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I see it most often in movies.

It's that climactic moment of misunderstanding, beyond which nothing will ever be the same, will never be whole or dependable again...

But I also see it in real life. Friends screaming at each other across a field of twisted intentions and bent words, trying to build a bridge with live explosives.

And I think to myself...if only they'd just shut up and hug.

End this defense, this yelling, that silent front, that angry staredown...and embrace. Just let it all go in a wave of forgiveness and acceptance.

I suppose that would demand some measure of humility on the part of both persons, and that's an anathema to us.

But I find it so very hard to believe that many of these problems could not, at some very close and needful point, be simply solved with the ending of speaking, and the encounter of two encircling, admitting, needing arms.

My heart is open, welcome home.

Four days before their imminent wedding, my mother stood before her fiance in the living room, tears streaming down her face. She had finally stopped yelling and now they stared at each other, absorbing the thick silence that hung around them; her hopeful and anticipatory, him blank as a stone.

She wanted him to say something, but eventually it was my mother who broke the silence. In a manner quite rare for her character, she seemed to have disregarded the importance of the apology she was obviously not going to receive. Instead, my mother simply stepped toward him and threw her arms around him selflessly.
She whispered in his ear, 'I love you.'

I watched from the corner of the hallway, unnoticed. His arms hung deliberately at his sides, motionless, heavy as steel. His silence was the loudest thing I had ever heard.

She held him tightly for minutes as he stood there expressionless and cold, unresponding. When she finally dropped her arms and ran out the door, he was left standing in the same position he had held since I'd been there. He now directly faced me, sitting on the stairs, watching.

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