the back of our hands

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
– Audrey Hepburn

My friend Liz and I are fifty-five years apart in age. We share a name and a deep friendship. I marvel at this picture of our hands, side by side. I see so much: that we support one another, that we both take pride in our work, that we both hold onto life with a force, that we know one another like the backs of our hands, that we are similar in some ways and different in others, that each of us has her own history and mystery, and that we both still write in long-hand cursive!

I see how much she has helped me in my life, with her generosity of home, spirit, love, time, and mentorship.

And I see how fragile Liz’s hand is. I see that her skin is paper thin. I see that she needs help in ways that she didn’t when she was my age. I see how strong my hand is and how eager, I hope, it is to help the hand beside it.

What do the backs of your hands say?