These Aging Hands

At a meeting today, I wanted to turn to the person next to me and show her my hands asking, “Whose hands are these?”

I knew the answer because I was just looking down on them. But these wrinkles don’t appear to be mine. If not mine then, whose? Rubbing them together, I remembered the owner.

The skin is so loose along with multiple liver spots. How can my liver produce spotty blotches all over my hands? I pinch the skin and it doesn’t move. Whatever happened to bouncing back to smooth? The veins on my hands are clearly visible but who looks at their veins except us vain people?

It’s my dad’s fault, I conclude. Bad genes. I now possess my father’s hands complete with his completeness although he was 93 and I’m not near that. If I were to make a fist more often, would that help? Even if I did it every hour? Would that tighten what time’s loosened?

My handshake is still firm, and gestures continue as usual, but it’s the resting in place when I peer down at them that causes me deep concern. I see thick veins and wonder if one will pop open. Will I have time to seek help or will time time out in a quick blood release from my heart and liver? And what’s with that traveling from my liver to my hands?

I’m sure my doctor has an explanation for my aging hands, but I don’t need a $280.00 answer that costs the government and me. The signs are there, I’m holding them when I don’t type.

Signs of what, I wonder; that I’m my father’s son? I already know that. Does this mean I’ll soon be smoking cheap cigars and driving a car far too long for his safety and that of others? Is reruns of situation comedies at 11:00 p.m. my destiny as it was my father’s?

Crossing my arms during a meeting isn’t recommended, it conveys self-protection and arrogance which my father was never about. I already know about WWJD but WWWD: “What Would Walter Do?”

I suspect, no; I know that he would smile at what time has brought him – a good life, an honest life, a loving family, an incredible career and spots that seem to originate in one’s liver. Oh, wait! Am I talking about Walter or about me?

Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. All available in paperback or Kindle
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons of
Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter – a great seasonal gift
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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