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My hands tell a story

Anna Barsanti January 3, 2017 Anna Barsanti No Comments

I am wandering aimlessly from one task to another – creating a photo album online because it is the last day of a 50% off sale; purging – so far hall closet and bathroom completed to add the previously accomplished areas – far from done, no matter feeling good; reading; organizing paperwork; reviewing emails & text messages; still in my pjs; so much more to tackle, however not stressed about the muddling through – this is 2017 and the never ending to-do list will exist until perpetuity. Tomorrow Leila returns from her Sault Ste. Marie visit and we have a week to explore possibilities. She will get back into hockey – RHP, Sudbury Wolves Camp, and watching a Laurentian Voyageurs game. We will visit with some friends and play outside. Get ready for one of her favourite days of the year – her birthday. Hard to believe 9 years old!

What does a mindful reflection create? An opportunity to appreciate life’s symbols as reminder of my blessings.

I happened to look down at my hands as the fingers move from one key to another to craft this message – veins are protruding, skin shows years of living, fingers are a little swollen, and the shape of my hands are part of my father’s gift to my physical appearance. On my right index finger remains a childhood scar thanks to my curiousity. As a little girl I would watch my father lather is face with shaving crème. He would place is brush in the pot of boiling water, then move to the bar to create the puffy white crème that he would smooth over his face. For some strange reason I wanted to touch the water that made this magic crème so I brought my hand to the pot. I am sure I screamed and cried; scared my father silly. The fright, the pain – absolutely no memory of that moment; what I do remember is looking up at my father with adoring eyes. I remember living on top of the family restaurant with my parents and Nona Barsanti. I remember the love and having no fear. Life was more than good. Over the years that adoration remained even though I learned he wasn’t perfect and we would have father-daughter struggles – all a part of growing up. Knowing what I know now – what a miracle my parents and grandparents were able to perform. As a child to live in a home, to be safe, to have love, to have all needs taken care of by those who raised you, to go to bed each night knowing in your heart all was well – what is more magical than that? So this scar on my index finger brings me to that place in my life to remind me of love, hope, and possibilities curiousity continues to thrive. Thanks, Daddy for shaving with a hot pot of water so that everyday I can look at my hands and think of all you did for me in my life.

On my left hand baby finger is a skin graft that has been there since my Waterloo days. My dear friend, Isabelle Hanna asked me to help with a move the very least I could do for all she did for me over the years. Not sure how it happened but I managed to take a portion of my finger off on a glass we were moving. Rather than stop the work I simply put the skin back on my finger and held it in place with a bandage. When we finally visited the ER the doctor said I did a good job. This little finger brings me back to the fateful day as well as remembering the moment, the laughter, and the accomplishment of working together I am more connected to the value of strong friendships. Not too long ago I was reflecting on being blessed with so many people in my life who cared for me and about me.

Seriously, how was it possible so many people went out of their way to make sure I was taken care; then it dawned on me – my mother sent you all to be my earth angels? You came from everywhere – family, school, work, sports, volunteer organizations – anywhere I found myself – you found me and are still finding me. If you were unaware of how grateful I am for every single one of you, please know it now. You taught me what caring looks like without an expectation of anything in return. Your unwavering presence in my life over the years continues to be a source of strength and courage to continue the journey. Thanks Isabelle for asking to me to help with the move so that everyday

The middle finger on my right hand has a callous where a pen, pencil, crayon or any other writing utensil was placed over the years. I remember the day I asked my dad why my finger looked deformed and that is when he told me it was because of writing, painting, and drawing. Since a very young age reading, writing, and art were important to me. Many spare hours were spent with books or journaling or creating some kind of art project. And in one very brief instance my Gr. 13 English teacher took my dreams of authorship away in one humiliating moment in front of the class by telling my writing was at the level of a grade 6 student. I was devastated. When I go back to that day I remember my friend, Enzo Chiarelli standing up for me; I remember my Dad supporting me; I remember the school administration responding in a way that brought me back to school; I remember a teacher who made a mistake that wasn’t going to define me; and I remember a young girl who still went on to university. Thanks middle finger when I look at you I remember no one defines me except me. You remind me the circle of support is where to turn when in need. More importantly, the time has come to pursue your writing and revisit your inner artist – whatever that may look like.

The veins and wrinkles, well they represent life – my life joy, bumps and everything in between. These hands have built homes in Kingston, Jamaica and torn down the Small Frye Restaurant. These hands have shot, passed and caught basketballs; thrown and caught baseballs; held and swung bats; bumped, served and spiked volleyballs; held ski poles; swung tennis, squash, handball, and badminton racquets. These hands have held cameras, paintbrushes, and needles to create. These hands worked in the kitchens. These hands have served food & drink in restaurants, bars, halls, and homes. These hands have wiped tears of happiness and sadness from my eyes and the eyes of those I care about. These hands have held other hands to show love, to be loved. These hands have held babies and dying loved ones. This is snapshot of the story. These hands will continue to symbolize my life through the experience of each new day.

Take time this week to look at some part of you to remember where you came from and those who helped to create the person you call you.

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About The Author

Anna Barsanti is a retired educator who is sharing the experiences of raising her niece.

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