Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grandpa Ray, Norm and Hugs

At the age of 19 my father died. After that I decided I was going to hug the men in my life. The first time I hugged my Grandpa Ray he didn't really know what to think. He felt a bit stiff. He kind of hugged me back. Several hugs down the road Grandpa eventually began truly hugging me back too. I remember hugging my grandfather for the last time while he was in his hospital bed. We hugged and we cried together. He died a day or so later.

Norm is my homeless friend. Once a week Norm comes to my apartment to do his laundry. I remember the first time I hugged Norm. It reminded of the first time I hugged my Grandpa Ray. Norm didn't know what to think of a very large man hugging the heck out of him. Each time Norm leaves my apartment I say, "Norm, give me a hug." He always hugs me back.

Tonight when Norm was ready to leave he stopped in the middle of the living room and said, "Mike, give me a hug." I hugged him back. I hugged him back real hard and said, "Norm, I love you and I'm glad you're my friend." We said goodbye, Norm said,"I love you too" and rode away on his bike.

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