Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The meaning of my tears

Oh man some days just show up a bit rougher than others and today has been one of those days.  I guess I’m chugging along just fine now and I have some hope back in my corner as I walk through each next hour, but I’m pretty tired and am just kind of putting one foot in front of the other until I’m done.  I’ve cried it out once already today, and that helped me get through work, but I think I’ll need another session once I’m home. J   I’m a total crier.  It’s how I process a lot of things.  Not only do I cry at the sad, difficult and lonely times, I cry at the happy too and the exciting and the inspirational.  I believe I have proven beyond much reasonable doubt that I come by my tears biologically.  If you took a look at the reactions of women in my family, you would likely agree.  If you found a way to disagree, I’d probably wonder if you were being contrary just to be contrary, but I digress.  My tears are very comprehensive and can be an outlet for a myriad of different emotions.  I thought I would describe 20 or so different cry occasions to give you a little peak into the meaning of my tears.

  1. This morning I woke up in pain and lot of it.  I couldn’t see the silver lining to my experience, and I couldn’t see hope in it.  I was unable to grab strength from all the things I CAN do.  I didn’t even want to imagine trying to get through today.  Planning any plans was impossibly overwhelming.  I cried hopeless tears.
  2. On my way into work this morning I called my lovely friend in recovery.  I told her it was a very bad neck day.  I shook and raised my voice and cursed as I cried into the phone.  I said it was unfair and I didn’t understand it.  I told her I was mad at my life and at God.  I cried angry tears. 
  3. Yesterday I watched the replay of the USA women’s4 x 400 meter relay win their Olympic race in London.  Tears filled my eyes as I watched them embrace each other and their families and the announcers cheered into their microphones.  I cried tears of inspiration.
  4. My mom once ran a stop light in that way where we both realized she had done it only after she was all the way through the intersection and at the same time.  The look we gave each other was so priceless that we burst into laughter and were both crying through our giggles.  It was the kind of moment where you can never tell someone else and have it be as funny.  I cried tears of friendship.
  5. My dad had heart surgery.  It was pretty minor on today’s scale, but I was scared for him, especially after I’d heard how bad his tests were.  He was getting a couple stints put in, and I cried into my shirt as I told my support group how much I wished I could give him a hug before he went in for surgery.  I cried tears of fear.
  6. My grandma died only six months after my aunt had committed suicide.  I prayed and prayed around the time of my grandmother’s funeral and tears came each night as I envisioned both my aunt and grandmother watching over me.  I cried tears of faith.
  7. One day I listened as one of my family members listed out a lot of different things I had done to cause her hurt and worry.   I knew I had harmed her, and I knew I couldn’t fix her pain.  I cried tears of guilt.
  8. This one’s silly but still true.  I think I wrote about this before even.  I was struggling to find friends in my new city, and I went up to a women I didn’t know to introduce myself.  I was at a meeting with a bunch of other recovering folk and thought she would welcome me with open arms.  She ignored me and turned her back on me.  I cried tears of rejection.
  9. My husband and I hosted a game night for some of our friends and we completely disagreed on the rules to one of the games.  We bickered quite a lot and once everyone left we talked it out and agreed to disagree.  I cried tears of frustration.
  10. I got into the college of my choice after putting soooooo much pressure on myself and sooooo much importance on it.  I jumped and cheered when I read my letter.  I cried tears of relief.
  11. My lovely friend Tina died after a courageous and beautiful life lived to the fullest.  I miss her fierce expressiveness, her faithfulness to life and her fantastic parties.  I cried tears of loss.
  12. I experienced my wedding day surrounded by my closest family and friends.  I felt beautiful, confident, loved and secure.  I cried tears of happiness.
  13. I danced ALL NIGHT at my wedding.  I cried tears of bliss.
  14. I was supposed to be brought on as a new employee at a company I had worked with for a while.  The conversation began with great promise for promotion and ended with a clear understanding that the company and I did not mix.  I walked out of the conversation without a job.  I cried tears of disappointment.
  15. Two of my cousins sang with such beauty, generosity and talent at my wedding.  I was so touched and filled with the moment that I felt my heart might explode.  I cried tears of love.
  16. I found myself sober after a fast moving and beautiful year of ups and downs.  Then two years.  Then three years.  I cried tears of hope.
  17. I have been a lifetime fan of both Disney movies and the Disney Channel.  I get lost in the stories and laugh and cry along with the characters.  I cry tears of innocence.
  18. I broke my back when I was eleven and my gymnastics career ended.  I didn’t know what the future would hold, but I knew I had lost a big part of me.  I was confused, distraught and broken.  I cried tears of grief.
  19. I have looked loved ones in the eyes and told them I was sorry for the harm I’d done them over the years.  I have been truthful, simple and specific.  I have let them drive conversations and listened to their side.  I have cried tears of humility.
  20. So now I have read my list back, and tears welled up in me as I went.  As I read, I felt pride in the realization that all of these moments have shaped me.  None of these moments own me.  I have walked through the good and the bad.  While I am indeed a kind of weepy woman, I have come out with a level of dignity and grace that is surprising even to me.  I cry tears of strength. 

Thank you for all my tears. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

No Film

Keeping on the theme of my awesome nephew, my newest little buddy was baptized this past weekend.  What an amazing deal!  I’m telling you, I’m still blown away.  I was the camera girl, and I felt honored as usual in being asked to help.  I wonder when the novelty of being trusted with responsibility is going to wear off?  I hope never!  When everyone left for the church and I was left behind with my husband, I did have a moment of panic as physical pain and exhaustion took over.  I cried a few overwhelmed tears and took some medicine before I could join everyone at the church.  When I did, I was overwhelmed in a very different way.

Family and friends showed up in the usual rowdy fashion.  I got that old nervous feeling that we might get into trouble or insult someone for making so much noise inside the church.  That passed rather quickly though as I saw that the laughter, the hugs, the kisses and the play were nothing short of heavenly.  We, as a community, were lifting all that joy up to God.  It just kept getting better and better: the neighbor kids embracing one another; my nephew playing with dad between, under and over the pews; my young cousins reuniting and lining up excited and thrilled to be together in one long row; the priest processing in with both families of the soon to be baptized children to the tune of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”; the proud Godparents smiling down at my beautiful nephew as the sacrament of baptism was performed; the sign of the cross being made on my nephew’s teensy two year old forehead by his parents, godparents, grandparents, aunts and big sister; my 3 ½ year old niece making the sign of the cross on her brother’s forehead with no knowledge of what that meant, but displaying all its depth with her simple desire to share the moment with him; both my niece and nephew crawling all over the pews, trying to be quiet and watching their brother take the spotlight (they don’t like that one bit!).  All of it was just so beautiful.  Then, to really bring it all home, the priest raised my nephew up in front of the altar, nice and high, over his head in awesome celebration.  We all swooned and awed at the magnificence of our newest family member.  A feeling of limitless love filled me as I shared all of this with my dearest of family and friends.
I got such great camera shots of all of this.  I mean, great shots.  I was really on top of it.  People were posing for me, asking for a copy to be sent to them later on, and giving me thumbs up as I clicked away.  And then I realized, there was no memory card in the camera.  I had taken it out that morning to print some pictures for house decorations for the reception after the ceremony.  This is one of those cameras that does NOT save any pictures on the hard drive.  They just don’t exist.  So bummed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I had pictures of all those moments digitally captured!  I was so sad and apologized profusely to just about everyone.  Of course, they all said it was no big deal and we’d just collect shots of the day from a bunch of other folks and make a collection.  Okay, I agreed, but mine were so good!! Hahahaha.

For lack of words... or pictures!
Now that a few days have passed and I look back on Sunday, I just know I do not need pictures to remember the inspiring love I felt inside that church.  In fact, the power of it seems to have grown.  What a gift to have my spirit so lifted.  There is no picture that could capture that.  It is magnificent, awesome, beautiful and infinite.  My heart and spirit are so full, and they will remember that day forever. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

To love freely...

I am incredibly tired today so I am a bit off but decided I had better blog anyway so as not to let this writer’s muscle of mine wither too much.  I have probably already passed that mark but here we go anyway…

It is a pretty amazing time for my family, and I am still a little overwhelmed to be a part of it.  My sister returned home from China a few weeks ago where she was adopting her third child, my new nephew.  An elaborate babysitting schedule was laid out by my sister and bro-in-law before she left, as my niece and nephew had to stay back in the states with working dad.  I took on a few days of babysitting, and my husband and I got to cook some meals for the gang.  I was filled with such a powerful sense of purpose that I really loved every bit.  My bro-in-law did a great job keeping mom and kids connected via Skype and even wrote a daily blog to loop in the extended family.  My new nephew is home now, and he’s a total rockstar!  There’s absolutely no question that he knows mom and dad and siblings are his.  It just blows me away, like it was meant to be and his heart just knows. 

I cannot even begin to understand what my nephew is thinking and feeling inside that little body of his.  I do like to guess at it though. :)   He seems a bit confused as to who I am and what’s going on sometimes, but that’s to be expected since he’s two years old and EVERYTHING JUST CHANGED.  He maintains a pretty fierce look for the most part with occasions of tears and more of brilliantly joyful smiles.  He has the coolest smile.  His whole face lights up!  Overall, I imagine a crazy amount of determination working inside him.  I project that his efforts are to focus, to understand, to communicate, to get fed (he really loves food!), to connect with mom and dad, and to explore his siblings.  I also wonder what he is feeling, aside from what he’s thinking, and simply have no clue.  I hope to spend more and more time knowing and loving him, but for now the mystery that is him is more than magnificent.

I will love abundantly.
My reflections today really started, and end now, with my wanting to fix my relationship with a particular someone.  Let’s call this person Amanda.  I want control over what she thinks AND feels about me.  I want her to love me and trust me and confide in me the way she did a decade ago.  The wreckage of my past just slaps me right in the face some days, usually on the days I least expect it!!!  The thing is that I just don’t know what’s going on inside Amanda’s head and heart.  Unlike my new little nephew, I have a history with her and have decided some things based on that history.  She should forgive me.  She should believe I have changed.  She should know I love her and want her in my life.  She should reciprocate all my feelings.  As I write that I realize that what throws me is not that Amanda doesn’t meet all the ‘shoulds’, but that I just don’t know.  I feel lonely and scared- very different from the love and joy and hope I feel when watching my nephew without knowing.  I check myself with other people on this, and I find support in their feedback and find a greater love for Amanda in all her stubbornness and quirkiness.  The hurt remains of course, but hope is gained.  I believe and know I am taken care of and surrounded by the love of friends, family and God.  I would like some answers to emerge, and I would like even more for those answers to include Amanda and I becoming as close as we once were.  For now, I don’t have any answers so what can I do?  Probably nothing...  sitting still stinks.  Haha!  I hope to one day let go of my desire to control how other people think and feel towards me and to just love.  To love freely and without expectations is a practice that often eludes me.  Great thing is that sober experience and hope are on my side today.  And so, just for today, I will love abundantly!