“There is a sacredness in tears – they are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief, and of unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving
Having shed my fair share of tears throughout my life, this quote struck a chord deep within my emotional register. It has always been easy for me to soak my cheeks with salty tears and I come by it honestly. My dad wore his heart on his sleeve and many times that same sleeve was used to wipe his tears as he watched movies, TV shows and even commercials. When my apple fell from the family tree it landed right at his feet and I’m sure that made him cry as well.
My mom was very private about her crying, although she didn’t cry frequently. She would gracefully leave the room and gently close her bedroom door. There were never heavy sobs heard from the other side of that door but her swollen, red eyes the next morning are what Crime Scene Investigators refer to as evidence.
Sometimes being able to cry so easily is a gift, a genuine release of emotion that feels much like a cleansing. But the burden of not being able to control the moments that those tears appear can also be slightly detrimental and result in swollen red eyes and a need to excuse my appearance after an unexpected cry.
But, I will never take for granted this ability to show my emotion nor do I wish to change this part of myself. I love that I can feel so deeply that life, whether it be my life or somebody else’s life, can have such an intense impact on me. And I can take solace in knowing that the people who understand this about me, the people with whom I choose to share my emotional moments, and my tears, know that this is not a weakness but one of my greatest strengths.