The Sweetest Hug

I was in Martha’s Vineyard recently on vacation and heard about Back Door Donuts in the town of Oak Bluffs. At 7 PM they open their back door and offer a variety of just baked donuts–nothing like eating them warm with the icing still gooey. So I decided after having dinner at a restaurant only

I was in Martha’s Vineyard recently on vacation and heard about Back Door Donuts in the town of Oak Bluffs. At 7 PM they open their back door and offer a variety of just baked donuts–nothing like eating them warm with the icing still gooey. So I decided after having dinner at a restaurant only a 30 second walk away to indulge my sweet tooth.

Of course, there is a long line every night in anticipation of the goodies that await. When I got to the back of the line, I asked the couple in front of me, who were with their two young children, are the donuts really worth the wait? Since they were from California and it was their first time there, we would find out together.

And so I engaged in a lovely conversation with them about being in this special place, Martha’s Vineyard, where so much of the food you eat is produced right on the island and served up at a variety of good restaurants.

And there are plenty of beaches to enjoy and walk off the calories from the delicious meals the day before. I did that every day I was there, feeling the sand and water against my feet, as I explored the shoreline near the Lighthouse in Edgartown–occasionally stooping down to pick up an array of interesting stones and seashells, as well as gazing at sea turtles, an exciting and unusual experience when you live in a big city most of the year.

And it is the conversations you have with people you don’t know that are a wonderful part of the travel experience. And so it was with the family in front of me as we moved up in line.

The father ordered 4 apple fritters, and I decided to try one of each of a half dozen or so good sounding donuts–not to eat right away, but to taste a bite of each and save them for the next couple of days–if I really liked them.

As the father & his younger son waited by the table where the orders were being bagged and paid for, I found out that the boy was named Roman and he was 5 years old. I asked him, do you think 5 years from now you are going to remember being on Martha’s Island and having apple fritters from Back Door Donuts? He assured me that he would.

And before they walked away with their fritters, and without the father telling his son to say goodbye to me, Roman did something completely unprompted and surprising in the best possible way. He came over and embraced me. It was the biggest and sweetest hug. I told him how special that hug was–that he had made my day. And truth be told, I will remember Roman and that hug in the years to come.

What made that hug so meaningful was that it reminded me of an experience that I had years before with my mother. We were standing in front of my New York City apartment building watching a Lunar Eclipse along with a number of other people, including a mom & her 3 year old son. This young boy delighted us by explaining in detail about the eclipse. How could he know so much in the relatively short period of time since he was born, we wondered.

When the eclipse was over, the youngster walked over to mom and hugged her knees and didn’t let go right away. It was endearing. And so right before the 7th anniversary of my dear mother leaving this world, Roman reminded me of a fond memory. And for that I am so grateful.

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