Missing That Touch

It’s been a year since I last hugged my daughter.
One year.
I have never gone this long without feeling her touch.
We talk on the phone, send text messages and share photos electronically, or write letters (a lot). We communicate; we always have.
But since this whole coronavirus thing began, we have not seen each other.
It hurts.
We are close. We live a province apart, but with some frequency we manage to spend time together. I fly there or she flies here.
Our time together is spent visiting galleries, or catching a play or concert, or we shop for vinyl, always walking the streets and talking about whatever comes to mind.
What we do is not as important as who we do it with.
And there are always hugs.
Nothing feels like a hug from my daughter. It is full-bodied and so powerful it reaches down to my soul. It reminds me who I am, and cements the deepest, most significant relationship I have ever had.
I have been a father to my daughter longer than I was a son to my mother.
It is a touching relationship.
Now I know, right now, there are people who have gone just as long (or longer) without true contact with loved ones. I know there are people who live closer than we do, and they too have been unable to share a hug, a meal, or time with the significant people in their lives.
I feel for them.
Human beings are social creatures, meant to have contact with one another, and for a year now we haven’t been able to interact with people as it was meant to be: as it should be.
This virus continues to change the way we live our lives. I’m not sure how much longer this will last, or how I will continue to handle it.
Last fall, when we thought it might have been possible, I almost drove to see my daughter. It would take a couple of days, but I hadn’t really been anywhere for months and, let’s face it, I’d drive anywhere for a hug from her.
But, it really wasn’t safe to do so. COVID-19 cases, then, were on the uptick there and they weren’t getting any lower here. And we had to think about all those other people, and how this virus was being spread, and how we couldn’t chance it.
I would not want to knowingly spread this virus, especially to her.
So I stayed home.
And I’ve been here for a year without seeing my daughter face to face.
We still talk and text. We keep in touch, its what we do, but I could really use a hug.
I spoke with her yesterday. We talked about how long it had been, but more about how we knew we would again see each other when all of this is over.
We just don’t know when that will be.
That is the uncertainty of this pandemic. That might be the loneliest thing of all.

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