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I don't remember being hugged as a child. I still can't explain what it means to be loved. However, I know I never felt unwanted. Evidence of my parent's support is overwhelming. During my teenage years I was heavily involved in sports and I have difficulty remembering an occasion when my father was not in the stands or on the sidelines. I don't remember a time my mother wasn't home for us.

My parents and I didn't start hugging until I left home when I was 33 and for the next 20 years I remember being hugged twice a year, once when I returned to their home for a visit and again when I left to return to my home. They moved in with me in 2001. We didn't hug and when my father died 3 years later, that was my biggest regret.

My mother lived for another 6 years. I hugged her at least twice a day despite her resistance, in the morning to welcome her to a new day and at night in case it was the last time I would see her. Our hugs during the day were always exciting for me. After about 5 seconds or so Mom would often grab the skin on either side of my chest and squeeze as hard as she could, then laugh. I never knew when she would squeeze or how long it would be before she did.

It has been 16 months since I have had a hug. I hope to find a sincere source soon. I don't want to live without hugs again.

"Regrets, Dad":
"Mother's Wake":