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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How Much Is A Hug Worth?

Last weekend I was exhausted.  It was one of those weekends where we had back to back plans from morning until night.  We had finally gotten home and I was sitting in my three year olds room waiting for him to go to sleep when he asked for a hug.  At that moment all I really wanted to do was tell him to go to sleep because honestly, getting out of the chair and leaning over his bed took more energy than I thought I had.  But I caved and bent down and let him wrap his strong little arms around my neck.  He squeezed so tight and then kissed me on the cheek and said, “I love you mommy” and then patted my back, rolled over and went to sleep. 

For that one minute, time seemed to stop and I sat there staring at him, kicking myself for almost missing that hug and realizing those fleeting moments of pure love should never ever be taken for granted.  I told myself, when the opportunity arose for hugs and sloppy kisses, I would always take them because not everyone can do what I had just done.  I’ll never get a hug from my youngest son, Bennett and it hurts so much to know that.  Bennett passed away just days after he was born.  We took all the time we could with him knowing we wouldn’t have long but it still didn’t seem like it was enough time to say goodbye and get in a lifetime of sweet kisses and squeezes.  My heart aches for parents who long for those hugs and kisses.
Just recently, a couple suddenly lost their three year old son in a tragic accident; I know they’ll always think back to the last time they told him they loved him, or kissed and hugged him.  Our time with our kids is so short and so unpredictable.  I’m determined to make the most of these moments; on behalf of the parents who never have the chance to have that first hug, or who have had to involuntarily give it up too soon, let’s just step away from the stresses of every day and appreciate LIFE.

I used to get frustrated when people would hear about the loss of our baby or the scares we’ve had with three year old and they’d tell me they were going to go straight home and “hug their kids”.  When did life get in the way of taking a moment or moments out of our day to just love on our kids for no reason at all?   I hope, instead, we as parents will pause in our busy lives and remember what’s really important to us.  For me, that reminder comes in the form of my preemie who singlehandedly has fought off life threatening illnesses more times than I can count on one hand and also my sweet angel Bennett and all the babies and children who are no longer with us and can’t give us hugs and kisses and last, but not least, my sensitive and absolutely perfect six year old who promises he’ll never leave us.  So my hope is that you’ll go home and hug your kids any chance you get no matter how tiring, busy or ordinary your day has been. We only get one chance at this life so let’s make it one to remember and smile back on; no regrets .
By Sara Raak


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