You put your arms around me and I’m home. 

I can feel a sappy story coming on. And as suspected, it came alive and I penned it for you. 

This year has been the hardest year to date.
You never know what someone else is going through until you’ve been in their shoes. I have mine sitting by the door for those of you who would like to “try” them on. I say “try,” because you wouldn’t want to stay in them for any amount of time. 

At first glance you see these black marks on the toes, scuffs on the heels, missing tread on the bottom in places. If you dare to peer in closer you will see a patch of fluorescence, they may even have a small clean patch. These shoes are the stories of our lives, beautiful that you are even alive, well lived, a little aged and filled with uncertainty and distress. 

Imagine in your minds eye, your absolutely best friend, your most favorite thing in this world. Your most prized possession, the love of your life, your dearly beloved husband has cancer. Not only cancer but a BEAST and HIGHLY aggressive cancer that is out running the both of you. Rodney’s cancer had a head start. It started running when we didn’t even know we were entered into a race. 

All the mental turmoil, the pessimism racing through your brain. It’s like a serious download of information at once whether you want it or not, it’s there, waiting to be accessed. The disquieting thoughts that torment and terrorize you morning and night, day after day, night after night. There is no cherry on the top. While you are being mentally tormented there’s physical torment as well. 

Can you imagine not being able to touch or caress the one you love the most in the world? Not being able to comfort them, not having the ability to ease their pain. Imagine being duck taped to a chair with both of your hands and feet tied. You can’t turn away, you can’t close your eyes, you can’t get sidetracked. What you DO have to do is watch them as they suffer. And when I say suffer, I mean suffering unfathomable pain. Without the means of medication to ease it just even the tiniest bit. There is absolutely nothing you can do for them, except be there for them while you watch them starve right before your eyes. It affects you in a profound way, a way others may or may not understand, that is until you’ve walked in their shoes. 

Watching Rodney suffer was excruciatingly difficult, my will died a little day after day watching him. Chards of my sanity began to fray. The little amount of joy that I had was being stolen and stripped away, little by little, piece by piece. I watched as he starved right before my eyes, desperately trying to get his weight up. 

I watched as he struggled for the allusive breath of air. He laid on his left side only, and for 9 months, because he couldn’t breathe and he would cough due to the constant pleural effusion affecting his left lung. 

I haven’t been able to wrap my arms around Rodney to hug him, kiss him or comfort him in over 9 months. For the first time the other day I was able to put my arms around him and hug him. I sobbed like a baby. Something as “simple” as a hug. That hug meant the world to me. It was a way to release all the pent up stressors. I didn’t want to let go. (I’ll probably need thousands more to release all this stress).

Moral to my story? When someone hugs you or if they ask for a hug, something you may have felt as insignificant, it may mean more to them than you could ever imagine. So give hugs freely and genuinely and never take them for granted.