Edna Mae Booth passed from this world in Friday’s early morning hours. Her body wrestled long with death even though her spirit had been long ready.
What I will remember most when I picture Edna Mae are her hands. Fine-boned with long, tapered fingers, hers were the hands of a concert pianist. But Edna Mae never played the piano. So thin was she at the last that the blueness of the veins on the backs of her hands stood attention against her skin, a roadmap of life.
When her kids, now grandparents themselves, remember their mom, they see her standing in the kitchen cooking, washing dishes, hauling water, washing clothes in the wringer washer, tending kids, chasing kids, spanking unruly kids, her hands never idle. When it came her turn to be tended instead of to tend, her hands held bits of the jigsaw puzzles or a pen to work her puzzle books or her devotional books to read, hands still busy almost to her last day.
With poor circulation, she wore soft black gloves to keep her hands warm, but would take them off when I held her hands as we prayed together and at the amen, I would kiss her hands.
Others, closer by blood and time and shared life will miss other things, but I will miss Edna Mae’s hands – beautiful and soft and filled with the music of a life.