When They Touched Us

Cloe, Me, and Kayla in Houston

Friday, Oct. 17, 2003

Alan,
Hey! I’m in Houston, Texas! I’m sharing a room with Elsie.
We left Killeen around 3:30 this afternoon. It’s Cloe, Elsie, Kayla, and myself. We all rode down in Cloe’s little 2-door Civic! it was a tight squeeze, but we’re having a lot of fun.

We got here at night, so we haven’t gone anywhere yet. And don’t worry, we aren’t planning on spending much money at all. Tomorrow we’re going on a tour of homes, the mall, and an outdoor concert that’s free.

Cloe’s friend Rachel came over, and we all played board games, Cranium and Clue. You would enjoy Cranium, I think.
And guess who won Clue?? Me, of course! My Clue-winning streak is still alive.

Road trip!

I enjoyed talking to you SO much this morning. I did manage to go back to sleep too–and slept until 12. 🙂 I’ve been talking about cute things you said ALL day.

It meant so much to me that you support my going back to school. Thank you so much. I promise I’m not going to let you down! And we’ll still get to go on our cruise. We’ll cruise away. Just being together is going to be SO romantic!

***********

October and November were all about studying for the GRE, applying to my local university satellite campus, and making trips with family and friends. I went to Houston, Tuscaloosa, my parents’ house, and Destin.

First, there was the trip to Houston mentioned in the letter. I remember staying up past midnight just talking to Elsie after staying up to play board games, and the tour of homes the next day was amazing. It was a tour of these custom-built houses in a swanky area of Houston. Why is it so fun to look at enormous homes? I don’t know, but it is.

Can I be that skinny again, please?? Gracious.

But the thing I remember most was that we visited a church service with Cloe on Sunday morning. I think it was a little Presbyterian or Episcopal church, where Cloe’s father-in-law was the minister. During the “greeting” time, there were many congregants who hugged us and thanked us for our service to our country.

We had not realized this one major human need that we were all missing. We talked about it all the way back to Cloe’s house.

“Wasn’t it great how they hugged us?”

“Yes, but I had a really hard time not crying.”

“Oh, I totally had tears. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t realize how long it had been since someone touched me.”

“I know! Yes! Who knew touch was so important?”

“It is. I had no idea. We should all hug each other more often.”

“Yeah, it’s like you just want to go up to people and say, ‘Excuse me, will you hug me? I haven’t been touched in months, not even on the shoulder. Just touch my arm. That will do.”

There was lots of laughter and that bond of walking that same strange and lonely married-deployed-spouse-with-no-kids path together.

Elsie, Me, Kayla, and Cloe at Cloe’s parents’ house

I don’t think any of us had realized the importance of this need for physical touch in our lives until that church service, and I know for a fact none of those church members that morning had any idea how much their hugs had blessed us….a good thing to remember when you want to help a lonely person! Sometimes it’s just a simple hug that’s needed.

1Finally, brothers, rejoice! Aim for perfect harmony, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13All the saints send you greetings.…

 

2 Corinthians 13:12

 

 

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