Stolen Talents

Her hands were once little, innocent, and unaware of the joys and worry life would present
Her hands grew as she did, each experience a journey, a skill gained, a tear wiped…and four babies raised over 15 years
Her hands silently wiped her heartbroken tears as she thought about her baby boy she lost at birth
Her hands held onto her elderly mother’s hands as she comforted her through her memory loss and confusion
Her hands held her sisters’ hands as they said goodbye to their mum, embracing each other through the pain
Her hands wore three wedding rings: one of my father’s, a man she admired and loved for 26 years; one of my stepfather’s, a man she adored, who showed her the freedom of life, a life at sea, a life full of excitement and fun, a man who encouraged her in her dreams, her absolute soulmate, the man she had to say goodbye to too soon

The latter was a man she truly wanted to believe in, yet was wrong for her in many ways…those hands today bear the rings of her soulmate
Her hands sailed boats though the Mediterranean and back through the Seine to home
Her hands once cooked up the most wonderful meals, baked endless cakes and yearly snow house, an iced gingerbread house filled with tiny sugary sweets
Her hands would console me, hold me tight at night after a bad dream, and comfort me to sleep
Her hands would bake my pink birthday cakes, always perfect, always pink, always lots left over
Her hands looked tired, from raising me and my three older siblings, yet those hands were strong and never gave up
Her hands would sew and sew, for every occasion, for fancy dress and weddings, the teddy bears she made for charity, the endless amounts of material that ran through her hands and the bobbins she threaded
Her hands would paint the most beautiful scenes, from the hue of bluish-greens of the Canadian Rockies to the tawny rough of the Scottish highlands, acrylics and oils staining her fingers as she painted into the early hours
Her hands held mine as she taught me how to clean, knit, sew, and cook—but the latter was never a flair I acquired, yet the cleaning was

Her hands would support me, encourage me, console me, and hold my own two babies
Her hands were her wings, her talents expressed through them; her hands were her voice, her heart, and her emotions
Her 79-year-old hands today are weary
Her talents absent
Her hands can no longer cook a meal, can no longer sew or paint

Her hands are controlled by the disease, robbed of the chance to express herself in the many ways she once did
Dementia robbed her of her talents, and it robbed us all

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About the Author | Beth Young

Beth Young is a lifestyle photographer, a wife, a mum, and a young grandmother. She lives in the UK and spends her time mostly outdoors with her family and caring for her elderly mum, who has dementia. Beth has two mad cats and endless books on mindfulness and the power it brings. She loves beautiful things and looks for the beauty in others. She strives for perfection in all she does.

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