As the oldest of three children, I had the luxury of my parents’ affections for the first two and a half years of my life. With cuddles accessible to me twenty four seven, a clever little saying became mainstream in my household; a hundred hugs a day.
The birth of my brother and sister subsequently followed and they soon became the recipients of my hugs. A hundred a day, to be exact. Exponentially, hugs were multiplying everywhere. Hugs are the physical way to show love and our house was bursting at the seams with it.
But as we all know, a utopian world only exists in fairy tales and my perfect little world would encounter the occasional bump in the road…a skinned knee or a fall off my skates, a bad grade or boy troubles. With all these newfound disruptions, eventually, our family motto had to be modified. A hundred hugs a day, two hundred on rainy ones.
On the surface a hug may seem like such an basic action, but to me it represents the foundation of a lifetime of love. A simple little hug is actually a very grand gesture. In its simplest form, it represents the unconditional love and support from my parents in any situation, and in turn I have been able to provide that back to my family and friends. Knowing that I can cash in on those hundred hugs a day is very reassuring, and knowing that there is an additional 100 on reserve for the more difficult days is what gives me the courage to persevere through them.
The hug, by definition, transcends the physical embrace. No, I am not running around embracing people round the clock, but I am always there to offer encouragement, a kind word or a simple smile to a friend or family member, and eventually the patients I hope to care for as a nurse. Whatever the case, it always comes from the heart and has become the basis for how I live my life today. I’ve learned to never let go of a hug first. You never know how much that person needs one in that moment. Hugs have taught me compassion in any situation. It has taught me never to take the good for granted and always find strength in the challenges. I have been given the gift of 100 hugs a day, 200 on rainy and I am always there to offer the same in return.
Now, in the spirit of Christmas, go hug someone that you love.
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