Sunday, 4 October 2015

Embrace! Really Embrace! (Write 31 Days - Day 4)

Day 4 of Write 31 Days - Five Minute Free Write Style. Darran (my dear husband who holds me accountable) insisted that I put a "disclaimer" in here admitting that I broke the rules a little bit this time as I did edit one thing (one section of one sentence, really). :P. I may have also gone a tad over the 5 minutes but I believe the focus is more on the free writing than on the time and I really had to get out the words that had to come out. 

Today's word is embrace.


verb em·brace \im-ˈbrās\
: to hold someone in your arms as a way of expressing love or friendship
: to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly
: to use (an opportunity) eagerly

The above is the definition of “embrace” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, or, I should said the definitions. There are 3 after all.  I’m going to be focusing on the first two: “to hold someone in your arms as a way of expressing love” and “to accept someone readily or gladly”.

The last time I saw my Mom was in July 2012. I went down while pregnant with my second child and I took my first-born with me. It was a lovely visit with my parents – spending time with two people whom I loved (and love), and great for my daughter to get to know them more! But every night when I said I was going to bed my mom asked for a hug and a kiss – an embrace. This often irritated me – I was tired and just wanted to sleep and this was just delaying that for me. I sometimes begrudged her of that “lost sleeping time”, that time when I wanted to just be able to do my own thing. Selfish, eh? “Why does she always want a hug and kiss? Like I’m a child!” would be the thoughts in my head. (Why was I being this way?! Didn’t I love my Mom? YES! I loved her (and still do) dearly! ) So why did she always want a hug and kiss? Why did she want this embrace (for that is what a hug and kiss quite simply are)? To express her love (and to feel mine), and perhaps to also know that I accepted her (and to let me know that she accepted me). I think there was hurt between us during my growing up – maybe because we’re too much alike. J I couldn’t always understand why she judged me the way she did – was I not good enough for her? And then, sometimes I didn’t accept her for who she was either – going to Dad for advice before her (and I know that hurt her more often than I guessed).  But I WOULD give her that hug and kiss every night. And that last night I did so cheerfully but also with sadness … I was going home again.

And then in December 2012, suddenly, she passed away. And OH how I wish I could embrace her one more time! How I wish I could show her my love and let her know how readily and gladly I accept her and all that she is! Let her know how I want to be like her! OH how I wish I could hold her one more time!

A week ago we were at some friends’ house for Bible study and the wife, as the kids were getting ready to go to bed, called for her eldest to come give her a hug and kiss good night. He kind of seemed embarrassed, but he did it! And there was teasing (which likely embarrassed him more). But I wanted to say, “Don’t be embarrassed! Embrace your Mom! Embrace this opportunity! Because you don’t know when the opportunity will be gone forever and how much you’ll miss it once it’s gone!” So I say to him, and I say to you, embrace your Mom (and Dad), embrace them! Really embrace them! Hold them close! Let them know your love! Show them that small honour at the very least!


A different kind of embrace. My Mom and my oldest. She (Annalise) told me randomly the other day that her favourite memory of Grandma Hoogerdijk was riding on the wheelchair with her and sitting in her lap.


  1. Oh Jennifer, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom but you are right, we never know when that time we have with them is going to be our last. Thank you for this reminder to embrace every moment we have with our loved ones. That time is such a gift.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! It is hard to loose the ones we love. And this writing of mine is a great reminder for myself as well to embrace every moment. (And want to explain to my own children why I want to hug and kiss them goodnight! :) )

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom! So sorry for your loss. My own mother lives right next door, but there are still days and days that I don't see her. Your post reminded me to be more intentional in stopping by and embracing her while I still can. (Amazing what God can pull out of a five minute free write, yes?) Great post!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving this comment! I'm glad that my words could be encouragement to others. If your mom is anything like my mom (and dad) then yes, she'd probably really appreciate you just stopping by. :) It is amazing what God can do with just a five minute write. While I write much for myself, I'm always grateful when the words I say benefit others as well.

  3. Oh my dear, I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother when I was eleven and I know this kind of pain never truly goes away. But God is faithful in all our storms. Lovely way to honor your mother by encouraging the embrace. So true that we love each other with physical touch and connection. (visiting from the 31 Days fb group:) Btw, I'm an amateur bread baker - loved your 31 day series last year!

    1. Thanks for this! It is hard loosing a mother, eh? I'm so grateful when people understand that the pain never really goes away. And yes, God IS faithful! I'm glad you liked last year's series! It was fun (as much as I did). I'm disappointed in myself that I wasn't able to finish it but am determined to still attempt each bread that I haven't accomplished yet! :) I LOVE fresh bread! :) I've made things easier on myself though now - Tuesdays are bread baking days. :)