A Long Queue OF SOLDIERS Wanted To Hug The Cancer Stricken Woman At The Hospital.
When was the last time you had a really good hug? It sure does make a person feel good, doesn’t it? and if no one has given you a good hug lately, maybe you should be the one offering a nice hug to someone else.
Elizabeth Laird made it her mission to hug as many soldiers as she could before they headed off to parts unknown. It was the least she could do, she thought… to give them that little bit of reinforcement that they were loved. It was her way to show them she cared.
The soldiers were men and women, black and white, young and old. Elizabeth cherished them all the same. Many of those soldiers went off to war. And some of them did not come back. She knew she might be the last one to give them a meaningful embrace.
Then Elizabeth, at the age of 83, got sick. Her breast cancer was spreading into her bones and her lungs. Those soldiers she hugged in the past never forgot about her. Many of them showed up at her hospital bed and returned that hug back to her. Actually, the word “many” doesn’t really encompass the number of men and women who showed up to give Elizabeth a hug. That number was in the hundreds of thousands. They all lined up and patiently waited their turn. And Elizabeth relished each and every one of their hugs.
One of the men who had to return to Elizabeth and give her a hug was retired Army Staff Sgt. Edmond Clark. When he entered her room, he leaned down and asked if he could hug and kiss her. And, softly, Elizabeth replied, “Please do.”
While Edmond hugged her frail body, tears streamed down his face, and he whispered, “I love you so much. I just had to come and see you.”
Then there was Staff Sgt. Jarvez Wilkes who showed up to give her a hug. He said, “It would be my honor to give her a hug in her time of need. I made it my business to get down here and show her a little love because she’s shown me plenty of love.”
Retired Army Captain Caren Adkins also showed up, saying, “The hug lady was very inspirational in my first deployment to Afghanistan. She touched my heart.”
Not long after the soldiers visited her, Elizabeth’s health began to decline rapidly. Sadly, the “Hug Lady,” the very special woman who had given out more than half a million embraces to soldiers, died after a long battle with cancer. It’s something she had dealt with for the last 11 years of her life. She died at the end of 2015… on Christmas Eve. And, perhaps, that was an appropriate date for someone else to welcome her with a very special embrace of his own.
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