I wrote that title and it almost sounded like I was going to write, “My Gramma’s Hand Maiden,” nope, I meant “My Gramma’s Hand Towel,” nothing sexual here, move along. It’s one of the many everyday items I saved after she died in January — foreshadowing what kind of year 2020 was going to be.
Anyways, I put it aside, because, well, it still smelled of her in a way, smelled of the old house. I didn’t want to use it yet. I remember her using this particular hand towel, after she’d wash her hand in the bathroom, how she would turn over her hand and pat it dry, and the other side, as she couldn’t use or move her fingers too well. Her hands just hurt. It was too painful to clap. At church, if they were celebrating someone’s birthday or anniversary, people would go up front for a blessing and then everyone would clap, and Gram would turn one hand over, and lightly pat her palm, because that was tolerable for her. Her gold wedding shining.
She died and was buried with that ring on her finger. My Gramma’s hands were always so soft and her nails always clear and cleanly manicured. But her hand turned so swollen and purple, reminiscent of this towel perhaps, due to the kidney failure. That ring was never coming off, never came off. Unless the undertaker took it. I think there are assholes who actually do things like that. Anyways. My Gramma’s hands and this hand towel, a sweet dankness.