05 Jun 2014

Five Minute Friday: Hands

Ask any of us who write, it’s usually because we need to read to understand our stories. –>click to tweet


I love how Alia describes what we do here on Fridays, with our wild and wonderful flash mob of words:

On Fridays we write. And sometimes it goes all over the place and we let it. We get messy and real and sometimes we cry and sometimes we laugh but we get it done week after week. We show up and write free.

Five minutes on one prompt. We silence the critic and the audience, we make peace with our mistakes and our word tense that goes in and out when we type fast. We don’t overthink or edit or make a fuss. We just believe words spilled are worth something even if they come out like madness. Join us?

It’s never too late to link up. Also? The awesome Karen whipped up a Facebook page where we can connect and talk all things writing beyond just Fridays! Click here to join us.

Then come take the Five Minute Friday challenge – all the details for joining are over here.

This week I asked my friend, Tonia, if she wanted to share a Five Minute Guest Post with us. She’s one of the most generous encouragers I know in this online space. If you haven’t met her already, do yourself a favor – click here and go say hi to one of the friendlist and kindest Canadians online.

She’s celebrating a new blog redesign and giving away a copy of my book today. So yea, two fun reasons to go visit her. I’m sure there will be tea. There should always be tea.




They’re the part of you where memories are made. Memories that seem to etch themselves in the depths of my being. And even though I’m forty-something and you’re sixty-beautiful I still find myself reaching for your hands and stroking the softness of the skin that stretches over long fingers – a testament to time and beauty.

I don’t remember the very first moment I felt their softness against my skin. Maybe that’s the way it was meant to be, that a daughter would always know her mother’s touch. Like your skin was made for mine and mine was made for yours and how we just know to the very marrow of our being that we fit – perfectly.

I remember those hands brushing tears from cheeks as I sat on your lap in the front seat of the car, daddy breaking sound barriers to get me and my bent-up arm to the hospital. How the strokes on my back kept time with the murmured language of motherhood and love.

I remember how you would smooth back the hair from my forehead after you were done with the scissors – how your fingers would touch that spot where my neck meets my shoulders as that one stray lock found it’s place behind my ear.

I remember the way those hands held me when you explained that you were going away and wouldn’t be back for a good, long while. How you gathered me close and I could feel hope trembling in your fingers as you touched my cheek, your eyes begging me to understand. “I’ll be back” they said – and I knew and you came.

That cold February day my eyes bright and slightly tired from a sleepless night before the big day. You licked the tip of your finger and with mom-spit cleaned around my eyes. “One last time” you said. I knew the dirt was imaginary but my nervous excitement could only be calmed by your touch.

I remember how labour kicked up fierce as my firstborn, all nine pounds, three ounces of her, pushed against me, my body bent as each contraction rippled hard across the swell of my belly. How your hands were there in the small of my back rubbing circles against the pain.

With that squalling infant in my arms you watched as all that echoes ancient unfolded – a daughter, for the first time, knew her mother’s touch.

There is so much about you that has settled deep in me but it’s your touch that keeps me centered in your love. It doesn’t matter how much time passes, or how many miles separate us – your touch brings me home every single time.

Your touch brings me home.


{Subscribers, just click here to come over and play along by linking up a post or sharing your five minutes in the comments – which are open today.}


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Precious…and goodness, my mother’s touch is still one of the most comforting things I can find. There’s simply nothing like it. Love the guest post today!!

  2. 3

    Absolutely beautiful, Tonya! Your heart spread out on this page describing exactly what it feels like to have a momma’s touch in all those important moments. I could feel your mom’s touch with each word and I imagined my own mom and all my moments wrapped up in all the beautiful years she gave to me. This touched me down deep and I am so thankful for the memories it provided me! Blessings, my friend!

  3. 5

    Squeeeee! I’m so excited to see you here! And I’m so glad I got to be here this week to play along. I love the new digs and the writing and all the things ahead for you, friend. At this point my not so little introverted self just might leap over a table to hug you! Lovely, beautiful offering here.

    • 6
      Lisa-Jo says:

      Have you and Tonya not met in person? ‘Cause please please please let me be there when that happens!!! #MadeForEachOther

      • 7

        We have met… and there was table leaping hugs involved… like literally I ran from end of the restaurant to the other end of the restaurant to flung myself at her – right? … I call her my #dreammidwife :)

        • 8

          Yes, there was running and flinging and hugging. It was awesome. There was no missing which one Tonya was, that’s for sure. She gives the best hugs ever. Can’t wait for Allume to do it all again.

  4. 9

    Totally surprised but so happy to read your post here tonight Tonya!

  5. 10

    What a beautiful post which immediately reminded me of favorite times of my own mom’s touch. Lovely post!

  6. 11

    Loved the topic today. I have a fascination with hands and what they say.

  7. 12
    Kim Akel says:

    I adore this post. I have always adored hands… especially my mothers. When my 4 siblings and I would sit in the church pew, whoever was next to mom would always play with the this skin on her hands, moving it around so we could see her veins pop up & down. Interestingly, we also gave each other hand massages. It is one of those things that when life is still innocent & pure, the touch of a hand is just that. Pure.

    I was 20 when my siblings & I held hands as we watched our mom take her last breath. She had struggled with cancer for over a decade, and her body just couldn’t fight it anymore. Two of us held her hands while we all remained connected through ours.

    This weekend I watched my 20 month old daughter, Gracie, our gift, as she held both of my grandmother’s hands. My mom’s mom, her hands are riddled with arthritis but it didn’t stop the hand holding… and my dad’s mom, her mind is riddled with Alzheimer’s but still the hand holding ensued.

    I live with my daughters hands in mine, and with my own hands reaching up for our God’s. I love knowing His hands are always open toward mine, and closed around them at just the right time.

    5 minutes! My 1st time to write & I loved it… thank you for creating this space!

  8. 13

    Oh what precious hand holding memories you have!!! Love this so much. {hugs}

  9. 14

    I don’t have a website or anything, but here’s by 5 minutes, distracted by the little hands that keep pulling at my sleeve for snack time :) but i enjoy all the posts, always. Thank you for the inspiration you share!

    He takes my heart. This man I’ve never met in person, but still I know him. With his hands, he reaches the darkest parts of my soul and sheds his light. In my deepest inner self he hides and I am his and he is mine. He touches with his hands and saves the lost. He stretches out his arms and opens wide his love for all the world to claim. With his hands, he holds the world. With one touch, the blind can see, the lame can walk. He parts the seas, calms the storms, anchors the pain. From his hands, starved ones are satisfied, thousands full. By his hands, we are fed, sheltered, clothed, held closely to his heart. Always in his presence, always in his hands. Simple hands he gifts the world, building up what is torn down. Healing hands, loving hands, scarred hands. Hands that have held the sick, lost, and poor. Embracing little ones with pure love and compassion. Hands that have touched the souls of the oppressed and taken the heat of hatred. Hands that opened wide, fingers spread, took upon them torture, hot iron driven deep straight through, piercing the gap between his hands and ours. Miraculous, powerful, grace-filled hands to pave the way for the lost to find him, to grasp tightly his hands as he leads us through the valley. Simple limbs we take for granted on a daily basis – the power we hold in our hands.

  10. 15

    Beautiful reminder about how precious a mother’s hands are. My little boys are not grown young men and today I woke feeling a little melancholy about how fast time flew. I would give anything to have them small enough to snuggle on my lap one more time.
    As I’ve gotten older I find myself seeing my mother in a different light. I picture her much younger holding me on her lap and somehow I feel I’ve come full circle.

  11. 17

    Tonya, what a glorious post. The beauty hands have brought into your life, the richness and depth – how fortunate you are. How beautifully you tell the story. Thank you.

    And “hands” is an excellent prompt. I could have written for 1/2 hour and think I may go back and develop this into a larger post.

  12. 18

    What a beautiful post. Tonya you have such a gift with words, and I know that I don’t say it often enough. I love your words, and more I love your heart.

  13. 19

    Gorgeous post….what a blessing :)

  14. 20
    Mary Ann says:



    Hands, somethings that I have been appreciating lately. looking at my own hands, no longer the smooth, unlined hands of my youth when I knew that my hands would always look young !! (lol) And now they are changed. The veins bulge on top, they are slim but strong, by the hours I spend crocheting. I appreciate my hands lately, sometimes when I feel a pain in the wrist or my mom can not do crafts because of arthritis. My hands, touch, express, wave, show that I am married (left finger ring), clean, hardly ever rest, what would I do without my hands, no typing, they express what is inside me, creativity comes through my hands, they express better than my mouth maybe because I can correct the copy but once a word is spoken, it can not be taken back. I love my hands, holding hands with my husband, making things, so important but rarely thought about or appreciated! Do hands ever stop moving?


  15. 21

    You made me picture my fingertips with creativity flowing out the tips from someone who also has older hands.


    I wandered into the garden and gift store. I had always wanted to bop in there and see what was in there. Oh, I don’t like to garden. I like the idea of it. I like pretty flowers and feminine garden gloves and new hand tools and magazine-worthy beds. I like spring and digging in the dirt. This always reminds me that my heart needs to be like cleaned-out weed-free freshly turned soil. It needs the warmth of light and the digging and the turning over. My heart, just like the soil in my beds, needs tending and care. Gardening reminds me of new life and new growth and hope and possibility. It needs watering, too.

    But I don’t like to get hot and I don’t like snakes and I don’t want to take care of same bed in August.

    But this spring day I wondered into the store of pretty green (one of my favorite colors) things and the sales lady said, “Let me show you this book of gardening hands that just came in.”
    She excitedly opened the book to a photo of a gardener’s hands. Lovely gloveless working gardening hands. And I wept. It appeared to be my mother’s hands. My mother LOVED to garden and, yes, her thumb was green. My mother had died suddenly four months before and I wept. Instantly, tears of grief streamed down my face and I began to sob and long for my mother’s hands.

    I have a new grand baby now. He is three months old and he loves his hands and I do, too.
    I could look at his sweet little hands all day. The dimples for knuckles and the soft clean hands full of new life and new growth and hope and possibility.

    Hands. Sweet memories. Hands.

  16. 22

    Wow! was a good one. After reading your lovely story I could think of something as nice.

  17. 23
    Carol G. says:

    Still no blog…but here are my 5 minutes…just in the nick of time I see.
    Hands on a clock. oh yeah. that remind me it’s nearly too late to post. Not pondering this hands post as much as last week. too many distractions?
    Hands…from my daughters’ whose blood sugar i check in the middle of the night. Scarred by oh so many Blood checks.
    Hands…my now, just double digit son who still (thank You Lord) doesn’t mind holding my hand when we are walking in a parking lot or crossing a street. :-) :-)

    Hands…the trembling ones I see as my mom who is 88 ages, not so gracefully any more. And sadly, that same aging tremble in my sisters. Knowing that perhaps in not such a far time from now mine will be effected. Then how will i hold grandchildren’s hands?

    But the most important Hands of all…the hands that hold your world and mine. And whose hands are attached to great big arms that can hold us in and surround us.
    Hands of Comfort, Hands of Peace.

    oops…5 minutes done.

  18. 24

    I was going to do a 5-minute Friday post about hands, but the more I wrote the more it turned into a sermon that my church really needs to hear right now… so I’ll be turning it into that. Thank you so much for your prompt that the Spirit is turning into more! God is at work in this place.

  19. 25

    Beautiful friend! Love you, Traci Michele @Ordinary Inspirations

  20. 26

    This had me in tears. What a wonderful woman she must have been. It made me so happy for you to feel such love. It made me sad for me because my mom is not an affectionate, empathetic type of person. It made me feel ok because I can choose what kind of mother I will be. Thank you for hsaring. Absolutely lovely. http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/2014/06/hands-5-minute-prompt.html

  21. 27

    Oh my, what a beautiful description. I am sure my mum would still spit and wipe if she thought it was necessary, even at 70, and I still stroke my daughter’s hair and face, just as I did minutes after she was born. Thanks you.

  22. 28

    So touching, so beautiful, so true. There is nothing like a mother’s touch.

  23. 29

    I finally put my hands to work on this one.

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