As Time Goes By

Have you ever looked at your hand?  I mean really looked at it and noticed all the tiny wrinkles, the hairs, the pattern of the skin, the tendons when you flex?  Or maybe even the scars that have accumulated over the years?  Have you ever noticed those intricate patterns your skin creates?  Have you noticed that overtime your hand has gotten a bit more worn looking, that maybe it is not as smooth as it once was?  That the sun has done its damage and you are now blessed with that wrinkly, leathery look? 

I drew my hand today for Rachel, so she can hang it on the wall in her apartment.  Everyone that comes and visits grabs a piece of paper, draws and decorates their hand and then hangs it as a sign of their presence.  Now, I have not yet been to Rachel’s London apartment, however, since I write her snail mail letters it’s like I am there anyway. 

I noticed all the scars that I have accumulated over the years.  Some from Button, some from Janelle, some from my own stupidity with my adventurous antics.  My poor middle finger is completely bent and crooked from the many times I’ve jammed it from playing catch, or landing on it hard.  Our hands tell us so much.  You can tell if a person is a laborer, a musician, a writer, or an artist.  They tell a story.

Before my grandmum died, her best friend Dora would come in, every single day to check on her.  It was like clock-work, I’d be sitting in the room working on homework, and I would think ‘Hmmm Dora probably will be coming soon’.  I’d hear the knock and go to open the door so she could come in with her walker.  I could never get through those visits without crying, because I’d watch Dora take grandmum’s hands both so gnarled and rough, and pat them.  She’d smooth and fix Grandmum’s hair, talking to her while trying to get a response.  But the image of her hands resting on grandmum’s will forever stay in my memory.  The picture of friendship and love between two dear friends.

As I drove back to Anderson today, it suddenly struck me how hard Thanksgiving and Christmas will be.  Two years in row now where we have lost someone we dearly love.  It was to say the least, a very emotional car ride back, realizing that these holidays are going to be missing both daddy and grandmum.

Of course just like Rachel’s apartment, they drew their hands on our lives. They left their mark, and even though physically they are not here with us.  I see their influence in my life daily, and that is something that will never be taken away.

It is something that I will daily cherish.  What a blessing of having had these two wonderful people in my life and now in my memories, who blessed me completely each and every day they were alive.


Which got me to thinking.  I hope that one day my life will have had as much as an impact on someone elses life, like so many have had on mine.  That I strive to leave a positive impression on others, and that I never let my standards or values down.


For is that not, in a sense, what we do each and every day?  We leave a hand print everywhere we go.


Facing giants

Sometimes I forget just how traumatic childhood can be, and then I remember how much I was paralyzed with certain events that seemed like evil giants in my life.  There are times when I want to pull my hair out during club, because I have no idea how to reach certain kids.  I constantly feel like the bad guy, especially when I have to take away choice time or even their gold coin which they try to keep the whole day for good behaviour points.  Working on homework is always a dramatic situation with some.  At times I hear ‘I’m never coming back again!’ and then a burst of tears will ensue.  Oh the joys.  

Of course how can I forget the moments, where I never wanted to go to school, especially when Math seemed most evil to me.  I was held in from recess so many times because of stupid math homework, and my cousin’s friends caught me crying one time because of it.  Bless her for helping me after school, especially in learning how to count money. 

I just want to take my kids into my arms, give them a huge hug, wipe away the tears and say everything will be alright.  I want to say that these evil giants will soon be conquered and they won’t have to worry about them anymore.  However, new giants always develop and the process continues. 

And what about the giants that are unconquerable?  My heart still aches, my eyes still well up, and I sadly remember how much was lost.  

I guess that is why I put so much of my heart into working where I do.  So those moment do not arise again.  I want them to know they are loved, even in the craziest moments and also in the moments of discipline.

My favourite moment this week was when a family came back from a long abscence.  I was walking down the hallway and one of the boys saw me, shouted ‘MISS ERIN!!!!’ and ran all the way down the hallway to give me a huge bear hug.  My heart was so filled with joy in seeing all of them again, for I had missed them so much.  Seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter makes what I do so worth it. 

One of my girls said, “Miss Erin, you really are energetic!  Energetic Erin suits you.”  I asked her if it was a good thing, and she said yes, however at times not very.  Shocked when she said that I asked her to clarify, and her reply made me laugh.  “Well, it’s bad when we worked on homework, cause I don’t like homework, and you always made me finish it, you were just TOO energetic!”  Of course, after that, she admitted she was glad I made her finish it all, even if at the time she was grumpy. 

Those moments bring a smile to my heart.