Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reverb 13: Prompt 28 - Alligator Tears

Prompt: What moment in 2013 brought tears to your eyes? Are you usually a crier? Or did tearing up take you by surprise?

Let me start by saying that I don't like dealing with emotional extremes. I don't like the vunerability of an ugly cry (or of being sad in general). And while I don't know anyone who does enjoy it, I'm not as prone to the emotional extremes because it takes me out of control and it shouldn't surprise anyone by now to learn that I may have some mild control issues in my life.

That being said - I am a human woman with a beating heart. So sometimes I feel things.

With my grandmother passing, I haven't been surprised by any of the tears this year, and most of it has been cathartic. Except once. I'm not going to divulge everything, but this moment caught me by surprise.

At Thanksgiving, I was in Denver with my parents and grandfather. After some wine, they decided to share what will be printed on Bub's headstone at the unveiling next year. Now - I'm a practical person. Headstones seem very practical, and I hadn't pictured them as something terribly emotional. The unveiling is still about 8 months away, so I won't share what will be on it, but when I saw the words written down, and what they will be in stone forever? That got me so suddenly and so hard that I started sobbing so much it disrupted conversation on the other end of the table.

I had cried for her already. I cried for her, for me, for strength, and for the loss of everyone else. I cried for what was, what could have been, and what never will be. I didn't think I had any tears left to cry this year. And then a big one snuck up and caught me. I'm not sure when the tears will dry up for her. But I'm not sure they ever will.

When I was younger (especially in the dark times of high school puberty), I saw tears and emotions as a weakness. Girls cry. Women don't. As I get older, I'm realizing that tears are not always weakness. I mean, crying over a printer jam in the middle of the office doesn't exactly scream feminism, but otherwise it's not the weakness I once imagined.

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