Tears, What Tears?

  • For some reason unknown to me at this time when I
    hear a poignant story or I see something that tugs on the
    emotions, tears come to my eyes, my chest tightens
    slightly, and my throat develops a lump.
  • I am not unhappy this happens.  Feeling emotions are
    very special moments. Someone else might cry when
    they are physically hurt.  I have not.  I cannot say about
    the future hurts,  but the breaks, sprains, migraines, or
    back problems have not brought the tears. 
  • Tears come rolling forth at moments when love is
    exquisitely expressed or demonstrated.  Tears are the
    rare jewels of my soul seeping out unbidden.

 

Originally written:  September 16, 1998

  • The above is still true today.   As an explanation, I
    grew up in a family where tears were not tolerated
    for physical illness or pain.   “If you are going to cry,
    go to your room,” were the words I heard.  Other
    words were, “We don’t have time for this.  Get on
    with it.”  or “That did not hurt that much.” So, each of the
    brothers learned to “suck it up” and get the job done.   The
    words “I love you.” or “I am proud of you.”  were not heard
    in the 18 years I lived at home. 
  • Please do not take these words as condemnation or even
    negative thoughts about my childhood.  These are just facts of
    what daily life was.  I did not grow up in an abusive or bad
    environment. Each of the brothers have said, “I know I can
    handle any situation that comes my way.  It was a tough way to
    grow up, but it prepared me to succeed in life.”   We were poor
    and  we did a lot of things other kids did not.   We dug the ditch
    from the well to beneath the kitchen to bring water inside.  We
    lived in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI and had outside plumbing.
    I held my young brother’s feet and lowered him down into
    the well casing while he was holding the pipe elbow in place
    so that my other brother screwed a second pipe  into that pipe
    elbow.  There was only the thought this was something we had
    to figure out how to do.  Yes, I was careful.  Yes, to this day
    he still teases me about that day 50 years ago.    We dug and
    filled in several outhouse pits and moved the outhouse to the
    new location.  I had to fill  one hole in on Friday after school
    before I could go on a date.  I chuckle remembering the
    incident. 
  • I project from this childhood that nourishment in the form
    love demonstrated and poignant moments are especially endearing.
    Thus, the tears flow.   So, I enjoy the rough and tumble of
    boxing, football, rugby as well as “chick flicks.”  
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