I glide my fingers along the rounded edges of the smooth, cool marble. I long to know what it would feel like to hold what is inside right now, what had been. I crave the touch of my family and friends who are present, but not always within reach.
I yearn to hear their laughter and voices — not on the phone, not virtually, but beside me, closer than 6 feet. It has been too long since I’ve seen so many of the people I love and care about in person.
It has also been a while since I’ve cradled this marble vessel I speak of.
While dusting the picture frames on the dresser this afternoon, I felt comfort in picking up what may appear to many to be a decorative relic.
What was it about today that made me want to hold the marble and feel its heaviness in my hands?
Was it the quiet stillness surrounding me?
Was it the thought of the tender, rounded cheeks of my baby boy that I hadn’t seen in days?
Could it have been the lack of incessant questions I was currently missing from my curious toddler?
Perhaps it could have been all of the above, but what I know for sure is that it made me desire something that I think we are all missing during this time in the world.
Connection is vital to our existence. Through technology, we can continue relationships we have built over the years that may have originated long before Facebook or Zoom.
I am so thankful for the capability to reminisce, share, contemplate, rejoice, and endure with my loved ones through the challenges our planet’s population has experienced during the past several weeks and months.
It is certainly therapeutic to discuss anxieties, fears, doubts, and uncertainties about the future and feel as if I’m really being heard and understood, because don’t we all have questions and concerns?
Beyond specialized contact through computers, smartphones, and tablets are the value of human touch. I am one of those people who is going to hug you goodbye.
I’m going to shake your hand with both of mine when we’re introduced. I will pat you on the shoulder while we’re chatting about the day.
If you’re really special to me and ask politely, I will give you an impressive back scratch. Although crucially imperative, social distancing has been rather tough for me.
Research has documented the beneficial properties of human touch to our mental and physical health.
Michelangelo said, “To touch is to give life,” and I couldn’t agree more, especially now.
As difficult as it remains to seclude ourselves from loved ones, colleagues, activities, and once in a lifetime events, I can only anticipate how glorious the reunions will be once we’re able to assemble together again.
Because of our separation, I believe the hugs will be tighter, the smiles will be wider, and the tears will drop harder. I expect the introductions of brand new babies will be sweeter, weddings and unions will be stronger, and grief for those we have lost will be deeper.
Celebrations will be livelier, and games will just mean more, and classes will be brighter.
As I glance at the gleam from the small, marble urn on my dresser, I look forward to a certain reunion with a very special loved one.
I don’t know when this meeting will occur, just as I don’t know when life as we know it will return. What I do know is how much I take for granted each and every day.
I’m certain of how much I value the individuals who are risking their lives and the well being of their families to serve others throughout this devastation.
I know I am not in control, and I’m so thankful that God has every one of us in the palm of his hand.
I’m grateful knowing He has a divine plan through all of this adversity and tribulation.
I’ve been told for many years that God never promised that life would be easy, and I know this firsthand.
I know that the hug in Heaven will be warm and soft, just as I hope all the hugs are here on Earth when we can all join together again.