It Always Comes Back to the Hug

Dear Reader:

As I was thinking about Bob Williams’ closing remarks yesterday concerning the best thing he receives, in exchange, for his Hershey candy bar giveaways…getting a hug and that at 94 it was the best gift of all…it made me pause and reflect on that statement.

It really is true, isn’t it?  For most of us the older we get the less we want material items…instead what we crave is physical closeness in the form of hugs from grandchildren, our children, nieces, nephews- up to our peers, new friends or even strangers. It is that moment of physical contact that makes us still feel connected to the rest of humanity.

I have come to realize that the last several Steve Hartman ‘the ‘On the Road’ stories on CBS have been mostly about just that…hugs. A few months ago it was the little girl that grabbed an elderly gentleman’s hand and befriended him in a grocery store…initiating an on-going beautiful relationship. Sunday it was Bob Williams and his “Hershey Hugs” and then some of you might seen the story of eleven-year-old Ruby and her amazing presence in an adult convalescent home.

Source: CBS Evening News (“On the Road”) Steve Hartman

Harrison, Ark. — At a nursing home in northwest Arkansas, we found a gem named Ruby. At 11-years-old, Ruby Chitsey likes to go to work with her mom.

Amanda is a nurse who travels to several nursing homes in the area. And it was on one of those visits, that Ruby started going up to residents with her notepad, asking them if they could have any three things, what would they be.

When asked what was Ruby’s initial intention…her mother replied.

“I don’t think she had an intention, really,” Amanda said.

Ruby said she was mostly just curious what they’d say.

“I was very surprised. I thought people would say money, houses, a Lamborghini,” Ruby said.

But, instead, here’s what she got: electric razor, new shoes, Vienna sausage, for some reason a lot of people asked for Vienna sausage and other really basic items. 

Like, that’s all they wanted. And I really decided that I needed to do something,” Ruby said.

So she started a charity called, “Three Wishes for Ruby’s Residents.”

Now, while her mom is caring for patients, Ruby goes room-to-room, jots down wishes and then sets out to grant those wishes. Ruby has a GoFundMe to cover costs, but again, no one is asking for a sports car here. Her expenses are minimal, especially compared to the rewards.

“It really lifts you, it really does,” Ruby said.

On this day, she came back with a wheelchair full of sausages and other grocery items. But make no mistake, this isn’t about food.

Whether she knows it or not, Ruby is satisfying some much more basic human needs here, to be remembered, to be cherished  especially by a child. That is what our seniors are truly hungry for. That is what Ruby brings every time she sets foot in a nursing home.

Who needs a Lamborghini when you’ve got home delivery of all the happy you can handle?

*Don’t you just love Steve Hartman’s human interest stories? Here is the video shown on CBS Sunday Morning Show in case you haven’t seen it.

So until tomorrow…The next time you can’t think how to start or end a note… try something like… “Much love and even more hugs.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

The red-headed woodpecker’s favorite place to roost now is the little chapel bird house feeder….I am going to have to move my car “Surcie” to the other driveway to get it away from the trees, falling leaves, and pollen…but mainly to open up the wide view of the driveway for  all the birds visiting the “little chapel.”



*It pays to wake up early…to see the sun come up….I was at the computer a few minutes before seven this morning…and a tiny splash of light caught my peripheral vision…30 seconds later the sun burst through. I think it is going to be a great day. Off to Mt. P to the foot doctor….prayers said…fingers crossed!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It Always Comes Back to the Hug

  1. bcparkison says:

    What a sweet child and what a great future she has. Who knows what lies in store for her.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.