Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hugs

Me with Paul (an early boyfriend)


"How about a big hug?"  


Me and Mom 1950 - as close as a hug we ever got - you can tell I had an inherent need to hug
I didn't grow up in a huggy family.  Neither my father nor my Mother grew up in a huggy family either. My father's father was more likely to take a belt to him than hug him.  Same with my Mother's father who often beat her with a belt for such silly reasons as not peeling the potatoes properly or coming home late from the corner grocery store because she was caught in the rain. 


Me and my classmate Elsie at our 50th class reunion

Thus I never got a hug growing up.  I'm not complaining, just never got a hug. You don't know what you're missing unless you got it and it was taken away from you.


Me and The Cajun whopping it up at Old Time Photo

I think the first time I felt another person's body on mine was when I was 23 years old.  I was working at Girard Bank in Philadelphia.  Norma L., a bosomy woman in my department came up behind me one day and put her arm around my shoulders and leaned her big bosoms on my shoulder blades. A different feeling swept over me.  A good feeling.  No, it wasn't sexual (God no) but it was a warm feeling. Body contact.  


Me and M.J. on the Milton Garden Tour 

That momentous event happened back in 1967.  Gradually over the years since then I have learned to hug.  I have to admit I'm still don't feel totally comfortable BEING hugged but I do like to hug.  


Me and my cousin Danny H. who visited me at the hotel

Last November I visited my brother Isaac at his home in Pennsylvania.  Check out the series of photos that my friend Pat took of my giving Isaac a Sneak Hug.  Look at how Isaac stiffens up.  





Now as you can see this wasn't the full "Ron hug", after all Isaac is bigger than I am (even though I'm the oldest brother).  Isaac doesn't look to comfortable does he?  Oh well, maybe in time.

My other brother is a little better with the hugs. His name is John and he lives in Greenville, South Carolina.  Here we are a few years ago during one of my southern trips.  This time at Flag Pond, Tennessee.
Me and my baby brother John at Flagpond, Tennessee


Now here is the big test, hugging Mom.  During the last few years of her life (she died in 2010), I especially made it a point to hug my Mom whenever I saw her.  She liked it but never quite knew how to hug back.  That was all right, she knew I loved her.  Check out this series of photos where I put my patented "Ron Sneak Hug."









During the last year of my Mother's life, she lived with my brother John and his wife Barbara at their home in Greenville, South Carolina.  I talked to John frequently and he told me he never missed a chance to give Mom a big hug.

Brother John and Mom close to the end - 2010


Hug somebody you love before it's too late.

17 comments:

  1. and you can bet the rent that there WILL be plenty of hugs at the blogger meetup in 59 days!

    a hug is one of the most simple, yet priceless, gifts you can give another person.

    DO IT TODAY!

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    1. Anne Marie,
      Oh they're be hugs all around at the Bloggerpalooza.
      Ron

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  2. Ron, those pictures of you hugging your little mother are wonderful. When my parents were gone, part of me felt orphaned even though I was grown up. There's something about embraces of greeting, parting, relief, happiness, sadness, etc. that reminds the whole self we're in this together. I guess you can tell I liked this post.

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    1. Geo,.
      We never did get my Mother to hug back. But she liked the hugs even though she was like a tree trunk when we hugged her.
      Ron

      Delete
  3. Ron,

    As I am sure you are aware, I came from a non-hugging family as well. In fact, this no-touch policy quickly wore off on me to the point I couldn't stand to have anyone even touch me, let alone hug me. Now I am very much involved with people who believe in hugging and I am getting over my non-hugging ways.

    By the way, since I am usually the designated photo-taker for any event or gathering I am involved with I usually take some selfless just to prove I was there.

    Lar

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    Replies
    1. Lar,
      Do you remember your first genuine hug? I don't remember any before that semi-huh from my co-worker. Nowadays I do a lot of hugging but funny thing, I still don't really like to be hugged. What's up with that?
      I expected a snarky comment or two about taking selfle pictures and I got it. I think it's cool that we can take selfle pictures with the new digital cameras and smart phones. I'm not ashamed of the way I look.

      Ron

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  4. A thought-provoking post, because I never really considered the power of a simple hug. I never got hugs as a child, which is undoubtedly why I don't like hugs today (ironically, I'm extremely affectionate and physical in a romantic relationship).

    My father didn't know the meaning of a hug, but he was always more than eager to beat the shit out of me. My mother was gentle, loving, and caring but I don't recall getting hugs from her, either. Neither of my parents came from huggy environments.

    You've posted some very touching photos.

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    1. Jon,
      Like you, I don't really like to get hugged but I like to hug. I'm very affectionate in a relationship but when someone puts a big bear hug on me, I don't like it. Wonder what that's all about? My father was quick with the belt but no permanent damage and not on the level you had to endure. My Mother was also gentle. If she really got mad, maybe we got a pinch.

      I'm glad I have those final photos of my Mom.

      Ron

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  5. Ron

    I think several of us from our generation grew up without the hugs. Sometimes now it seems hugs are the thing to do. Meeting people at a social event where you might get to know someone a little - but then there seems to be more and more of a customary hug at the end of it. I try to go with the flow in this area. But I do like the idea of giving a hug to those dear to you.

    And btw - is that winter scene a photo from the ice storm in Toronto?

    Pat

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    Replies
    1. Pat,
      I've been busted! Yes, that is your photo that you took during your recent ice storm.
      Ron

      Delete
  6. Ron,

    I loved getting and giving hugs to certain people. I can usually tell when I get to know a person who is "huggable" and who is not. My mother who died just this past year at almost 101 was an extremely "huggable" person. As she got older she expected hugs from those close to her and even those who were not close still wanted to hug her. I grew up with her hugs, not so much from my father who would have just as soon not had us at all but that's another story for another time. My sister who grew up in the same house with the same parents still cannot hug and when forced she stiffens up and moves back. A hug from her feels like hugging a giant wet teabag. 'Nuff said.

    I need to get the act together, didn't realize only 59 days for bloggerpalooza. I'll go back in your earlier posts to get pertinent information.

    Enjoy your posts as always.

    Jack

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    1. Jack,
      Give me a call tonight to reserve your room at the hotel. You can also call me for any more information that you need.

      Sounds like you had a father like I did, mine would just as soon as not had me or my brothers either. He always seemed annoyed with us, we cramped his lifestyle. Thank goodness we had a saintly Mother who was totally devoted to caring for her sons. She made up with her love for us that my father never could or would show us. Sad isn't it Jack that we had to grow up with a father like we had?
      Ron

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  7. I think that Dr. Spo gives the best and most genuine hugs. Not really knowing me yet, he gave me one of the best hugs ever in Lewes last March.
    Dr Spo & me in a hug--last picture
    I wonder if he hugs his patients like that? It sure would lift me out of depression.

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    1. David,
      Dr. Spo is a great hugger and a magnificent human being. That's why he is so loved but of course I didn't have to tell you that. He is a rare individual, truly a good soul.
      Ron

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  8. I echo several above in being yet another one who grew up never learning how to be tactile, and its absence becoming increasingly evident as the years roll on. Therefore it's with a great deal of envy seeing you being so huggy with your late, dear mum. It must have meant more to her than can be expressed in words. The poignancy is so very strong.
    But goodness me, Ron - the veritable cornucopia of photos that there are of your present and past life leave me breathless. How I wish, wish, WISH that I'd just consigned my self-consciousness to the dustbin and went and chronicled my own life too. Was it foresight that made you capture those moments or did you just vaguely think "it would be nice"?

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    1. Ray,
      I too have noticed that hugs are becoming increasingly evident as the years roll by. Maybe it is as some on Faux News say, "the increasing feminization of our society." Whatever, I am glad that our society has become more relaxed and not afraid to hug. More hugs means less violence.Yes, I do have a lot of photos but there were big swaths of my life when I took no photos which I regret now. I still have thousands of photos to scan into my computer plus all my old VHS videos which I can take still shots from. Be forewarned, more to come! Glad you enjoy them. That's why I post my photos. At least when I'm gone and just a memory, there will be my photos in the ether (Internet) to prove that I was here and that I mattered.
      Ron

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  9. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/hugs

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