DUe to the pandemic, today was our first Coffee With A Cop in over a year. It's something I have always looked forward to since we started broadcasting LIVE at a different Evansville Donut Bank every month. It's a time for the community to come and have a donut and a cup f coffee with an EPD police officer, a city official, and sometimes, even the mayor. For me, it means seeing friends and giving them hugs.

You know I am a hugger. If you see me out and we talk, I will probably hug you. It's how I feel a connection and how I show I care about you. I've been hugging my whole life. The act of hugging feeds me would with empathy and love. My heart is happiest when I hug. I'll hug anybody too. I don't even have to really know you, to hug you.

My mom taught me to hug others. When we would leave a family gathering or a friend's house, even at her work, she would go around and hug everyone. I remember watching her, with a smile, wrap her arms around each person in the room and bring them close to her. When she would let go and move out of the embrace, they would have a smile on their face too. By hugging, she made them feel better and she was happier too. I learned so much from her but hugging people, all people, was one of the very best things.

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Today, during Coffee with a Cop, the first person I hugged was Taylor, from the EPD. She and I have never met in person, but we have talked on the phone several times. As soon as we saw each other, we embraced. At that moment, I realized how much I had missed hugging and how much I needed them. After I hugged her, I hugged one of our long-time listeners, Frank. Then, I gave my good friend, Assistant Police Chief, Phil Smith, a big hug. I'm not going to lie, I almost cried tears of pure joy. I had hugged no one other than my family for so long, I had forgotten how much I missed them and all the good they give to my soul.

When I arrived back at the studio, I finished wrapping up some loose ends and packed my stuff up to go get some lunch. As I headed toward the lobby door, I heard a voice telling me to stop and not leave. I turned around and standing in front of me, with her arms opened wide, was my dear friend, Kat Mykals, from 103GBF. She wanted to hug me. She told me she had been waiting a long time to hug me again. I reached for her and pulled her to me, and we hugged. We hugged for a long time and while we hugged we cried. It felt so good to hug again, to be free to hug someone.

We had spent so much of the last year avoiding people, we almost got used to it. But, today, the light of a new day shined bright and it felt better than I could ever put into words.

Since I'm hugging again, watch out. It's quite possible I have a hug waiting for you.

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