Want a hug?
She pushed her walker toward us as she moved along the seawall to the bench where my friend and I were enjoying the late July sun as we talked of what we had learned in the workshop we had just come from.
I had noticed her speaking with the young men on the bench before ours and thought she was just one of those old ladies who talked to everyone. You know, the type who make it hard to disengage once you let them get started! When she approached us, she seemed as though she would just pass on by. And that was fine with me because I was enjoying the conversation with my friend.
But the old woman didn't just pass on by, she did something special that I will never forget. She reached into the bag on the seat of her walker and pulled out some slips of paper. As she handed the papers to us, she asked "do you want a hug?" What a beautiful surprise! On each square of paper was a cartoon drawing of a couple of teddy bears locked in a hug!
I was completely disarmed. That was not the interruption I had expected. We happily accepted the "hugs" and the old lady had moved on to the next bench to offer more hugs after barely stopping to give us ours. My friend hopped up and gave her a real hug back. It was a beautiful moment.
I now find myself wishing I had the opportunity to speak with the hug lady. I want to know her story. I estimate she is in her mid to late 80s and there she was in the scorching July sun distributing hugs! I can't help but admire her for her commitment to spreading love and happiness to strangers. What a beautiful soul. What an inspiration. She left me feeling hugged and asking myself what I can do to make others feel like she made me feel. She made me want to be a better person. And that is what the Stellar Life Project is all about.
do you want a hug?