Friday, January 6, 2012

Water works

I used to be an easy cryer.

When I was a teenager, the slightest little blip in my boyfriend status brought floods of tears. In fact, high school was so miserable, I think I cried my way through it and don't for the life of me know how any academic work was accomplished.

College was a little easier, but a major crisis in my junior and senior years turned on the spigot again. I cried... a lot!

But then it seemed crying didn't fit into the crises that followed. Financial problems, a failed marriage, the loss of the business I'd loved and nourished for 21 years... none of that brought a lot of weeping. I saved that for people, like my mother, although I don't remember doing a lot of crying when she died... I was too numb, and encouraged not to show my emotions lest they embarrass my then-husband.

I can still well up just thinking of the loss of my dear friend Marie. My emotional attachment to her was akin to that of a sister/sister, sometimes mother/daughter or daughter/mother (depending on who needed whom the most at any given moment). I guess the easy release of tears whenever I think of her should clue me in to the fact that I never got over her death and the sadness is just an eye-blink away.

When my younger daughter was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous thyroid, I cried. When my grandchildren were born, I cried, but those were tears of pure joy.

But every now and then, just for emotional release, something cathartic to purge the pent-up sadness that lurks just below the surface, the tears come uninvited. My darling little cat hates it when I do that. She will hiss to show her displeasure. This, after all, isn't the Mommy she knows.

They don't last long, these little bouts of weeping. And I always feel good when they vanish. So this morning, as I scanned the tv listings to find something to watch while I ate breakfast, I watched the last fifteen minutes of The Bridges of Madison County. Uh-huh, my favorite tear-jerker and the one guaranteed to turn on the tears. It worked as it always does.

Now I can get on with my day.

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