An Open Letter to My Left Hand

Dear Left Hand,

I am sincerely sorry for falling on you and breaking one of Wrist’s bones. It was painful. What might have been worse was the relief I felt when realizing your superior twin, Right Hand didn’t break, because it’s like my, never mind. You have been in a rivalry since birth, but that isn’t what I meant.

An open letLet me start by thanking you for not waking me up at night. It must be difficult while being restricted by the air cast. You’ve never complained, except for when you reflexively tried to grasp the lettuce box as it slipped from Right Hand. I felt that yelp of pain.

I’m sure you think I like Right Hand best. I use it a lot more often than you and the truth is I find it stronger and more dexterous. So I’ll admit that I am guilty of this favoritism.

I shouldn’t have been so insensitive when frustrated by your limitations in the past.

When I heard that it was good for you to be used, I let you blow-dry my hair. You missed my head altogether. Then you tried to brush it, but couldn’t get the angle of the bristles into the strands. The worst was when you bruised my gums when brushing my teeth.

I oftentimes have no idea what you are doing.

One night, I drove home from a restaurant and discovered you still held a napkin from dinner. I assumed you were replicating the blanket I held as a child and had tried your best to keep me calm while socializing. I’m sure it never crossed your mind to stuff it in my mouth. Right?

I laughed when you flailed around and spazzed out while mimicking my preferred Right Hand. For that I am sorry. Now that you are in a sling, I see that you are trying to work and stretch your unused muscles whenever you can. Relax for five more weeks, please! Left Shoulder and Elbow could use a vacation.

After the less than urgent care nurse put you in an air cast rendering you useless, I realized how much you do for me.

You pull heavy suitcases through airports to keep Right Hand free.

You are the stabilizer that holds the can as I crank the opener.

You hold the bread as I slice it and my head when it’s tired.

You hold heavy bags while Right Hand turns knobs.

You toss balls for Right Hand’s serve.

Without you I can’t open Ziplock bags or jars.

You open doors and pull the seatbelt across my body just like your twin.

You help with the heavy lifting. Without you it’s impossible for me to carry my crockpot, Mixmaster, or pots of boiling water without fear of dropping them.

Right Hand can’t hang clothes by itself.

You keep trays balanced.

You keep bowls and plates from sliding across the table as I scoop food.

Now I realize Right Hand often plays hot potato with items. It stuffs as much as it can into you to keep itself free.

The one place where you and your twin are equals is in typing. In fact, this may be your calling. Your twin has a tendency for wandering and takes its fingers off the keys. You are rock steady and keep yours at home. I appreciate that very much.

It’s my mother’s fault, you know. There was a time when I could have become ambidextrous. You and Right Hand would be equals. She pulled the spoon from your grip for fear I would be the kid in class who needed the left-handed scissors. It was a different time when kids were scorned for being lefties. Believe me, I would love to be able to switch my tennis racket from Right Hand to you or sign my name with a different slant, or draw with the other side of my brain.

Since my fall, there has been a misunderstanding. When I was glad I fell on you, it was because I protected Left Knee. “Oh, him again,” you say. Well, yeah. We need to protect him. He had a rough year.

I hope this clears things up. Yes. It will be another five weeks before you are released to your duties. Relax and be glad Right Hand is here to take up the slack.

Even though you try, there is no way, you’ll ever be exactly the same as Right Hand, but don’t be sad. I appreciate your unique qualities. You’re a part of me. We’re a team. Team Susie Lindau.

Hey. I see you flailing around making fun of me while I’m writing this. Now what did you do with my napkin?


Susie Lindau


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109 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Left Hand

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  1. “I oftentimes have no idea what you are doing.” I loved this!

    When I started school, Sister Mary First Grade tied my left-hand behind my back to force me to write with my right hand. (Apparently, back then, the Devil wrote with the let hand.) For the next year or so, I wrote starting at the right side of the paper, right-to-left. I could read it perfectly. I could NOT write in the “correct” direction. Often, I’ve wondered how much that explains about my peculiar thinking processes. (And we’re not even going to get into fine-motor skills…)


        1. Autocorrect has been driving me nuts on my phone since I updated to the most recent version.

          I can’t believe that nun tied up your arm. That is so abusive! I remember the animosity teachers had with Lefty’s. With a family of artists, I have to believe at least one of us kids would have been one.
          Thanks, Barb! I’m sure it will. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

  2. That is so funny. I am sorry about your wrist, what a bummer. Heal quickly and come back stronger than ever. It’s true we never realize the importance of all parts of the body until one is hurt. Have a great week.


    1. Thanks, Clay! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Using only my right hand has been a challenge in ways I never expected. You should see what I’m wearing. Dressing is the worst! This is no biggie compared to other “stuff” I’ve been through. I’ve always seen the humor in all of it!
      Have a great week too, my friend!


    1. Thanks John!
      Last night, I took off my air cast and then bent over a weekender suitcase I take to the mountains. I placed my hand on top of it and YOUCH! After a week and a half, It’s still super sore. 🙂 I’ll be more careful. Promise.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope you heal quickly. Had similar situation with hurt right shoulder leading to me using Left Hand exclusively. Quite a wake-up call. Adapted, but awkwardly. Trust you’ll rise to the challenge.


    1. Challenge taken! I’m glad I didn’t land on Left Shoulder. Mine remain unscathed after all these years. Isn’t it strange when you find out how *lowers voice* gimpy Left Hand is and yet I use it all the time..
      Thanks Ally!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess I was ambidextrous when I was born. I could write with either of my hands when I began but for my older sister who was a born spoilsport. She summoned my mother whenever I’d use my left hand for writing (It’s considered irreligious to be writing with your left hand among Hindus). Perhaps I was a left hander, I will never know. I have got twin daughters one of whom grew up to become a lefty. So I hate the pun behind what is right and what is leftover. But I am taking away the fun of your most amusing post. Wish you the speediest recovery!


    1. I’m lucky to be the oldest!
      I bet you would have been a lefty.
      I wonder how physically becoming right-side dominant affects our creativity. We were all right-handed artists in my family while growing up. So was my dad, who was really artistic. Do you think if we had remained lefties, we would have been even more creative or is that some other kind of hard-wiring?
      Tell me about the pun!
      Thanks so much, Uma!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so timely for me Susie! Tomorrow is surgery day, no use of my right hand for the next couple of weeks. I am sure my life will be full of comedic moments over the next few weeks!


    1. Thanks Darla! I’m being a good girl and am staying off the snow and ice.
      My humor is usually intact, but not always tactful. Ha! It really wasn’t that painful when it happened, but I knew something wasn’t right. You probably missed my s l o w m o t i o n post.


    1. Chocolate cake? That’s a cure-all for everything!
      I can’t imagine this cast with a toddler. I can hardly dress myself! I’m wearing pajama pants because loose elastic. I’m getting into Right Hand dominant mode which really helps.
      Thanks so much! Great to “see” you, Catherine!


  6. Very clever and amusing post, Susie. One thing for sure, people will never be able to say this about you: “Her right hand never knows what her left hand is doing!”


  7. Susie, what a charming conversation with your left hand! It’s especially heartwarming to me since last week I sprained my right knee and also got a huge purple basketball of a hematoma on my left butt from slipping off the edge of the lap pool. As Porter and I remind each other on all too many occasions, “it’s all part of being in the body!”


    1. Oh, NOoooooo! That sounds super painful. Have you ever noticed how we are just going about our daily business when this ‘stuff’ happens? It is so unfair! But I agree, we have bodies and they are so less than perfect. Mine especially!
      I hope you heal up soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry about the break, but as you said, Left Hand was only protecting Left Knee. It’s amazing to find out what a body part does for us when we all of a sudden can’t use it. Just reading all that Left Hand does for you, I got to thinking about how much my left hand does for me as well. Tons! Five weeks: so short and yet so long. May the time pass quicker for you!


    1. Thank you! I never gave it enough credit until I couldn’t use it anymore! 🙂 The worst part is it doesn’t feel that bad when it’s stabilized in the air cast, but I’m not supposed to use it. I can hold a phone now. I wonder if that counts. Probably.


  9. Be glad it was your off hand, Susie. When I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder a couple of years ago, I had to do EVERYTHING with my right hand for weeks, and I’m left-handed. Someone with a videocamera could have made a great comedy out of my efforts to shave. I was awkward at most things, but I think that was the worst.


      1. I’ve had two frozen shoulders at different times. Hubby had to help me with my hair, as I couldn’t lift my arm above my chest. First the right one, and a couple of years later the left one. Not fun. 😳


  10. Being twins, I think it must be hard for left hand to not feel as coordinated as right hand. She probably hates being so awkward. At least they’re sisters, and so likely feels no ill will towards her sister, right hand. :o)


  11. You are a good person for saying wonderful things about your wrist…it’s good that you apologized for throwing it under the bus in order to save your knee. Don’t feel too badly, we have all done something like that at least once…your wrist bone will forgive you…in about five weeks.


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