The Other I

July 29, 2010

Hug a grandmother

Filed under: Growing Old,Survival Strategies — theotheri @ 3:01 pm

In the last five years or so, I have been hugged by the most unexpected people.  Unexpected because they are typically young men – in their 20’s or 30’s – whom I barely know and whom I will never see again.

The first hug in this category was from a young man who came to take photographs for our property in the Lake District we were putting on the market.  The real estate agent wanted a distance photograph taken from the fells so we hiked ten minutes or so into the hills to get a good shot.  On the way, he told me about several uncanny dreams he’d had which seemed to be psychic.

I listened carefully because I have a healthy respect for folklore and traditions.  Mixed in with some silly superstitions, I think people often know a lot of things they don’t know they know, and when it shows up in dreams or intuitions, think it is psychic.  His stories were interesting and I didn’t laugh at them.

After the photographs had been taken, we walked back to his car.  He stored his equipment, and got in.  Then, unexpectedly, he got back out, gave me a hug, and wished us luck.  I never saw him again.

It happened again in a hotel in France when all the guests had been required by the fire department to leave their rooms.  It was fairly late at night and we all sat around a table while the young hotel manager served coffee or tea and biscuits while he tried to answer our questions.  When we were finally permitted to return to our rooms, I thanked him for what I imagined was as unexpected a night for him and it was for us.  Why he gave me a hug I don’t know.  He didn’t hug any of the other guests.  I don’t know what my husband thought.  We were both tired, and by the next morning I forgot to ask.

I was hugged again last week.  One of the young men who were topping up the cavity insulation in our property walls found me kneeling on the floor where I was cleaning behind the furniture they had needed moving.  “Oh,” he said, “you’re taking advantage of having to move everything.”  I laughed and said yes.  And when I stood up, he gave me a hug.

I absolutely do not know why I was the recipient of this unsought and rather delightful show of affection.  Although I am of an age to be a grandmother, I have never actually thought of myself as the grandmotherly type.

Perhaps these young men had grandmothers whom they loved.

Image from http://www.only-positive-news.com

Whatever the reason, unsolicited hugs are not to be dismissed.  I would never have thought I would remember a hug I received five years ago from  someone I’d never seen before and whose name I don’t even remember.

But I do.

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