At supposedly not even 5 foot in height, I am accustomed to neck strain from looking up at people. It was extra neck strain when I met Mike. He towered over me at over 6 feet tall. I had to stand at the very tips of my toes to give him a hug. I am a hugger, but I am extra extreme all out and all in holder, hugger, and squeezer where everything from within me is rushed to my extremities in the tightest envelope of an embrace when I meet an organ donor family member. Not only was Mike an organ donor husband, but he was a Korean War veteran, a father and grandfather of many, and heavily involved with charities and advocacy events.
I gave Mike my biggest and tightest hug that my small frame could manage. He received and reciprocated my hug, leaning so close down to me that the fabric of his dapper grey suit rubbed against my cheek. He looked down at me with a bemused expression on his weathered, wrinkled face that had come from such life experiences as the Korean war, his wife who died of a sudden heart attack who he immediately and did not hesitate to donate her tissue and organs, and his failing knees that forced him to lag behind all of us at an organ donor advocacy event that hundreds of New Yorkers united at in Albany, NY.