I had the privilege of taking Ruth's portrait a few years ago. She was in her 80's then and beginning to show evidence of the early stages of Alzheimer's. She was a great subject - relaxed, friendly and elegant. At one point she placed her hands on the posing table while I changed the lighting setup in the studio. As so often happens when I am taking portraits, the unplanned poses are the ones that become my favorite. These hands could be any elderly person's hands, I suppose. But they beautifully embody the qualities of their owner. I haven't seen Ruth since the day I took this photo. I hope she is doing well.
Added 3-17-10: Check out Billy's comments below and the story. Here's a quick link to the picture he refers to.