When J. and I first became friends, one of the first things I noticed about him was that he was very physically closed off. I’m the kind of person who freely gives hugs as a greeting, so to meet someone so isolated was strange, not least of all because I couldn’t hug him. It was like he wore a big sign saying, “Don’t touch me.”
Finally, one night, we’d gone to a dance event together, and when he dropped me off, he gave me a hug. And you know what? He was really good at hugs. It was that perfect hug that’s strong but not crushing, just comfortable and soft and warm, and you think maybe it would be nice to just stay like this for a while.
It was only a few months later that we started dating, and after about three years we got engaged. I thought we would be together forever, but life and circumstances and “irreconcilable differences” in our personalities got in the way. In late 2006 we broke up for good.
We’re still friends now, for which I’m eternally grateful. We still chat and we still see each other at social events. Most importantly, we still dance together, because he was (and is) one of my favorite partners. And when we see each other, we give hugs.
But when I’m saying goodbye, and I give him a hug, it’s just like that first time, and I realize how much I took for granted all those years when I could hold on for as long as I wanted. These days, I have to let him go, and every time hurts as much as the first.
This post was written by Lara David as a part of the February Blog Exchange. Lara can normally be found writing and photographing her life’s lessons at Life: The Ongoing Education. Sometimes she is learning exciting new things; other times, she is relearning the most important lessons over and over again. Click on over to Life: The Ongoing Education to find Laura’s post for today. To read other posts from this month’s Blog Exchange, or to find out how to join in next month, click here.