Thank you so much for giving me that special place in your life. I know all I can do is pray for you & keep sending you hope…everyone has to face there problems alone. Take care my friend. ( I so wish I had a magic wand, but things don’t work that way)
        Well, I need something from you…it’s my Birthday tomorrow you keep sending me blessings thank you so much for that how about a smiley face along with it. 🙂 Please…I may sound a little to kiddish but need to see you smile…Sending your way lot of positive vibes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I pray you are surrounded by all those who love you and that they shower you with appreciation and love. I hope the coming year is filled with wondrous moments of awe and grand blessings that lift you up and make your path smooth! I will have to figure out how to send smilies through this venue. I know how to do it through email but will have to figure this one out! I love smilies too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so so much. You already did it. That’s all what I needed 🙂 . Thanks for such wonderful wishes for my birthday dear Tina. You made my day! I’m sure there was that upward curve while you were writing to me such wonderful blessings & wishes. Thanks again & I wish May God be with you always to give you comfort & strength whenever you may need it. Take good care of yourself. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Please, do something special for yourself, my dear friend. You are a bright light in a world that can be dark so you deserve to be happy and fulfilled everyday of your life. Happy birthday, my dear. 🙂


  3. I know the trials and tribulations you have endured, but you are one of the strongest women I know. You have encouraged me countless times. We’re on this road together and I am always here for you, my dear friend. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Diane,

      Your words are like salve to my soul. Thank you so very much. It is always most comforting when walking a difficult path knowing that your steps are not single impressions but ones made ever deeper by those who accompany you. Hugs and love to you.


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