On Monday, December 12th, 2016, the world lost one more good soul. My great-great grandmother, Ida Lee Hicks was vivacious, determined, and one of the most selfless people I have ever met. The world and myself and better for having known her. This is for you Granny- may I become half the woman you were.
“When I hold Granny’s hands they are rough and misshapen.
There is no white-gloved elegance to them, just proof of years of toiling in the hot sun and hard work.
To anyone else, these hands may seem ordinary or even ugly. But to me, they are a beautiful testament to her life.
These are the hands that knew exquisite pain and loss but never gave up.
These are the hands and meticulously crafted thousands of colorful quilts that comforted and kept warm the likes of her family and complete strangers.
These are the hands that labored in the hot Texas sun, sharecropping in order to feed and sustain her five children.
These are the hands that I watched for almost twenty-three years of life move expressively as she passionately re-lived stories from her life.
These are the hands that prepared and canned hundreds of jars of food so she could give them away to neighbors and friends in need every single year.
These are the hands that saw the comings and goings of over one-hundred years on this earth.
Anne Frank once wrote in her diary, “the final forming of a person’s character lies in a person’s own hands.”
Granny’s hands though small and frail are a witness to her upstanding and larger than life character.
As I sit and hold Granny’s hands one last time, I tell myself “I hope at the end of my life my hands are withered and curled up from self-sacrifice, from creativity, and from love.”
Just like Granny’s hands.“