“Did you read my last column?” I asked.
Pope nodded and replied, “Yes.”
After a brief pause and a tilt of his head toward me, Pope said, “Tom, you use the word ‘embraced’ in almost every column. Do you realize that?”
I thought for a second or two and replied, “Yes, embraced is one of my favorite words.”
Embrace, embraced, embraceable – I’m not sure how many times I’ve used these three words in columns over the past seven years, perhaps hundreds of times. But I know this – they are a “trinity of peace.”
I could use the word “hug” when sharing with you the depth of my love for my wife, Chris. But that would limit what it is I am sharing with you. Using the word “hugged” places a physical limitation on my explanation. Perhaps I could insert the word accept, but that would indicate I placed something aside, somehow compromised.
Then again, I could use the word “hold,” as in grip or grasp, but that would limit my intent. When I embrace my Chris, I am saying this: she gives me purpose, becomes one with me and accepts who I am. She, in fact, completes me.
For those of you who believe in God, do you grasp, hug or accept God? I would think not. You will find God not in logic, not in buildings, not in prayer. God is found in the surrender of embrace. Embrace hope, embrace love, embrace the many ignored by others.
For those of you who find no need to believe in God, but rather believe in the mystery of life, I ask you the same question: do you grip, grasp or accept life? No, you inhale and breathe it in, you seek out purpose, you admit to the great value of hope and love. There is no greater embrace than the embrace of hope and love.
Personal experience oft influences the process of putting ones thoughts to paper (like using “oft” in place of often). From my mother’s first whisper “Tommy, I’ll never love you less” to the last words I’ll hear tonight “I love you, sweetheart.” and the first words I’ll hear in the next – “I’ve missed you so very much,” my life is and has been an embraceable experience.
If I could, I would embrace each of you. An embrace is found in the peace of acceptance, the fullness of being held as I am and the moments of being loved, moments that take your breath away. Thank you, all of you who love me: Mom and Dad, my sister Honey, my life (and wife) Chris, my children and grandchildren, my friends – and with wonder, the One who embraces me without explanation.
I am indeed an “embraceable” me.
Thomas H. Hunkele of Troup County is a certified fitness trainer and president of Lakeside Fitness.