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Opinion Hands say a lot about us “Nobody ever touches me any more. lower back take a beating. A mas- hands with both of their hands dur- Oh sure, they bathe me and change sage therapist I went to for a couple ing a time of grief. me, but no real touching any more.” of years had healing hands. I could Let’s give ourselves a hand for the The power of touch, the importance feel their warmth before she even great and important work we do HAVING MY SAY of hands in what we do. touched my skin. through people whose hands reflect William L. “Larry” Minnix, Jr. My late Uncle Aubrey, who had a The hands of healing are essential their character, and compassion. President and CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging wrecker service, garage and cow to the work we do with the elderly Give a gift of a pat on the back or a pastures, had great hands. So did my and disabled. Notice the hands of 10-minute hand massage for every late Uncle Clarence, who worked your nursing or therapy staff some- employee or resident. My late mother, who died almost four the night shift at the cotton mill. time. They look warm. And they are Hands. Working hands. years ago of cancer, was a colorful Both had calloused, hardened soft and gentle. Healing hands are No, I didn’t put gloves on my character. She was a modern woman hands—with grease under the the most important tool in our mother in her casket. I was proud of before it was a popular thing to be. fingernails and embedded deep in repertoire of caring. those hands. They did a lot for me— My daddy was a traveling salesman the creases of the skin on those big, And think of the power of a pat on and for countless others. for many years, and both parents well-worked leathery hands. the back when we need a boost or a worked and had a kid to raise. I remember Jesse Barlow, Bob thank you. Remember what it feels Editor’s note: Minnix recently sent Young, Dalton Hollinger and Lewis like to have someone embrace your this essay to association members. [ ] Willis, all “maintenance men” (no “Healing hands gender slight intended)
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