Significant Stuff

August 5, 2010

My sister gave my mom a bath.  She just upped and did it.  I don’t think I could ever do that.  The idea of touching my mother in a loving and healthy way like that makes my head reel.

Yet, I’m a ‘touchy’ person.  If I’m talking with someone, I will frequently touch them.  Shoulders, head, whatever.  I hug.

Humans need to touch each other.  It’s basic to who we are.  It’s part of love.

Partner touch.  Friend touch.  Parent touch.  That’s what I’m missing – parent touch.  The first and most important touch of all.  Where I would have learned healthy, loving, wonderful touch.  How to touch someone in all situations and make it good.  How to choose who, how, when and why to touch someone.  That’s what I imagine, anyway.

When I was growing up, touch was terror.  It was to be avoided.  If a parent touched you, it meant that you had lost the lottery.

Later, when I was a child and into my teens, we had to hold hands during dinner prayer.  It was never a circle – just a line from my step-father to mother to brother to me.  I did not reach across the table and hold his hand.

In adulthood, I struggled with partner touch.  It was amazing, wonderful stuff, but there was always a shadow of fear, anger and guilt.  Now, I know that it’s a miracle.  It feels like one, anyway.

I can hold the hand of a friend.

I cannot even consider how to touch my mother.  Frankly, I’m relieved that she lives a couple thousand miles away.

Huge creds to my sister.


Susan Scot Fry

Update…  This was one of those posts that wrote itself.  It was an aha post.  And a sigh of relief post.

Physical contact.  I remember yearning for it with every fibre.  And being utterly incapacitated.

I remember being bewildered and overjoyed.  From touch.

We’re solo beings of a single organism.  We spend our lives trying to re-join.

Especially with our moms.


5 thoughts on “August 5, 2010

  1. I get it. I can’t imagine doing something like that for my father. Agreed about the distance. Sometimes separation in families is more about our own sanity, peace of mind, than anything else.


      1. Wow, thank you, Susan. Sorry for not responding to such a warm thought sooner…a huge storm fried my internet Thursday night and I just got it back. Your line of “if a parent touched you, it meant you had lost the lottery” has haunted me for the last few days. Hmm, so much more to ponder. I know I have come to terms with that which happened to me, but every now and then, I am reminded how sad it is that it happened to so many of us.


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