Kathryn Dudding, J72


Kate Dudding, weaving a tale


A Storyteller's Story

After 30 years in the computer industry, Kathryn “Kate” Eike Dudding, J72, of Clifton Park, NY, is sharing her voice as a professional storyteller. The following is an excerpt from Dudding’s tale, "My Mother’s Hands", published in KnitLit the Third: We Spin More Yarns (2005).

“I love saying my mother's name out loud: Lucile Ellen Elliot Eike.

She called me her favorite daughter. Then again, I was her only daughter. But I'll return the compliment—she was my favorite mother.

She died in 1987. Several years ago, I became very concerned. Whenever I was remembering what she looked like, I found that I was remembering a photograph of her. It seemed as if I had forgotten what she looked like through my own eyes…

But then, I remembered her hands. And there are no photographs of them.

My mother's hands were thin—there wasn't much meat on them. You could see the bones and veins through the translucent skin on the backs of her hands. She had long, slender fingers… She always wore her platinum wedding band, and as long as she wasn't doing anything dirty or wet, she also wore her matching engagement ring, with its round, brilliant cut diamond.

The more I thought about her hands, the more I remembered.

I remember the feel of her hand on my forehead when she was checking to see if I had a fever. I remember how she rubbed my back when I was sick… I remember the way she'd spot a hair that had fallen on my shoulder, and the way she'd pick it up and quickly rub her fingers together so the hair would fall to the floor.

…Yes, I remember my mother's hands. I'm reminded of them when I look at my own hands; they're the same shape, and the bones and veins are beginning to show through the skin. I'm reminded of her hands when I see my sister-in-law Betsy's hands, because Betsy's engagement ring has my mother's diamond in it. I'm reminded of my mother's hands when I'm playing songs from her music books, and when I'm knitting sweaters for members of our family.

So I'm not bothered anymore if I need to refer to a photograph or a tape to remember some physical characteristic of my mother. You see, I know I remember my mother's hands. And I know I remember my favorite mother, too.”

To read the full story and listen to others, please visit www.katedudding.com. With two CD’s and a 2010 Storytelling World Honor Award under her belt, Dudding is honored to share memories of her life and the real stories of people who’ve made a difference. A co-founder of the Hudson Valley Storytelling Alliance, she also takes tap dance lessons twice a week from a former Rockette. “I’ve been married to Jerry Dudding, A69, for 38 years,” writes the mother of one. “Life is good.”

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