I have this vivid memory of my mother coming into my room while I was asleep and holding my hands in hers, rubbing and massaging them. I pretended to stay asleep as she said out loud,”These are good hands. Such strong good hands.” I must have been about 10 years old. 

Then today it dawned on me that I might have been dreaming that memory this whole time. 

My mother has always been very good at taking care of me and being a mom. 

She will give me everything she physically can. 

She will work till her legs give and her eyes throb. 

She will keep every promise and make sure I am provided for. 

She will spend nights worrying about my future, giving me even her peace.

I could always trust and depend on her,

However she is not comfortable with affection nor expressing love in words. 

She loves, but it is just her nature not to say I love you or snuggle or kiss. 

I used to tease her by attacking her with hugs and kisses just to watch her stiffen as she yelled at me to stop and smacked me away laughing as I ran away laughing. 

That is not to say she doesn’t know how to love nor did she actually mind the hugs and kisses. 

Her love shows strongly though

through the way she looks at me with tears in her eyes when I am in pain, and she will cover it with a scold and smack me softly on my arm calling me names, like “wild girl. You’re so crazy.” laughing and crying all at the same time. 

She shows me by working harder if she knows I am struggling and tells me,”aya, what kind of life you make for yourself.” But hands me all the money she has saved for me with no more mention of it and makes me my favorite meals. 

She shows me by the way she simply adores my children and takes care of them no matter how tired she is because she loves me and wants to keep me from being tired. 

And yet I realized today, it is not like her to steal into my room while I am asleep to hold my hand and talk out loud. 

I do believe she thinks that and must have mentioned to me that I have talented hands before, just as she mentioned I have a nice large forehead that shows how big my heart is and beautiful cheeks that show my fortune.

She is my mother. 

And she is more than the gentle woman holding my hands in the night that I’ve been thinking of all these years.

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