Do you know what I miss most?

No?  

Hi everybody,
It’s not my arms or legs, my strength or mobility, my independence or going outside, my career or playing guitar, the pub or a dinner party.  Shall I give you a clue?  It is able to console far better than a sympathetic ear.  It is able to express love better than roses.  It is able to show friendship better than a wristband.  Any ideas yet?  As a greeting, it is superior to a handshake and is the fondest way to say farewell.  That’s right.  So simple.  A hug.  I miss the ability to give (and receive to a certain extent) a hug.  I think I used to be good at it too. 

Neil-hugging-Oscar_640.jpg

All I can do now is raise my eyebrow or give a reassuring wink, believe me that this does not have the same effect on the intended recipient and nor the same feeling of making a difference without saying anything to me. When people don’t want to talk about their problem or worry, a hug provides reassurance and security that you’ll be there when they do want to. As it is, all I can do is stare sympathetically or rattle on like a half-baked psychiatrist. It’s funny isn’t it? I would never have realised it either but there you go.

In other news, my auntie Margaret has been diagnosed as having had two minor strokes. Fortunately, and surely due in part to your good wishes, the prognosis is good. She is to have physiotherapy, speech therapy and medication which should see her make a full recovery.

I can’t think of anything else to tell you at the moment, save to say that we are all well (as well as can be expected that is) but are all very tired. We are aiming for a reasonably early night so that we can enjoy the weekend to its fullest.
Speak to you in a while. All my love,
Neil x


I don’t want to add to Neil’s words here, I want to give you photos to back them up. I have written before about Neil’s tendency to jump up and down like an excited child; it went hand in hand with his ability to force a big hug upon you.  So yes, he was good at giving hugs, and I think if you didn’t know him, these photos will help you get to know a big-hearted piece of him.

And these are just the boys! – Louise (2013)

Neil-hugging-Brian_320.jpgNeil-hugging-Danny_320.jpgNeil-hugging-Matt_320.jpgNeil-hugging-Stephen2_320.jpgNeil-hugging-Tim_320.jpgNeil_hugging_Stephen1_320.jpg

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@ tweeted this page. 2013-06-02 19:24:22 +0100
Great photo collection added to a moving #Plattitude post: Neil misses the ability to hug. #MND #ALS http://www.iambreathingfilm.com/do_you_know_what_i_miss_most?recruiter_id=2
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