Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Hug

The people here don't hug. They hold hands. They rest their heads on another's lap as they sit and chat. They touch knees and squash into small spaces when required. But they don't hug.

Readers of Shantaram will know the type of hug that I mean.

So, after a really difficult morning, I was seeing a patient I met 2 weeks before. We share no language. She is in a lot of pain, for which I can't do much. She might have quite a serious disease and is justifiably worried. I didn't have any answers for her.

Instead of leaving, she hugged me. A proper, warm, close hug. A hug that was held for several seconds. A hug that was exactly what I needed. A hug that enveloped me and transferred so much energy and strength that I nearly cried for the second time that day.

Because the people here don't hug.


speedygeoff said...

Hi Mel in Thailand on your birthday! Happy 28th birthday from all your relatives in Canberra who wouldn’t otherwise get to greet you! i.e. Jenny, Geoff, Mum (who sends a special hello to you - today she got home from hospital nearly 7 weeks after fracturing her femur) and is going really well. She got a 5 star report from the cute Dr. who checked her X Rays yesterday - Elspeth and Mon (who is now mother of 3 – 1 more since your last birthday.

We hope you are given a few special treats for your day. Do you get a birthday cake? Or a bean thread cake? Or a sago treat? I remember the yummy things we used to buy in Singapore made from red bean (I think) and coconut.

I’m not sure whether you are going to be home for Christmas – haven’t checked with Sue, but I’m really looking forward to hearing about your Anzac celebrations and hopefully seeing some photos. I don’t expect to have my scrapbooking of Dad’s war diary experiences done before you return, but I’m certainly keen to incorporate something about your visit and experiences of Thailand 60 years later.

I haven’t read your blog for some time – so will take a look when this message goes in.
If you want updates on the grand family photos look at which has some great shots of Nathan and Lisa’s family after my visit to Brisbane 10 days ago.

Love from Jenny.

macca said...

and here's another happy birthday from Canberra :)

though not family (but I like to think Canberra is one big happy family) :)

Happy birthday Mel!

ahh 28, I remember when I was 28 ... crazy times they were, back in 2004.

Mon Hall said...

and another....
Happy B'day Mel!
and lots of hugs from us,
Love Mon