The Best Two Hugs

October 6, 2020 by Anna Willman

I’m old and single and live alone in an apartment not far from my son’s place of work.  He stops by after work and sometimes during his lunch hour.  He brings groceries and pharmaceuticals and toilet paper and my mail.  Then we sit about twelve feet apart and wear masks except when actually eating.  I love my son, and he loves me.  I feel very lucky to have him in my life.

And I miss being touched.

I spend a good deal of my time on zoom, not just for all the wonderful Coronaplaza webinars, but also for my writers’ group and my book club and our local Focusing changes group and for doctor’s appointments and….and…

Zoom is great.  I’m grateful for it and for how it has expanded my world.  Expanded my circle of friends far beyond the boundaries of my real time world.  I feel lucky to have Zoom in my life.

And I miss being touched.  And I miss touching other people.  And I miss seeing their whole bodies, their posture, their body language, not just their shoulders and heads.

Katarina Helm’s gentle movement classes on Coronaplaza have helped me a lot.  I touch myself, embrace myself, feel my fingers gliding over my arms, my physical toes touching the smooth wood floor. My hands embrace each other and stimulate the nerve endings, and I can almost imagine that I am holding someone’s hand.  Almost.  And I am glad to be learning self-care.  I feel lucky to have Katarina in my life.

And I miss being touched.  And I miss touching other people.  

Last week something scary came into my life.

My son told me someone at work had tested positive for covid-19.  He had not been with my son directly, but had been at a party, unmasked,  with a number of co-workers who do work with my son.  To protect me, my son decided to quarantine himself.  I didn’t see him for several days while he stayed home and then after a short waiting period got tested.

The day after he got his results – he tested negative – he went back to work and came to my house and said, “I know it’s still a little risky, but this moment is probably the safest time for us to have a hug.  Are you willing?”

He hugged me.  I cried.  Then we sat down twelve feet apart and talked.  When he left, he hugged me again.  I cried again. I’m crying now as I write this.

Probably the best two hugs in my long, full life.