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The strangers I hug remain just that, strangers. I never see them again.

And then there’s the one that becomes something more, a friend, a daughter and the helicopter

mom in me whirs into life.

She’s a free spirit with a huge heart and a boundless capacity to love. Unfortunately that also

means that she hurts in a way us normal earthlings don’t quite understand. She carries her

emotions openly and I love her for that. The day we met, as I went through my spiel, she burst

into tears and came into my arms, holding on as if I was a lifeline.

Her words were something like “I so need to be hugged today” and the story poured out.

Once again nothing I would share on Face Book or, in fact, with anyone else. I’m honored she

felt she could talk to me but her story is hers to tell, not mine.

She reminds me of a water sprite, or what I imagine a water sprite would look like. Tiny, maybe

90 lbs. if her wings got wet. Water sprites do have wings, right? She floats when she walks and

her voice is just audible but clear and calm.

She’s in control of her life and I don’t believe life’s storms will beat her down. Throw her around

maybe, waves crashing and thunder rumbling, even the odd lightning strike a little too close for

comfort but she’ll weather it all. She’ll be fine, I know she’ll be fine but it’s hard to see her.

For now I can’t do more than stand and watch, offering a shoulder to cry on or a pair of arms to

hug, either or both whenever required. I empathize with her “downs” and rejoice in her “ups,”

and pray life treats her with kindness.

I know she will read this and know just how much I care.

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