Posts Tagged With: mom

The Struggle With Hugs


I’ll just come out and say it… I’m weird. Awkward. Maybe at times even a bit uncomfortable. To some, this isn’t news. Or maybe it is. Whatever the case may be, I’m confessing my struggle with hugging.
Hugs, you say?

Yes, hugs. Let me explain…

I love hugs. I do. I think they are perfect for expressing affection for those you love, appreciation for people who’ve done something wonderful for you, and even as a greeting for those you haven’t seen in quite a while.

The problem is that I’m painfully inconsistent. I may hug you on one day and not hug you the next. It has nothing to do with how I feel about you. I think it has more to do with over thinking the process. What I mean is this… I grew up thinking that guys don’t hug. For any reason.

Did you brake your leg? Head nod with a grunt.

Did you just have a fight with your girlfriend? Shake head while saying, “Dude.”

Did you just accomplish some major goal? Punch to the shoulder with a smile.

Now, with the exception of the common one-armed back pat with hands clasped between you, most guys I know don’t hug. So it’s not something I made a habit of doing. But this threw me WAY off later in life.

When I was younger, I had no problem hugging girls I dated or even my mom. My dad, on the other hand, was never a big hugger. Even now I think it surprises him when someone moves in for an embrace. But that’s not to say that my dad isn’t affectionate. We actually hug more now that I’m older.

Neverthless, with most friends and relatives, I probably confuse the heck out of them. Sometimes I’ll immediately go in for a hug. Other times I’ll wait for them to make the first move. And still at other times, there will be this awkward moment where neither one of us is certain if the other will offer a hug, so we’ll do this weird wobbling until we either hug or one of us moves away to end the stalemate.

I don’t know what causes me to do this. It’s not intentional. But I fear I’ve gotten to the point where my inconsistency is to be expected, and to all of a sudden start hugging people regularly would make things even more weird… or awkward… or confusing.

Who knows?

All I can say is, if you see me, give me a hug. I will never refuse them.

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Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Just Another Jordan?


This post was actually written by my wife and posted on her blog “Momeopathy” today. It was so moving that I felt compelled to share it with everyone on Xanga. Please take a moment and read this true, heart breaking story. I think your life will forever be changed by it. – Riis

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Categories: family, personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Reflection On Gift Giving


Sometimes giving a gift can be one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. You never know how much you’ll touch someone… and you never know what opportunities will arise from unforeseen angles.

For instance, I have a friend who is a highly accomplished artist and he creates tapestries for very wealthy clients.  I mean, some of his tapestries sell for thousands upon thousands of dollars… so it ain’t cheap.   Anyway, almost exactly 10 years ago today, he tells me that his friend Lucille (Shaq’s mom, I learned) had a birthday on the 14th of July.  He said he would be seeing her on the 21st and he asked me to write a song for her that would honor her, for her birthday.  (It’s part of what I do… writing, producing, arranging, etc…)

Seeing this as an opportunity to present my music, I agreed.  He told me this on Wednesday the 17th and said he was leaving at 5am on Saturday the 20th.  So I’d have to work fast.  I’m pretty good at writing and creating music and figured I had plenty of time before he left.

Well, life (as usual) got in the way and I didn’t get a chance to even start working on the song until Friday… and I spent all day writing, re-writing and recording it until I finally had something I was proud of.  By the time I was done the entire day had passed.  So I burned two copies on CDs and drove it over to his house at about 1:30am.  We listened to it a few times after I got there and he thought it was just wonderful and he was sure she would love it.

I told him to make sure and let me know what she thought of it.  He said that he’d call me after she’d heard it and would let me know what she said….  So here I was on my way to church the following Sunday morning and my cell phone rings…  and my friend is like, “Hey, someone wants to talk to you!”  And guess who gets on the phone?  Yep… it was Shaq’s mom calling to thank me for the song. She told me how much it meant to her and that she hoped we’d get a chance to meet face to face.

We talked for about 10 minutes or so and she mentioned that she wanted Shaq to hear it, etc.  She really was a very pleasant woman.  The whole experience brightened my day… and I was exceptionally proud of how well I’d done in less than a day.  Anyway, it made me think about the fact that despite everything else, deep down inside everyone is human and everyone treasures a sincere gesture of appreciation… even if their son is an international superstar.  To him, she’s just… MOM.

Categories: family, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letter To My Parents…


This was part of a 30-Day Letter Challenge. I made it to Day 3. lol

COUNTDOWN: 10 days until Father’s Day…

Dear Mom & Dad,

Thank you for being the kind of parents that any child would be proud to call their own. I consider myself extremely blessed and most fortunate to have been raised by two amazing people who know how to love God, love each other and love their children in such a remarkable way. I’m inspired by the fact that you celebrated your 48th wedding anniversary this year! 😀 While I personally know so many people who have given up on their relationships, you’ve proven yourselves to be stalwart advocates of marriage simply by your lives. It’s the stellar example that I live by and strive to emulate.

Mom, your love for me through the years has been a source of strength and healing. You’ve supported me in everything I’ve ever tried to do.  Even when I’d make mistakes and fall down you never condemned me, but rather encouraged me to get back up and keep trying. I know that I can always count on a hug from you that is full of genuine love and complete understanding. Andrea is like you in so many ways. It’s one of the reason I knew she was the perfect one for me.

Dad, you’ve always been my hero. I’ve written about you many times before. Your selfless acts have not gone unnoticed by me. I hope to make you proud of me as your son as proud as I am to have you as my father. You are the standard against which all other fathers are measured.  If my children grow up to admire me as much as I do you, I will consider myself to have been the best father I could possibly be to them.

Thank you both for being two people on whom I can always count. That means more than mere words could ever express.

With love,

Your son, Riis

Categories: personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DOVE NOTE #20: Healthy Inequality


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

You will rarely (if ever) hear anyone talk about something being unequal yet healthy. That is, until today…

See, I fully believe that healthy relationships thrive on the premise that the love and effort of each individual is being reciprocated, although not always in equal amounts. What I mean is that it’s not so much about what they do or how often they do it, but rather the motivation behind the fact that they do anything at all. If the only effort put into a relationship stems from a desire to store up “credits” to use when they want something, then it’s destined to fail. It is impossible to experience the benefits of cultivating a healthy relationship when the root is established by having your needs met through guilt and manipulation. Those trees can only bear fruit of disappointment and regret.

You need to start with a realistic perspective of the dynamics of your relationship. This should include accepting that any attempt to measure the equality of “give and take” in a relationship is pointless without first finding out what kinds of things really matter to each of you individually. Because your sincere efforts may go unnoticed if you’re focusing on things that may mean a lot to you but mean very little to your significant other. And vice versa. A good place to start is determining your Love Language. It also helps to keep in mind this nugget of wisdom my mother offered me right before I got married…

“Remember that relationships won’t always be 50/50 give and take. Sometimes they’re 80/20 or 30/70, depending on what you may be facing. The key is recognizing when you can be a support, and speaking up when you need to be supported.”

Go mom! 😀

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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