The 3-minute hug

Today on Thanksgiving I met a woman named Edith, 81-years-old with crinkly watery eyes behind thin-framed glasses; small with a crackling voice like wind chimes:

“My friend Holland and I once spent a lot of time with young children at our church and there was a little girl who came to Holland and said, ‘I want to give you a three-minute hug.’ And she hugged him and by the end, tears were streaming down Holland’s face, from this 3-minute hug.

She always gave him these hugs, and once the little girl asked him, ‘Why do you cry when I give you a hug?’

Holland isn’t here anymore. This morning at church I saw this little girl and she came up and said she wanted to give me a three-minute hug. And when we parted, tears were running down my face. I don’t know if they’re from the past or where they come from, but in that moment there just seems the present. And it seems like the embrace lasts for eternity. I used to be so cold-hearted…

This three-minute hug, I wish everyone could have this.”

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