Those Hands

I saw her, walking down the street, dressed in confidence and grace. She caught my gaze and smiled. There was strength and wisdom in her eyes that exuded a familiar warmth, the reflection of her kind hospitality and gentle but indomitable spirit.
As we moved closer, I noticed she was older than she looked. Her bright smile was soon replaced by a tired, forlorn expression. Her eyes had grown dull, over the years, from the sufferings she had seen and endured. Her lips once beautiful, were dry and cracked. Her petite frame hunched as though carrying an invisible weight on her shoulders. She touched my arm gently, with creased hands, hands that single-handedly raised an ingratitude of children who took her unconditional love for granted and misunderstood her intentions.
I held her hand briefly, saw the pain in her eyes and turned away. I did not know what to say.
Why was I not able to see, that those were the hands that carried me?
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