My Mami’s Hands
I do not live near my mami. We live a few thousand miles apart, physically, and also billions miles apart politically. I love mi mami though, and I am always thinking about her. Today I have been thinking about her hands…
Las manos de mi mami brings so many memories. I can picture her rubbing the tops of her hands, with lotion. I can see her running her fingers in a circular motion on the soft skin on top. One of the most vivid memories, and most loving memories I have of my mami are with her hands together. She holds them in front of her, one on top of the other, down in front of her pelvis.
Mi mami’s hands are beautiful. They are the hands of someone whose lived, a long life of work and effort guided entirely by her children. Mi mami’s fingers have had needles go through the entire finger and the fingernail – as she sat tirelessly in front of a sewing machine making clothes for us. I’ve seen blood gushing out of her fingers, where she’s cut herself with knives while she was cooking food, tirelessly, for her entire family. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I have seen mi mami burn her fingers, inhaling that Sssssssss as she would let water run through her second degree burns that she’s self inflicted – because she was watching Casos Cerrados while making home made tortillas. I have seen her pull out splinters from her fingers, LARGE spliters. She’s the type of mami who needs flowers around her, she needs life to surround her, so she has a backyard that Frida would only dream of.
When I think of mi mami’s hands I think of her running her fingers through my dark brown/black hair and saying: que lindo tu pelo, tan saludable. I have vivid memories of my brother coming home from school and going straight to the couch, asking my mami to “sobar” his back. And she would sit there, for hours, watching Laura En America and rubbing my brother’s back.
When I think of mi mami’s hands today, I see her knitting. She knits scarfs for everyone, I have an entire basket that goes up to my waist full of hats, gloves and scarves made by mami with love.
Now she is an abuelita, so she makes Valentina her shoes and hats. Mi mami shows love, mi mami loves us with her hands. She is a mami whose hands have weaved a narrative of love towards her family which we cannot help but try to return ten folds to her.
Yo tengo una mami that works with her hands, every day, to show her kids that she is and will always be in our lives. I have a mami whose hands tell stories of an unconditional love that I can only ever hope to be able to replicate with my own offsprings, one day. Yo tengo una mami whose hands make me think of kindness, a mami’s kindness, those hands have done everything to show me all of that.
Mi mami’s hands keep me warm in the winter, they kept me fed when I was young, they kept me clothed in Nicaragua, kept me surrounded by beauty and life, reassured me that I was beautiful and deserving. Mi mami’s hands are gentle and kind, and as I sit here thousands of miles away I wish I could just hold mi mami’s hands.