For two weeks, my manicured nails have flashed their redness as I swipe a stray hair from my face or wipe a tear from a tiny eye. My typical plain hands have been temporarily transformed. And yet, the increasing gap of non-color prompted me to call for an appointment earlier this week…unfortunately, our schedules didn’t coincide. This morning, I glanced down and noticed the little lift of polish on my thumb. A simple tug and there was suddenly a matching margin of no color at the tip. Dressing for the bridal shower, I nearly opted for a band-aid as cover…but then I forgot!
* * *
Games had been played, gifts opened. We sat or stood, talking and mingling. I made my way to Grandma’s table and thanked her for filling out the recipe cards I’d requested. We chatted about books she’s read and I gave her a couple suggestions of favorite historical fiction titles that she too might enjoy. Noticing the streak of red as I reached for my coffee cup, Grandma asked if I’d had a manicure.
“A while ago,” I replied.
She shared how she’s just unable to hold the brush to paint her own nails. As she shares, she looks at her hands, and something about her expression tells me shy might be seeing those hands differently than she’d expected. It’s as though she sees how they used to be.
“I can paint them for you,” I offered.
“Really? I’ll talk to Papa and see if that would be OK.
We hug, and promise to set a date for said nail-painting, and so she can give me the final recipe card, which comes also with a private cooking lesson on the fine art of frying chicken!
* * *
From her post in the bedroom, where Frozen plays for the umpteenth time, she sits or twirls and sings along with this film she now knows by heart! I watch and listen, and then whisper, “Seneca, we’re painting nails out there. Want me to do yours?” She considers this and almost says yes, but instead chooses to stay in the room. Then, a few minutes later , I heard her quietly pad into the great room, and whisper that she’d like me to paint hers after all. She selects a shade of pink, the likes of which I have never seen. Sliding into my lap, I take her small hand in mine and brush a strip of paint down one side, and then the next.