Gig Line: Don’t you just want to hug everybody?

Published 6:56 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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The beginning of this year has promised good things to come and I, for one, am counting on it. I don’t believe in luck – I believe that things happen for a reason; that when things happen that disappoint or upset us, we are faced then with a decision as to how we’re going to respond or handle it. Are we going to sulk and pout and become a total grump? Or are we going to learn from the situation and let it make us stronger and more prepared for the next bump in the road? (And hopefully there aren’t any.) Nobody wants a “bump in the road” or to be subjected to major potholes in life, of course, but sometimes good, positive and wonderful things take place following a tragedy,

This horrible thing that happened on the football field with Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin was tragic and sad. Hopefully, he will fully recover and continue with his life’s journey and be healthy and happy. From everything we hear about him, he certainly deserves it. When he was having CPR administered for nearly 10 minutes on the field, time stood still. First and foremost, his teammates and the players of the rival team, the Cincinnati Bengals, stopped in their tracks with concern, tears and prayers. Damar’s teammates – basically his brothers – fell to the ground, embraced each other and huddled together to pray for their dear friend. They didn’t appear to worry whether someone would think they were conservative, believers in our Heavenly Father, not “woke” or anything else … they just did what seemed to be the best response possible to the incident, in addition to the immediate administration of care from the doctors and medical personnel evaluating and addressing Damar’s needs, to ask God to intervein, help their friend and save his life.

That event was so sad, but then you couldn’t help but feel goodness in the midst of it. It was clear that he is so loved that the world stopped spinning for a time and everybody was on the same page, united, arm in arm, lifting mighty prayers on his behalf … together. You couldn’t help but be grateful that love was shown right there in front of your eyes among not just the NFL brotherhood but from a nation as well. It was incredible; it was kind and good and a “shot in the arm,” as they say, for all of us.

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At the time of this Gig Line writing, the current medical reports are declaring hope and optimism, though Damar is still in critical condition. And what really helps you feel the love and understand the depth of support of this incredible young man, you learn that the fundraiser established by Damar to raise money for his toy drive for children soared from an initial goal of $2,500 to $7,000,000 representing over 200,000 contributors. This is America, folks! This is who we are when good folks – and even sometimes bad folks – are in trouble. As Americans, we band together for each other.

It reminded me on a much smaller scale of a few days before Monday Night Football. I was sitting in our truck at the Piggly Wiggly in Manteo waiting for my niece to come out when I heard two men talking beside an old white van. One gentleman was telling the other how he had noticed the tire on his van when he drove into the parking lot. He thought he needed to bring it to his attention for his safety’s sake. The driver and his friend examined the tire and found a definite issue and decided to change it out. Then there was the issue of inflating the spare tire. About that time another man approached the group, offering his help as well. There they stood all together helping someone they apparently didn’t know beforehand on New Year’s Eve night.

After some further discussion about one helper’s air pump, the driver of the van, who wasn’t proficient in speaking English, expressed his sincere gratitude, profusely thanking the two gentlemen who had assisted him and his friend. His gratefulness was evident. Before the four gentlemen parted ways, there was handshakes, even a hug and an exchange of “It was the right thing to do!” Comments about being glad to help, thank you so much and references to the good Lord were shared between them. About that time, I spoke to the guys and told them I thought God would bless them for helping him and they all smiled and said they thought He would too.

My point to all this? Whether we speak the same language fluently or not and whether we drive a fancy pickup truck or not, we care about each other. This is an American trait. We are what we are; we’re caring individuals who help each other in times of need. It was a simple but important gesture to bring the bad tire to the driver’s attention and to retrieve a compressor to fill the tire. Simple? Maybe, but one that blessed my heart just sitting there in the parking lot thinking about the New Year. I was thinking about how the next 365 days held promises for goodness, mercy, forgiveness, helping hands and affection for one another. Funny thing is, I was at the “Pig” to get some collards and black-eyed peas to eat as the traditional sides for a meal on New Year’s Day. Traditions … good ol’ traditions that many of us hold dear. You know, the kind of keepsake thing we do like stand and cover our hearts with our hats or our hand to salute our beautiful United States flag and to pledge allegiance and loyalty to our red, white and blue stars and stripes? Yes, that kind.

PLEASE NOTE: Peggy Snead’s Grief Share Class will now start Wednesday, January 18 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, located at 300 Ananias Dare St. in Manteo. Please call their office at 252-473-2089 if you have questions or if you would like to register or order the $15 workbook (well worth it). There is no charge for the 13-week class and I can assure you that if you, a friend or family member are grieving the loss of someone they loved, this class is a means to help yourself or someone you love sooner than later. I plan to attend and it’s not the first time. I HIGHLY recommend this class to both men and women. It is NOT a woman’s group and men’s hearts break, too! Besides, God gave all of us tear ducts, didn’t He? Please come … don’t be shy or feel funny about it. Everyone in the group is going through the same heartache and sometimes incomprehensible adjustments. Loss hurts, plain and simple. And even if you decide at the last minute that you want to come, just come on! Also, you’re welcome to call me at 252-202-2058 if you want to hear more about the class from someone who has been there, done that! Thank you, sweet Peggy, for your kindness and sacrifice leading the class. Unfortunately, you get it.

Until next time be healthy, safe, and happy. Call me anytime you have a question at 252-202-2058 or email me at and for previous Gig Line columns you might have missed, go to If you’re a veteran, widow or widower of a veteran and you have questions, please contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County veteran service officer, at 252-473-7749. Patty is our official liaison to the Veterans Administration (V.A.). Please don’t hesitate to contact her regarding a disability claim for a potential service-connected illness, benefits, entitlements, to acquire a duplicate DD-214 and much more. She’s eager to help you and your spouse or family get answers you may be seeking.

Lastly, God bless all our service men and women wherever they may be. At every opportunity, please show them your appreciation for their sacrifice. Gig Line is a weekly column appearing in The Coastland Times and available on newsstands typically every Saturday or online as well. Remember that the good Lord loves us all more than we can begin to comprehend. I love you too people! Stay tuned!