Grandpa Troiano

Grandpa Troiano

“Edward, you have hands like Papa,” said Mom and Aunt Della.

Papa was my grandfather and at thirteen years old, there was no way that my hands looked like his. I did not even come close. I know they meant it as a compliment because they loved their father and respected how hard he worked for his family.  Perhaps they were trying to tell me something of what I should be.

Grandpa’s was the hands of work, hard work… bruised, gnarled, crooked, healing cuts, brown spots.  What were those brown things all over the back of his hands like a map of Europe.  No, I did not have hands like Papa’s.

Today, I found a brown spot, my first, on the back of my hand. Those are the mark of age. Yee gods, I am getting old! I have an old age spot on my hand. And my skin looks thinner than it used to. And my hands are beginning to look like Papa’s.  “Those are called liver spots because they have the color of liver,” I told my patients.

“They are most likely caused by exposure to the sun and the irritation of skin cells on the back of your hand.”

“No worry. They are benign,” I continued. “They commonly appear in older people.”

Now I have them! Drat! I am older people.  I can take it. I understand.

I have hands like Papa’s, not gnarled or crooked, just used and exposed. Liver spots.