Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | October 3, 2015

(Maudlin)

It’s been a week more trying than most. It’s been a week of fear and pain and sadness and worry, and it’s not over yet.

Last night I went down to my local watering hole for a taste of the milk of human kindness, and maybe just a wee dram of that 12 year old Irish whiskey that goes down so smooth and makes the world seem kinder than it is.

maudlin

I go to the pub to see my friends, have a little spirited after-work conversation, some human contact before going home alone to the cat. I can drink at home – and have! – so when I go to the pub it’s for the people in it. I’m proud to be a regular, and not because of what’s being poured.

I spoke just a sentence about my week, my family’s troubles. Instantly enveloped in hugs. Kisses. Pats and rubs of back and shoulders. Followup texts in the night.

I counted afterwards, because that’s the geek I am, and because it was so amazing to be cared for that way. I got fourteen hugs, from people who really meant it. Who GETS that, in the course of a day? More than one “I love you”, nose nuzzles, kisses on lips and cheeks, reassuring commentary from a nurse who knows, a bit of teasing. Kind questions from someone I love, so kind I had to say “Don’t be so nice to me or I might cry.” He has seen this to be true, and refrained. Kindly. A hug sandwich, with me in the middle, a girlfriend on either side holding me tight. Who would even ask for such a thing. And yet, I got it. What a gift. It changes the situation not at all, but it surely changes me.

Love and connection. It really is all there is. Scratch the surface of any one of these people and you’ll find their own stories of sadness and pain. There are stories I know and ones too private to share in a bar. Yet there they all were for me, giving the only thing they could, the only thing there is. I am so grateful. Maudlin, yet grateful.

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