Grateful for Carol

* The first time I heard Carol Farnsworth read one of her poems aloud I was captivated by her sincerity, warmth and humorous approach to life. Since that time, my appreciation of her has only expanded. I have no doubt that Carol brought more than sign language to the non-verbal low-functioning adults she worked with for ten years. Clearly, joy and compassion are ever with her.*


Hand Signals

By Carol Farnsworth

I sit quietly, the only sound is the hum of the Oxygen concentrator beside the bed. I gently hold Helen’s hand. Her hand is cool, soft to the touch. It rests limp in my hand. I study the hand veined with blue lines and wrinkles. I turn the hand palm up to trace the long life line extending past the wrist. The hand is rough with dry skin. I reach for hand cream and rub some into her palms.

On my first visit, Helen grabbed my offered hand with a fierce strength. Her grip was painful. I talked and sang to her until she drifted into a light slumber and her grip relaxed. I felt my hand was the lifeline anchoring Helen into this world.

On the next visit, I held a hand that lost it’s strength. When I squeezed a light squeeze was felt in return. The strength increased as the time for her Morphine drew near. After receiving the drug, she rested and released my hand.

Another day, the hands were gesturing and Helen laughed and chatted with her deceased sister. She was showing how her to fix soft boiled eggs. Her eyes were open but it was not this world she saw.

Yesterday the hands were hot to the touch. When I attempted to hold one, she pulled back and grimaced in pain. Only the Morphine released her to allow a light slumber.

Now I hold a cooling hand with no muscle tone or movement. I squeeze but there is no response. I gently place the hand under the blanket and rise to give Helen a last kiss on the forehead. I whisper,”I love you, go in peace.” I leave the room, knowing this is the last goodby.

Printed in Spring / Summer. Magnets and Ladders


Carol Farnsworth has worn many hats. She is an artist of felted sculpture , actor and singer. She started to write two years ago. She writes poetry and short essays about people and places along life’s highway. She sees the lite side of being blind.

Carol’s writings have appeared in the Avocet, Plum Tree Tavern, Spirit Fire, The Blind Perspective , Magnets and Ladders and the Handy Uncapped Pen.

Carol writes a blog that seeks to entertain and instruct by narrowing the gap between visual and blind individuals. She sees the funny side of life and her stories and poems often reflect this.

In addition to her twice weekly blog posts, Carol is working on a Chat book,”Falling” about Human and Nature’s failing and learning to rise from these fallings.

You can find her blog by clicking the link below

Carol can be reached at carolaspot

2 thoughts on “Grateful for Carol

  1. Thank you for sharing this poem. It is one of my favorites.

    Ann Chiappetta, Author

    ` Making meaningful connections with others through writing `

    914.393.6605 Facebook Annie Chiappetta

    “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

    * Joseph Campbell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s