What's In A Hug?

Time and again my father comes over and visits for a few days. He has lived by himself for more than 20 years now. One Friday evening while he was visiting, after a busy day and week, I laid down to relax for what I thought was going to be a few minutes. Instead, I slept through the night and woke up the next morning. It wasn't intentional, but, I was tired.

The next morning over coffee, my father said something that I had never really given any thought to. He said, “I missed your hug last night.”

That gave me pause. It was in that moment I realized how such a simple thing can mean so much to another person.

My father is 85 years old now. He is retired and has more time for us than ever. Unfortunately, for us, as a family, we have work, and school, three kids, and five soccer teams… We are incredibly busy… with our hair on fire!!! Right? Times are busy.

It's sad, that these different stages of life that we are in don't mesh together better. He's 85 and has more time for us than ever. And, at the stage that we're in we have less time than ever.

I've heard about seniors being lonely on the news and how loneliness is an epidemic. I talk to my dad every couple of days on the phone and see him in person usually once a month. I didn't give enough thought to looking at things through the lens of, well.. through my father's eyes.

That short conversation put things into perspective for me. That hug, that little gesture of affection, really means a lot to him.

How many other people are giving him hugs these days? Just me, my wife, the grand kids.. and he missed mine that night.

Stop and think about other people. Put things into perspective. Sometimes the simplest thing can make a big difference in someone else's life.