Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I wish I could be a hugger...

I'm just not a hugger. Typically I'm not a crier either (at least not in front of people). My emotions arrive in a confusing pattern such as this; When I love I'm happy, when I'm sad I am angry, when I'm angry I am quiet. Its like God got my wiring crossed during manufacturing. It drives the people closest to me nuts. Silently, it annoys the shit out of me too...

Today my father in law was involved in an accident at work that could have very easily taken his life. When my husband called to tell me about his fathers accident I was obviously deeply concerned, I asked several questions and made plans to visit him. I was calm cool and collected on the outside but inside, I was scared by what would or could happen next. I was terrified that the glue of the family wouldn't be here anymore. We all depend on him... We depend on his humor to make us laugh, his optimistic nature to push us forward and his faith to keep us strong. He is the foundation that ties the entire family together.

After my father in law arrived home from the hospital the children and I went over to visit him. I stood by his bedside and we talked a bit. He joked around like he always does. We laughed like we always do, (Although he was bit more cheerful due to the heavy pain medication). All in all he seemed to be doing very well.

Before I left I really wanted to hug him tight and tell him how worried I had been, how much we all need him to always be here, that he just cant do the same things he did twenty years ago. I wanted to tell him that the idea of losing him made my eyes swell with tears... Instead, I squeezed his arm and told him I was glad he was ok.

On the way home I kept thinking about all the times I wished I would have said something or done something but didn't because of that uncomfortable wave of emotion that sweeps over me. I don't want to ever look back and wonder if he knew that I loved him. I don't want him to wonder if he ever affected someones' life because I know that he has.

Sometimes loving with more than words is best. Sometimes loving with words is better But a hug... a hug is always easier and some days, I wish more than anything that I could just be a hugger...


  1. Leigh - Sometimes things like this need public speaking, being so nervous the first few times but with time and practice feeling more natural until you don't even thing about it. I suggest that you make a concentrated effort to hug those you love for a month (the time usually needed to make something a habit) and reevaluate how you feel about it then. I think you can become an accomplished "hugger" with a little time and practice. ;)

    Have a great day!


  2. It sounds like you are on your way ... now when the compulsion hits you, do it. We, in this society, are so bound up by our own inhibitions that we are making ourselves crazy and sick. You can be a hugger ... in fact, it sounds like you are in spirit. Embrace it!

  3. I so get that. I am not much of a hugger either, and when I do, feel very awkward about it. I have started trying to actually tell people I love them, more often than I used to, just so that they KNOW. But, even that is awkward sometimes.
    I'm glad he is ok. I'm SO glad you still have him. And I know he knows you love him. Really.
    But I get the not hugging thing!

  4. I am very glad to hear that your father-in law is doing ok after his accident. I also am not much of a “hugger”. But I do get some extra practice with my kids. Hugging kids is a bit easier and a nice stepping-stone.

    Even if hugging is not your thing, letting people know how much you care is most important. I think you have this base covered well already. I wish you and yours the very best as well as a speedy recovery for your father-in law.

  5. Spring Lake,
    I agree I need to practice! ugh... its gunna be sooo awkward. I am so bad at hugging that I am afraid that it makes the "hugee" uncomfortable.

    Dues Ex Machina,
    I like that..."Me, the spirited hugger"! :)

    Dog Hair,
    I am so glad you understand... I often feel like us non huggers are misunderstood as being cold and callous. Its not easy being a non hugger and is important to be able to verbally express yourself.

    Its not just that I don't like hugging, something a little more to do with personal space... for example, Ever met anyone that was overly "huggative" (made up word) or touchy feely (another made up word)? It really creeps me out but maybe the problem is not with them but with me, the non-hugger. Some of my concerns go back to what Dues Ex Machina said about inhibitions... as I am sure that we have all met the "creepy" hugger, and I never want to make anyone uncomfortable like that.

    You are exactly right. I hug my kids all the time. I never even really put to much thought into it, I wonder why its so much easier to hug kids?

  6. You`re well on your way by the sounds.

  7. I don't remember who reached out first, but I do remember hugging you when we met. It was warm, friendly, and welcomed. Your face and smile overwhelm people when they meet you. The hug is an extra bonus. I realized a few years back that I was that way too. And, I wasn't always saying the things I should, to those who mean something to me. I changed that. Now, I hug, I compliment, I try to say what's in my heart. If you do this, you'll find that you have not only given a precious gift to those you care about, but to yourself as well. Don't be embarrassed to show you care. A small compliment or hug, can really make a persons day! Don't think about it.....just do it. I promise, ANYONE would welcome a hug from you!! Well wishes to you Father in law.

  8. Karen,
    I thought about that day when I was writing this post! That day was so odd because hugging you just seemed like a natural "hello, its awesome to finally meet you in person"! Maybe its because I just did it and didn't think about it... It also helps that you are such a warm person too. ;)

    Anytime I think about something too long its kind of ends up like the kid staring down from the top of the high dive... the longer I stare down... the more likely I am not to jump.

    Thank you for your kind words. :)

  9. Update,
    My father in law is doing well. In fact the very next morning after the accident he stopped by... Of course I was like..."WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU DOING"!? He said he was on his way to work...

    So all in all he is doing well, besides being hard headed and not taking a few days off... but after all whats fourteen staples in the noggin, and a purple and black imprint of an ENTIRE hammer on your butt cheek!? ;)

  10. Leigh,
    you have a good start by hugging your kids and the hand squeeze, bonus!!

    Keep going...squeeze all the important hands you meet next week, or a shoulder squeeze or a rub across the shoulder and back or on someone's arm with a smile attached...just make the contact. I think with sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, the 'good people' have suffered because of the actions of the 'bad' ones.

    One step at a time. I didn't grow up hearing I love you, but my kids hear it all the time. Once I was out of the scrapping room on one of my special weekends and my oldest boy dropped in and a friend said something to him and he said because my mom loves me, and she said how do you know that??? and he said because she tells me every day!! I tell them when I leave them places and when they go out the much as possible and hopefully the appreciate it and will learn to tell their own special people...

  11. leigh- my family are all huggers- it's just a natural thing-i get hugged when i arrive and when i leave-love it--------there are people i have lost and loved who i did not hug enough; i will fix that with those i have left- a hug makes the giver and the receiver both feel good-practice-------it brings out a quality that you don't realize you have