As part of a photo project for work, today I got to spend some time with a lovely elderly patient of ours.
The objective of the project is to provide our patients’ families with large, framed photos of their loved one’s hands.
To some, I guess this might sound strange.
Not everyone has attractive hands. Especially old, wrinkled hands, right?
No way. When this idea was presented to my office for funding consideration, I totally got it.
My grampa hasn’t been with us for more than 20 years, but I can still see – and feel – his hands.
It is one of the most vivid memories I carry with me. Those wrinkled, old hands were beautiful.
And I wish more than anything that I would’ve known to preserve them in a photo.
As you can see above, now this patient’s family won’t have that particular regret.
But we took her photo even a step further.
Please forgive me for not sharing the next set of photos; it would feel like an invasion of her privacy to do so.
But I’ll paint the story in broad strokes.
The photo of her hands not shown here includes a necklace that her husband had given her many, many years ago.
(She’s a widow, obviously.)
The entire design was his, provided to a craftsman for its final creation.
He made sure every element of the design was symbolic of the life together — the overall shape for where they met, stones for each of their sons, stones for each of their daughters…stones for each of their children that preceded them in death. A simple gold cross attached the pendant to the chain, indicative of their Catholic foundation.
It’s one of the most moving gestures of love I’ve seen. She never takes it off…nor will she. It will be buried with her.
But her family will have the consolation of being able to see the beloved necklace in the photo we provide.
I feel so humbled and blessed to have shared some time with this lovely woman in order to provide her family with this small gift.