This post is dedicated to the lady that taught me to hug everyone. I mean really hug them. This isn’t  the quick hug that you repel your body quickly back after making contact with another person but the kind of full body, look you in the eye, and touch your heart kind of hug. She taught me everyone needs, deserves, and will benefit from a hug. I have carried your message Anne Danaugh from the halls of Alpha Xi Delta to the classrooms that I lead all the way through to the three children that have also benefit from your mission to hug everyone. Like you said, in your southern draw I simply do not do handshakes I only do hugs.

I will admit Mom “hugs” D that I did on occasion she your hand hit below the belt. Your response was always funny. You would claim who is going to call an old lady out when she touches the bottom of a good looking guy? Not only did no guy dare to call you out but you have the hottest dates at every one of our date functions. I am reminded of your words. They have always rung in my ears. It was your advice that guided me through those challenging college years. Those years full of excitement and freedom coupled with the responsibility of managing your own life. I would come into your apartment since the door was always open. I would sit down and prepare for a story. It was always my place of home when I didn’t want to admit that I wanted to go home. You would say, “Merk” it is the way it is for a reason. You would tell me about your life adventures and remind me that world was a tough place but that I  always had a home.


You taught me to hug the world and aim for the sky. You encourage my somewhat aggressive go get them attitude by saying the world needs people that know what they want. You advised me on love and relationships and even rated my dates. I am proud to report my husband was on the approved list. I believe you taught me to be a lady through your example where a girl had once stood. You made time for myself and my friends. You followed us on a cruise so we could go.

You have taught us all how to lead with our heart. You have given us the gift of your presence in our lives. You have been a person who we think of often because of your kindness, sense of humor, and really your zest for life. You are the mom some of us needed while we were away from our own. You are certainly the person who we think of with fond memories. I can’t thank you enough for teaching me to hug and to squeeze tight. I can say people are shocked when I hug them but they will get over it and hopefully they will also learn to hug. I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you today as I often do. I wanted you to know the nights and days that you spent with us were part of my history and what you taught me has been part of my today and will be part of my tomorrow.

XI Love,