(Sept. 27, 2011)
As I have gotten older, I have noticed a trait or quirk or wahtever you want to call it, emerging. HUGS. I need hugs. And I'm not sure what is causing this. Now I know there are going to be positive and negative feedbacks on this one, but hey, what else is new?
As I look back over my life, I can't remember any real affection being shown to us kids from my parents. Mostly the opposite, and seems I was the recipient of most of that. I do remember affection being shown between the two of them. So I've always enjoyed hugs. As a teen, I was the dweeb, the dork, the unpopular one. I remember the popular guys who would always get the hugs from the girls in the halls, or at the game or whatever. I was the poster child for the plague.
When I went to Sandusky FBC as minister of music, there was a pastor emeritus named Archer Thorpe. And all 5'2", 140 lbs of him was solid hug! He might give a handshake on 1st encounter, but the second meeting, here came the hug. Even for a circumferencly challenged individual like myself. And as my sons became men, I have enjoyed, even craved their hugs even more. At 6'6" and 290 lbs, Brandon had a good hug until cancer destroyed his shoulders. At about 5'10" and 190, Kevin still has a great hug. And Garrett, oh my goodness, 6' 4" and 285 lbs and shoulders at least 3 foot wide was the recipe for a bear hug. And now, I'm getting those "Love you too, Papa" hugs. And those are priceless.
But now in my "Autumn" years, I find that hugs do me a lot more good mentally than ever before.
So if I am fortunate enough to ever meet any of you for the first time, I'll try to remember my southern gentleman manners and extend my hand. If you want a hug, go for it! But on the second chance meeting, watch out. And when I get through those pearly gates, and find the neck of my Saviour, I'll get the hug of the ages. But immediately after that, if they aren't close by, I'll search out their mansions and get the hugs I so desparetly miss. And just maybe, if our bodies ARE perfect, Bro Thorpe will finally get his arms around yours truly. Hug somebody in the next twenty four hours. Better yet, hug several people. It could do you both some good!
I'll be back.....