not many handshakes going on these days.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

I am a hugger and a kisser; my mom and her side of the family are huggers and kissers.  I remember spending holidays at my grandmother’s house – my mom’s mom.  I grew up with this side of the family always hugging and kissing.

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My dad’s side of the family was totally opposite.  They never expressed their love in this sort of way.  But my mom’s side of the family always did.  And I guess me not being your typical guy, grew accustomed to hugging and kissing and did not put much thought into doing it – except with my brothers and my dad.

My siblings and I worked for my dad in his fast food restaurants and I guess I considered him my boss.  My mom also worked in the business and I can remember calling my mom and dad by their proper name.  That continued until I left the business and moved on to other jobs.  The relationship with my dad was not close through my childhood years and early adulthood years; for quite some time it was more a business relationship instead of a dad/son relationship.  You can read more about my relationship with my dad in these posts ‘My Dad Who Taught Me Plenty’, ‘I understand the words ‘I love you‘‘, ‘Anger Towards My Dad‘ and ‘A Letter From Dad‘.  But over the years as we both grew older the relationship began to change.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

I was visiting my dad at his house and it was time for me to leave.  The usual action to take place was to shake hands; this is what we always did.  Today was different, not because of a special occasion or special anything; it was an ordinary day with an ordinary visit.  It was time to leave, and that farewell would be different.

Upon leaving with no intentional thought I hugged my dad and gave him a kiss on the cheek and left.  I got into my truck, left and started driving home and after several minutes it occurred to me.

What did I just do?  What was I thinking?

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Image Provided by: animalshugging.tumblr.com

That is the point, I was not thinking; I was just acting.  I was acting the way I acted with everyone upon leaving and saying goodbye; with a hug and a kiss.  This is what comes natural to me but did not for so many years to my dad.  We never spoke of that farewell on that particular day, but it was the event that helped change our relationship.

Today, I hug and kiss my dad always without hesitation and the response is welcomed.  I do not kiss my brothers, but we do hug now – not many handshakes going on these days.

The first hug and kiss to my dad – I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

 

38 thoughts on “not many handshakes going on these days.

    • Thanks David, I am glad you enjoyed this – it is important for dads and sons to be close and you and I are fortunate to have that. Thanks for reading and commenting – always appreciated! 🙂

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  1. This strikes such a chord. My father, though in fact a very warm and sensitive man was the product of boarding school and the British Royal Navy. He just wasn’t touchy feely, tactile, if you will. I am. Was and am. And I did exactly the same on impulse one day. And everyday thereafter until he died nearly 13 years ago. I regret not having the courage to tell him that I loved him. I do not regret showing him. 🙂

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    • Osyth, I am very glad you were able to show your dad the love you had for him. It is interesting how difficult that can be sometimes – but when done once, it becomes so easy. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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  2. This is a lovely post. I am a touchy, feely, hugger and sometimes take even Texans by surprise. My habits were made worse by living in Egypt where even straight men hold hands going down the street. You should have seen the looks my husband got in Houston when one of his Egyptian friends arrived and kissed him three times, with a hug. All his colleagues were thinking. ‘I thought he was straight?’ 🙂

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  3. Oh Terry, that has touched me no end and brought tears to my eyes. Funny how things have changed over the years. I think today, people are more prone to the hug and the kiss. My dad too, was not the hug/kiss kind of guy but would always kiss me on my forehead till the day he died. I remember giving my dad a big hug one day, and that felt so good….. I am so pleased you are ‘there’ with your dad. It is so special and he feels it too. Enjoy your day further. 🙂

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    • Thanks Lynne, yes I am glad we are ‘there’ also – we are both older and with that comes the understanding of the importance of our relationship. Enjoy your day as well my friend and thank you for reading! 🙂

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  4. Thank you for sharing this… I don’t think I quite appreciated growing up in a house where hugs, kisses, and I love yous were the norm. Glad you changed the dynamics in your relationship. You and your dad are probably paying it forward in ways you don’t even realize. 💓

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    • Thank you Jean, since I did not receive the hugs and kisses from my dad growing up, I did make sure I gave them to my sons – still do! Thanks for reading and commenting – have a great week my friend. 🙂

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  5. That’s a wonderful story….my mom was never a big hugger…my dad was….after my father passed all of a sudden, we all said I love you at the end of the phone calls…and hugs all around when we saw each other…I know it made my father very happy to see this from the other side….nothing but joy!!!! kat

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    • A nice story kat, the hugs are important – sometimes it takes a loss for them to start taking place – your father would most certainly be very happy. Thanks dear for the comment – I appreciate them. 🙂

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  6. Don’t remember hugging my father once whilst he was alive. A bit the same with mum although I do put my arm around her more often. It is unfortunately the West of Scotland way so I have never known any different. However, I hug my son often although it’s still a handshake with my older monad only brother….

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  7. So true..my dad was old school , he worked, my mum stayed at home but no affection from him until one day I thought you will know me ..a bit like your spontaneous hug and it worked he became more tactile than he had ever been ..better late than never I say…great post 🙂

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  8. This post is so much like what I have experienced with my husband’s family – they are not huggers, even at funerals and other sad occasions they simply do not express affection in a physical way – we know they care about us but hugs and kisses are not welcomed by any of them. My side of the family is the exact opposite – it took me a while to get used to my in-laws. I am glad you had this experience with your father and I hope one day my husband may as well with his father. Thanks for sharing your story.

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