Hug someone!


I can’t resist sharing this pleasure with my blogger friends. Blogging in Paris was mentioned yesterday in an article about elder bloggers, in Le Monde, a well-known French daily newspaper. Also mentioned, Ronni Bennett’s Time Goes By and Millie Garfield’s My Mom’s blog.

To listen to this post in French, click below


Through Ronni Bennett’s Time Goes By, I discovered Donald Murray’s column in the Boston Globe and look forward to reading it, every Tuesday. Today’s column is called Embracing today’s open affection, it brought tears to my eyes.
Murray recalls his stern upbringing and how displays of affection were not a common thing in his family (an understatement)

I was brought up in a stern Scots family. I have no memory of either grandmother hugging me. My mother certainly didn’t hug me. Neither did my father, and if I had hugged him he would have decked me.

and how he appreciated it when people showed their affection and concern after the passing away of his wife

Then I was sad. All the hugs and statements of love I received during Minnie Mae’s sickness and after her death were wonderful. I was a human being receiving direct comfort and caring. It was great. I wanted to give and get all the affection possible. It helped enormously, but I remembered all the years of not hearing and not saying ”I love you,” all the decades of never giving or receiving hugs

Of course, this brought me back to the sort of family we were and made me think of the photo above, one that I scanned quite a while ago, thinking that it was so typical of my parents.
When I look back, I cannot say that my parents were not loving parents, they loved me and my brother, we knew it, and they certainly loved each other. But we didn’t say that we love each other, and there was not much hugging going on at home.
As a child, I remember asking my mother many a time: Mum, do you love me? Or maybe it was more like: You love me, don’t you? And she would never say that she did, she would say something like: Of course silly, you are my daughter!
And somehow, when my daughter was little, I too felt quite unable to display affection, unlike my husband who knew how to say that he loved us, and was a great hugger. When he died, I know that my daughter missed those hugs so much, and I couldn’t give them.
As I grow older, I am learning to say I love you and like Donald Murray who ends his article with:

Put the paper down and hug someone. Right now. Say ”I love you” to a friend or stranger. We all need a celebration of caring in a world full of distance and fear

I’ll say: turn off you computer, call a friend or family and tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you.

This photo was taken in our garden in Deauville in the 50s, my father reading in the shade of a tree, while my mother was sunbathing.

On a daily basis, I upload quite a lot of photos onto my flickr account, but I choose one a day, which I blog at my Photoblog: One Photo a Day…


9 thoughts on “Hug someone!

  1. My father used to hug me so tight he crushed my bones.
    I never knew how much those hugs meant until he developed
    Alzheimer’s. Then, when I’d try to hug him, his arms hung
    limply at his side–as if he’d forgotten the language of affection.
    What a beautiful message yours is. Hug someone now. While you

  2. Congratulations on your mention in the newspaper. Elder blogging is getting it’s well deserved recognition, as are you all.

    I’m surprized at the number of people that were deprived of open affection during their youth, I always thought I was a loaner in that respect.

  3. Good evening Mrs C.
    I am Alexandra Nawawi. I was one of your students in Lamartine, so I’ll try to write in English. I just read Le Monde’s article, so I came to see your blog. I’m really interesting in photo too and I want to congratulate you for yours.
    Your text touched me a lot (you know my father’s attitude…) and the photo is really stirring. An impression of sweetness and well-being.
    I prepare the concours of seven journalism’s schools all around the country.
    See you and all the best !

  4. @Patry, yes, hug someone while you can!
    @Milt, thanks for visiting. It’s good to ‘see’ you here!
    @Alexandra, how exciting and moving to have someone I actually know write a comment 😉 I remember you well and you were one of the students I really appreciated. How nice to know that you are doing well! I wish you success for the outcome of this year, but also happiness in your life. Give my best to your Dad.

  5. Not only mentioned, but you make the grand opening of the article with a whole paragraph! Quite an achievement!
    I agree, we can’t hug our beloved ones enough. My parents never hugged me, at the time I thought they didn’t love me, now of course I know they were too busy struggling through life. I became a hugging mum, and my son thinks I smother him. He used to resist my signs of affection as a teenager, but now that he’s grown up he’s become a loving and hugging son. I noticed his attitude changed when his grandmother(my mum)died and I needed mortal support.

  6. How thrilling to see your circle of blogger friends widen still through Le Monde, and how caring of you to share!
    It’s wonderful it’s brought you recognition… by a student, at least, and I thought that was very moving.
    Leaves me a bit worried to see I have to wait so much to be an “elder” blogger, since “la Retraite” is retreating back. When shall I be free to start!
    Nice of you to share your family as well
    A very special big hug,
    Blog on

  7. Beautiful photos, I’ve spent quite a while with you in cemeteries. I share your passion about tumbs, for these places are so peacefull. So much to see on this blog, I’ll have to visit several time to see them all. I’ve appreciated also your quiet voice talking with simplicity about your parents and all that love that goes by without words… It makes me feel good just knowing there are people like you. Musarde

  8. Thanks for the link to your article. I went to LeMonde and searched with no luck, so I came back to your blog and linked in that way. The other blog mentioned was interesting, as was the link to SeniorPlanet. Thanks again and congratulations.

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