Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jamin's Hugs

I don't know how many of you were fortunate enough to receive a hug from Jamin within the last few years (guys unfortunately you are probably in the minority here), but if you were lucky enough to have those long arms wrapped around you, I think that you will agree with me in saying that Jamin gave some of the best hugs!

Of course Jamin wasn't always this way. When we were younger he, like most boys his age, disliked hugging. So, a few years back, after a particularly bad hug from one of my two brothers (I can't remember which one - and I wouldn't name names anyway) I told them that they would have to do better than that if they ever wanted a girlfriend and suddenly they were all ears. So, I walked them through the various styles of hugging (i.e. side by side "squeeze" etc.), a knowledge which I guess comes innately to girls, and explained the various situations in which each would be appropriate. I know it sounds weird now but it was a fun time for our family as we tried to help the boys grasp onto the (apparently) difficult concepts that we were explaining. Ha, ha . . . I can still remember us laughing as the lesson progressed because the boys kept coming up with more and more outrageous hugging scenarios. "Ok, so what if you see someone you know in a grocery store but you only want to give them a side hug but they are blocked on both sides by the shelving and their cart . . . do I forgo the hug all together?" (I was really not trying to make it this technical but of course Jamin wanted to make sure he had all the details so he could do it right).

Well, he took what little advise I had to give and ran with it. I'm not exactly sure when the change happened but what I do know is that I both looked forward to and dreaded his hugs. As soon as he saw you he would open his arms to their full wingspan (which was quite wide I might add) walk towards you at a somewhat accelerated pace and not really stop until he had wrapped his arms around you which usually caused a bit of instability resulting in a rocking motion trying to regain balance. And, the strong he got the more, almost uncomfortable, his hugs were because he would squeeze you so tightly that it almost took the breath right out of you. However, pair that with the joyful grin he always had on his face and you couldn't help but relish in the moment.

One of my favorite memories of Jamin will always be an instance like this when he picked Parker and I up at the airport in Frankfurt last August. The doors from the baggage claim area opened and there was Jamin in a bright yellow Tshirt. He was on his feet immediately at the sight of us and before I had a chance to put any of my bags down he was there squeezing me with all his might. And I knew that he loved me.

But perhaps what I loved more than receiving the hugs myself was watching him give them to others, especially my Dad and brother. In a society where showing affection between men is not seen as very "manly," it was the coolest thing to see Jamin hug my Dad with as much enthusiasm as he did my Mom, and hug Parker with as much force as he did Brynna and I.

His hugs are just one more example of how he did things right. You knew after being hugged by Jamin that you were a meaningful part of his life.

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This site has been created for friends, family, and co-workers of Jamin Wilson to share their memories, photos, and videos of this incredible man. Feel free to comment on any posts that have already been created. However, if you would like to be added as a contributor to this blog please send me an email at Please include your name and your relationship to Jamin so that I can add you to the list. This will allow you to upload text, photos, or videos whenever a memory comes to mind.