“Consider yourself hugged” my mom would say in the later years of her life, after her strokes. Her speech had changed, slowed but improved in a way, her enunciation more intentional. They used to teach elocution in finer schools, schools of the upper-crust, you know. Mom was not upper crust. She was just trying to get the words out after her right side gave up the ghost and she had to learn to learn everything over again, including speech. So this particular word came out huggid.
I don’t know where she got that phrase from, that “complimentary close” as we used to call it, that “yours truly” or “sincerely yours” that we were taught in school to put on the end of a properly composed letter. I don’t remember her having said it before her stroke, but afterwards, her more rudimentary brain – or her heart - guided her to say it each and every time she said goodbye, without exception.
The phrase meant more because she was a great hugger. She was a foot shorter than us boys, so when she would hug us, her face would be on our chests. She would just be able to get her arms around us, so she would grip one of her wrists in the other hand so she could get a good squeeeeeeeeze.
Maybe that’s why some deeply human response rose in me when I watched this YouTube video, “Abbracci Gratis” – “Free Hugs”. Please click HERE now and watch the video? Please?
And I’m asking you to comment below. Tell me what your response was. I want to continue this story tomorrow, to tell you who sent this link to me, to tell you when I first heard the song being played, to tell you what I saw. But please do watch it, and please do comment. If you’d rather e-mail me your response, that’s fine too. email@example.com . Come back tomorrow for Bobbie’s story, and that song in my son’s car when my brother had died.
Please watch now?
FreeLemonadeStand by John J. Daniels is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.