Sunday, July 06, 2008

Teary Eyes

This week's question from David McMahon at Authorblog with his Weekend Wandering is "What brings tears to your eyes?"

All kinds of things bring tears to my eyes -the most common ones also most like cause your eyes to tear up too. Things like onions, of course, a nasty head cold, when I turn into my most graceful self and stub my toe, bang my shin, bump my elbow or don't pay enough attention to how my clearance I have when I try to stand up sometimes and bang my head. Yeah, those things often bring tears because they hurt, create a physical pain, and as I said, they are probably pretty much a shared reaction too across the board for everyone.

But other things can make me get teary eyed too.

Watching parades and seeing some good old-fashioned patriotism can swell my chest with pride and also, the tearducts in my eyes often overflow as I watch the display. Same thing with fireworks too and especially those put off over the Fourth of July. Yeah, beauty, plus the acknowledgement of what a great land I live in does that to me.

Weddings -oh, my yes, I always tear up at weddings -when the bride starts down the aisle, during the vows, watching a small child perform the duties of flower girl or ring bearer or the best man searching for the ring, right down to when the person officiating at the ceremony pronounces those words to finalize the ceremony -"You may now kiss the bride." Yeah, I cry. And no, it's not because I think these two people have just entered into a pact leading to a destructive life, I'm not THAT jaded about marriage -usually not until a couple years has gone by perhaps.

Seeing a newborn baby is one that also always makes me cry. Especially the first time I saw each of my three grandchildren! Just the sheer amazement at this small person that is also a part of me does me in immediately.

I cry when I see newborn puppies and kittens too -so sweet, so helpless, so pretty.

I cry when I read the newspaper and learn of the atrocities happening here and all over the world today. Tragedies for other families, for other states, other countries that destroy so much of humanity.

I cry when I read books -or magazines -about history, about the wars we have been involved in, about issues of the past such as slavery, women's rights, the Great Depression, discrimination and I cry when I read about how some of those things are still happening even in what we declare is an "enlightened" society today. We've still got a long way to go with that aspect, don't we?

I cry, naturally, when I see a good friend or loved one suffering from an incurable illness and when they depart this life, I cry again. Years later, just talking about many of those friends and family will bring tears to the front and I weep once more as I miss their presence in my life -yet again.

But the thing these days that frequently makes my eyes well up with tears is watching my grandkids -all three of them -as they achieve new knowledge, hone talents, perform these things. My older grandson has been taking trumpet lessons for two years now and when I saw him perform his very first solo at his elementary school's band concert this spring, I cried, as I was so proud of his achievement there and it brought to mind too how much seeing this happen would have meant to my dear Aunt Mike, who had taught music for many, many years of her life and who, like me, just adored this young man!

And with the two younger grandkids - Maya and Kurtis -the simplest things they do, watching them as they acquire a new skill, or how they react to new experiences -like their pure enjoyment with the rides at the amusement park -or Maya's glee watching the "fireworkers" Friday nite at Penn State's display, seeing Maya participate in the children's sermon at our church, watching her and Kurtis too now, as they both learn to interact with other children especially. Little things that never hit me with my kids as being a thing of wonder with these two, it becomes that and then some!

Actually, I find so many more things these days bring on a sense of pride, a love I didn't realize I had inside me for all these years suddenly comes to the forefront and makes me so thankful I am still here to witness all these many events -from remembering things and people from the past to thinking about things down the road of my children and grandkids and their future.

And getting that sweet hug and a kiss goodnight from my little Miss Maya -now that really does make me cry as I hope I will be around to receive and enjoy many, many of those in the days to come.

I think it is LOVE that causes me to cry.


territerri said...

So many of the same kinds of things make me cry. The older I get, the more I realize how precious life is, and the simplest of things can make me cry.

Louise said...

A good, well-written list. And I'm sure you're not alone. I share all of it with you except the grandchildren; my kids are only 4 and 6. But I'm sure it will happen one day!

SandyCarlson said...

I enjoyed reading this. I cry over many of the same things. Patriotism gets me in a big way. So does "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

My response to David's prompt is here.

Mary said...


I am an emotional person too. I was in the delivery room when Brandon was born and I got all teary-eyed. I cry at heart touching commercials and when taps is played.

I can understand how you would get emotional at all the things you mentioned. Grandchildren are special and when they accomplish something great - something that doctors have told us they will never do, it is a great and emotional moment. You have many more successes to witness.


david mcmahon said...

Beuatiful post, Jeni - and yes, you;re right - it is indeed love that triggers the reaction.

I had tears in my eyes when my niece got married!

Dianne said...

I'll never forget when I danced with my son at his wedding. I looked over to the family table and there was my brother - big old guy, tough as nails, with huge tears in his beautiful blue eyes.

Moments like that!

And your family stories often bring tears to my eyes Jeni - so yes it is the Love.

Maggie May said...

That was a good read, Jeni, similar to mine that I have just posted!

Suldog said...

When I was a kid, I cried a lot - skinned knees, and other assorted boo-boos; not getting what I wanted; the usual.

As I grew up, I hardly ever cried.

Now, the older I get, the more I feel like it. Sometimes it's because of something lovely, sometimes because so many people seem to be getting the short end of things.

And, I've come to realize that crying makes me more human. It's a good thing.

Denise said...

A lovely lovely post!
I too cry at weddings...I am a wedding stationery designer....I cry with my clients often!


Vic Grace said...

A wonderful post and I think I share most of those tears with you. There were many years when I could not or would not cry as it would have shown my monster of a husband that I could be hurt but now I cry whenever I want or need to, and it is a long time since there have been any unhappy tears.

Sandi McBride said...

Great list Jeni...I think we can all say "just ask Jeni" if they want to know what tears us up...lovely post!

Jeff B said...

Isn't amazing how crying is common to moments of great happiness and of tremendous sorrow.

TechnoBabe said...

Being vulnerable enough to love.