By Lorry Myers
I was raised in a family of huggers. My grandparents expected hugs when we arrived and when we left to go home. With their own grandchildren, my parents became spontaneous huggers and now those children are all grown up and spread all over the country. Whenever my family gets together, it turns into a hug fest. A crowd swarms and the hugs begin each time someone arrives. When we leave to go our separate ways, there is another frenzy of goodbye hugs and no one is immune. I hug my friends, I hug my co-workers, I hug people that I haven’t seen in a while.
I am a hugger.
I was also raised in the business world to be a shaker. You stick out your hand and shake hello, and then do the same when it’s time to say good-bye. A handshake is a way to show respect; I shake my doctor’s hand, and the mayor’s hand and the hand of anyone that walks into my office. I shake hands so I will be remembered, I shake hands to show I won’t forget; I shake hands to seal a deal and I shake hands to show my gratitude. After so many years handshaking, I have perfected my shaking style to reflect the person I am.
I am a hugger, and a shaker.
Suddenly, without notice, my hugging and shaking days could be over. Apparently, with all the hugging that happens in my family, we are sharing much more than love. I’ve been jolted with the somber realization that the hand I extend and offer so easily may offer much more than a show of respect. Hugging is now frowned upon and shaking hands is a business no-no.
What’s an old hugger and shaker to do?
The world has shifted without warning and the rules of everyday life have changed. Old habits are now old fashion and routine business rules are suspended until new rules can be written. I am aware of how many hands I shake in a day and I miss hugging my mother and watching her great-grandchildren hug her. I am missing hugs from friends and family and well-wishers.
Especially when I need them the most.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.