Four Generations of HandsA while back, my daughter, Amy saw a picture of four hands forming a square. They were four generations of a family and that struck her as very special. So the next time we were all together, we took the pictures that were like those she had seen. We were very pleased with how the pictures looked. It was a very different way to do generational pictures.

I started thinking about what those hands represent. They represent the past, present, and future of our family. Yes, you could say that my mother’s hand is the past, but then so is mine, Amy’s and even Shai’s. Parts of our lives are in the past and part of our lives are in the present, and yes, parts of our lives are in the future. Within those hands is the hope of the future and the wisdom of the past. Our mistakes are now living in the past, and the future is what we will make of it. The choice is really ours.

Those hand have done so many different things. They have cuddled new life and changed diapers, shaping the future with their loving touch. They have been the disciplinarian of young lives, teaching responsibility and respect for others. They have played and worked…held books and babies. Everything we do, in some way includes our hands. They have shaped what we are. Some hands are calloused…the hands of a manual laborer. Some are soft, possibly the hands of an office worker. Some are dry from too much soap and water, possibly the hands of a nurse or caregiver. Some hands are permanently stained with oil or paint, while some are soft and manicured. It all depends on what things are going on in their lives.

So much can be seen in our hands, whether it is physically seen, or simply seen because you know the person. Our hands are so expressive of who we are, and when you look at four generations of hands, you can see all the differences that you know exist between the hand’s owners. It was such a good idea to take the picture, because it will always be a reminder of the past, present and future of who we were, are and will be.

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