The Comfort of a Hug
I haven’t written a silver lining story for a long time. Because, well, there haven’t been any. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and something happened last night that made me hopeful.
Growing up I wasn’t a very touchy-feely type of person. That’s just never been me, even though my mother is a total hugger. I also have a good friend who is a gotta-hug-everyone kind of person. So, at least with the two of them, I’d just go with it and take the hug. I mean, if someone wants to hug you, it feels a bit rude to shove them off (especially your own mother).
This week, my parents stopped by. When the time came for them to go, my mom started to head for the door and had not given me a goodbye hug. They say there is a first time for everything and this was a first for me on a few levels. For the first time in my entire life, I longed for the closeness of her hug.
“Mom!” I shouted, quickly walking after her, “You forgot my hug!”
“Huh? Oh, oh…”
I got my hug but it wasn’t the same. The week before she was giving me extra hugs, for the same reason I wasn’t receiving even just one then. I cried after my parents left.
Fast forward to last night – I was at a club helping my promoter friends with their music show. When the singer for one of the bands was leaving, she stopped to give me a hug goodbye. She had an entourage of five or six people following behind her, and each one suddenly felt the need to follow suit. They weren’t the wimpy kind of hug where someone pats your back only half hugging you. Nope. They were tight, warm embraces that lingered for a second. They were my mother’s kind of hugs.
The last guy actually told me, “I don’t know you, but since everyone else had to hug you, I feel like I need to, too.” What he didn’t know was that none of the others except the singer knew me either. And none of them knew just how much I needed each and every one of those hugs right then. So, yeah, I suppose that after all these years, I’ve actually become a hugger myself. And now, as my mother is losing herself and her hugs to Alzheimer’s, I finally know how important hugs can be – for mothers and their children, and even for friends, and sometimes strangers – and I’m going to continue to pass along the comfort and love that all her hugs have given me over the years.