Last Hug

Last week, when our emergency staff meeting was over, the one that sent us home indefinitely, I took one last look around our school library, at the people that filled the space. When would I see these people again?

I got up to join Dawn as she walked towards the exit. Our eyes met and not knowing what to do, we kind of shrugged, acknowledging that we were taking a risk, and then we hugged.

My eyes tear up thinking about this moment now, as we face so much uncertainty. When will we get back to this space together?

I read Svalter’s post on Read, Reflect, Teach this morning. She wrote about Mo Willems Lunchtime Doodle sessions that he is offering live each afternoon. She quoted Mo’s opening remark from the first session, “Let’s find a way to be isolated and together at the same time.” I had logged into that Lunchtime Doodle with my girls, on Day 1. I remember hearing the words, but they didn’t stick. Reading them again I think about all the ways I’ve stayed connected with people in the last week. I have various group chats that keep me connected to friends. Friends from work, friends from college, friends I’ve met through dance class , the kindergarten moms. We all check in, share tid bits from the day, and sometimes fall apart from the craziness of it all.

Yesterday, we called my Grandma and she took a turn talking to each of the girls. She said she wanted to take a drive over, just to wave to them in the window.

Later in the day, we Facetimed with Adi’s friend from kindergarten. Adi was shy and I had to coach her through much of the conversation. I worry about what will happen to the friendships she has made and the impact all this time at home will have on kids…on all of us.

I’m grateful that there are so many ways to keep us connected right now. We are isolated and together. But I’m eager for the day when we can drop the isolated part. I want to hug my friends.

18 thoughts on “Last Hug

  1. This emotional slice brings many connecting memories, I also remember our last meeting at school and how we (my colleagues and I) shared many different emotions. The part that really stands out is how Grandma would like to see you all but can only wave from a distance. That shares the impact of our present circumstances. Hoping it all ends soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is so sad to leave the space behind. It’s such a tragic time and you really captured it in this slice. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my space or students and it has been SO hard on me! I’m thankful for virtual communication tools, but it’s just not the same. I miss hugs, too!

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  3. Yes, keeping connected even when apart is a necessity. I like the way you showed how this works with you and your family. The phone calls with grandma, the drive by, all of it poignantly brings this time into focus. Thinking of you.

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  4. Couldn’t agree more! That day, our last day pre C-19, i left with two great hugs – yours and little kindergartener P. I can still feel the warmth and love from each and from the kindergartener – pure innocence. We must be thankful for all the ways we CAN stay connected until we can hug again!

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  5. Your post reminds us all of the importance of physical connection and how the lack thereof will be part of what makes this experience difficult. The hugs, the handshakes, the high fives…all now a thing of the past (hopefully temporarily). Your writing evokes so much emotion. Thanks for this!

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  6. Yours reminds me of another post, one about the power of AND. It is so easy to think of these moments with all the “Yeah, but’s…” Yeah, but Grandma can’t come in. Instead, you have chosen to focus on the “AND.” Yes, AND she’ll wave to us when she goes by. So uplifting. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh man! All of this. I feel so lucky to be with my family, but oh, how I long to be able to touch my friends. I try to imagine what it will be like when this is over. I imagine a world where I just hug everyone for a long, long time… Until then, I write and I talk. Not quite enough, but better than nothing.

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  8. The human contacts just leaves a void, doesn’t it? It’s so nice being home with my kids and my husband, but it’s just strange to see no one else. I’m a little envious you had closure—we left for Spring Break on a note of ‘maybe’ last Friday and got the call on Sunday.


  9. Thanks for sharing. I love that your mom wanted to come by and wave from the window. That was a powerful sentence. We will get through this and they will be whole.


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