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. What a brilliant post. You’re so clever and funny, Susie! I’m sorry you broke your wrist. I hope it chillaxes for the next five weeks so you can heal. My dad is ambidextrous and switches hands while playing tennis. Turning 83 next month and still playing like he’s a kid! I wish I was ambidextrous, too, but my left hand has a lot in common with your leftie! Take care.


    1. Shhhh! Left Hand is super uncoordinated.
      Thanks so much, Lynn! That is so cool about your dad. I’ve seen people do that, but when I tried, I had no idea what my racket was doing. Hell. Most the time I don’t know what Right Hand is doing.


  2. Oh, you’re a hoot. I appreciate my left hand, too, although I use it a lot more often than you do apparently. I’m sort of ambidextrous, although not equally proficient at all things with both hands.

    Hang in there left hand. Sometimes it takes a mishap such as this to be truly appreciated.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    P.O. Susie, can you e-mail me about your last post about blogging tips? Thanks.


      1. I read your post and I commented. I wanted you to respond to my comment because I couldn’t find the tabs you referenced to change how folks view my blog. I’ve read the post twice but still can’t find where to make the change on my settings.



  3. This is fine, fine talk about hands and wrists, and rightys and leftys. But what about the shins? We NEVER get any respect. Keep getting kicked and bruised because everyone’s always sooo concerned with the upper body: the pretty face, the lovely hair, the firm handshakes.


    But how bout being cooped up in pants all days, next to smelly feet (which is a whole NOTHER story, let us tell you…)?

    Or being a critical part of the support structure in holding the rest of you upright?

    Yeah, come talk to us when you can walk on your hands all day. We can kick up some shin-anigans, alright….

    Respectfully (sorry, it’s just the pain-of-always-being-left-out acting out above; it really was quite a cute letter; we’re really not bad body parts…),

    Your Humble Shins


  4. It is funny how unequipped our non-primary hand is to handle life’s challenges sometimes! Thank god our legs don’t operate the same way, we’d be in big trouble. You and me are just a wreck… I’ve been dealing with a nasty case of “golfer’s elbow” and my ribs still hurt from falling with the dog. It’s rough getting older!


    1. I do feel like a wreck. Is it Left Elbow on your non-dominant arm? I had that too from pulling suitcases through airports in September and October. Not using my hand has healed it. 🙂
      When I was a kid, I remember saying many times, “It always hurts worse after the second day. I ran around in Ace bandages for six months after I dislocated my knee in 1980. It took that long for the swelling to go down. My roommate stole my signed Jesus Christ Superstar album because I ruined those elastic bands and never replaced them!
      Does that make you feel better?
      This I will admit. Now that I’ve been injured so many times on my left side and Left Knee and Leg is still super weak, I think that ’caused’ my fall. A couple of years ago, I would have walked away saying, “That was a close one.” Ironically, I planned to work with a trainer to get my strength back. Now I’m staying home, since I’m pretty limited, and am hitting my gym hard like I should have months ago.
      Hang in there and whatever you do, don’t laugh!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jesus Christ Superstar… lol! Its my left elbow and I’m right handed so that’s good. But still really limiting and I haven’t been able to do any gym workouts other than leg stuff for several weeks. I did it with a combination of weight lifting and splitting wood – both MANLY things at least! 🙂 It’s gotten quite a bit better but I’m afraid one wrong move and it comes right back, so I’ll lay off for a while more. It sucks though because I basically can’t do anything right now with that and the ribs… goin’ a little stir crazy! But I’ll get back at it eventually.


        1. The reason you have it is because Right Hand jams so much into Left Arm and makes it carry tons without the strength. I’m glad to hear it’s getting better. I’ll be careful with mine after it is released from the air cast. Thanks for the heads up and be careful out there!


  5. Upon reading your first paragraph, my comment was going to be simply “cute.” It is. Very clever and fun. Then I burst out laughing at taking the napkin home (my left hand has done that). Okay, cute and hilarious. When I got to “I realized how much you do for me” I was blown away by just how useful and necessary our left hand really is, and at times it’s not only equal to the right hand (typing) but even more focused (staying on the keyboard). By this point I was actually feeling the emotion of your left hand. What incredible writing! Cute, hilarious and enlightening. (I see those Sharpies on your desk, Susie. Doesn’t LH hold the barrel while RH removes the cap?)


    1. Taking off caps of any kind has been super hard if not impossible!

      You made my day with your comment, Chaz! Thanks so much for reading the whole story. I think most people skim and get the “cute” aspect. I was up in the mountains yesterday making decisions on a remodel. If I had gone with Danny two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have broke it. GAH!
      Great to “see” you!


  6. How funny. Never realized being brought up in a mixed marriage (one dominant right handed parent and one dominant left handed parent) actually was a benefit. Guess our school was “enlightened” and didn’t try to change kids – although there were sighs about having to get a left handed desk. I’m a lefty for baseball, write with righty, but do a lot of switching back and forth without even noticing on other stuff.
    Hope you heal fast..and so kind of hand to take the blow for that knee


    1. Thanks, Phil! I forgot about the desks. That’s right! Another Left Hand dilemma.
      I’m glad you didn’t go through any pushing or pulling one way or the other. I bet I would do some things with my left hand. That is so cool that you use both. I bet that is super great exercise for your brain too!
      Hand was kind to take the fall, but looking back I think weak Left Leg brought it on!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha, good post, Susie! It’s so easy to take something for granted and not even miss it until it’s gone. I have sometimes done things with my left hand and thought how awkward — imagine if I HAD to use it all the time. I’m sure your left hand appreciates this tribute!


    1. Thanks, Paul! Left Hand hasn’t moped around at all since I posted the letter. Ha!
      I really didn’t think it would be a big deal except for the limitations, no tennis, no hiking in snow, no skiing anything where I could fall. Bummer! But I had no idea how much I use both hands. I’ve become pretty good at using Elbow!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The bad news is you have zero chance of making the Rockies starting rotation this spring. The good news is you’re tough as nails and will probably bounce back and come out on the other side better than ever. Heal quickly, young lady.


  9. No matter what hand is injured, we’re in trouble. And we never realize how much we use various parts of our bodies until we can’t use them for a while! As I’m a Lefty I can assure you that your Left Hand has potential, Susie! Don’t lose faith!


    1. You’re right, Kate! It has a lot more potential than I thought. I am anxious to consciously use Left Hand in more ways when it’s all healed up in a couple of weeks. It will get all kinds of attention. That should make it feel better!
      Thanks for stopping by!


  10. It is alarming when you realize just how much you utilize your left hand throughout the day. LOL I know all too well the struggle of the left hand cast. It was a few years ago and I thought I was gonna lose my mind. haha Great post, Susie. Hope you feel better.


    1. I’m sorry you had to go through this! I keep thinking it should be getting better and I accidentally start using it. Youch! It’s not time yet. I’m anxious for next Wednesday. I wonder what he’ll say. Hopefully all good things…
      Thanks so much, girls!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Duuuuuuuuuuude how awesome is your left hand, right? The bread slicing and jar opening, dude and holding groceries while you open the door. Totally taken for granted … I think you should put some extra Aveeno on it to make up for it. Hope you recovery goes well.


    1. Thanks, Guat!
      I was shocked at the extent of how I use it. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal at all. I stand corrected!
      My fingernails on Left Hand are all nice and growing and the ones on Right keep breaking. It’s doing all the work. Ha!


    1. Thanks so much! That is so true. I’m finding it hard and have to remind myself that I have to treat Hand carefully for the full 6 weeks. I keep thinking, “It’s getting better. I can use it a little.” Nope.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ok, gotta say it: “The pic on the right of the post where it’s just the skis in the snow? – the right bunch of snow on the ski looks too much like the devil’s face or a skeleton’s face! creepy!


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