Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Crying Game

Jack has a powerful and very personal post on crying. It tugged at a few of my heartstrings and made me think a bit.

When I was 14, the Cubs lost in the baseball playoffs to the Padres. I cried myself to sleep that night. How could they blow a 2-0 lead in games? How could Lee Smith give up that home run to Steve Garvey in the bottom of the 9th in Game 4 after the Cubs had taken the lead off Goose Gossage in the top of the inning? How could Leon Durham let that ball squirt between his legs? I don't know if I said I would never cry like that again, but from that point on, I really never cried because nothing affected me like that. Occasionally, there were some wet eyes at a movie (Schindler’s List) or a happy event (Ray Bourque raising the Stanley Cup), but nothing like an all-encompassing, heaving cry.

But then my wife died 2 years ago. Boy did that put things into perspective. For months, the tears just came without warning. Now it is getting better, but I still get sad at times when I miss her. In a way, I am glad that I was finally able to let out that kind of emotion. But now I fear that I will be unaffected by lesser events. I hope I am in touch enough with my emotions that I will be able to cry for less cataclysmic events, and I certainly hope I never have to experience that kind of pain again.

Jim Valvano, former basketball coach at North Carolina State, said at the first Espy Awards, as his body was being ravaged by cancer,
"To me, there are three things we should all do every day. Number 1 is
laugh. You should laugh every day. Number 2 is think. You should spend some time
in thought. Number 3 is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be
happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry,
that's a full day, that's a heck of a day."

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