Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea…..” (Isak Dinesen)
My last post was about SWEAT… today I want to talk briefly about TEARS…
TEARS – A good cry is often a reaction to and a release of pain and sadness…. “The RAIN falls because the cloud can no longer handle its weight. The TEARS fall because the heart can no longer handle the pain.” Believe me, I have felt pain like no other this past year, and have cried many tears. I have learned that you cannot always control your tears and that is OK. My family and friends have held my hand, given me shoulders, and just let me cry. I am not embarrassed by it anymore. It just is.
I have now come to the end of all of my “Solo Firsts”…First Beach trip solo, First Family Vacation with a smaller family, First 4th of July (our first date was on the 4th of July in 1979), First wedding anniversary not celebrating, First birthday with no contact (thankful for my kids, sisters, friends and my special co-workers who decorated my office!), First Thanksgiving not going to my in-laws, First Christmas card with just the kids and me, First Christmas, First New Year’s Eve, First Valentine’s Day, First ACC Tournament, First NCAA Basketball Tournament (but enjoyed watching these alone!), First Easter, First Anniversary of moving into my new home by myself. I did my best to preserve most of “our family” traditions, but I started some new ones too. It was hard, it was emotional, there were tears, but I made it. As my girlfriends say, I “survived and thrived!”
I love this quote by Rose Kennedy:
“It has been said that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting it’s sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
This I verily believe (sounds like a Moravian liturgical response!).
There are things in life that will always make me tear up: sappy movies, especially Hallmark and/or Christmas movies (who hasn’t cried during “You’ve Got Mail” or “Miracle on 34th Street”?), a song on the radio that brings back memories (especially now – hard to relive some memories), and saying goodbye to someone. There is a church hymn I can never sing without crying. (“Here I am Lord, is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night…” I know I am not alone here). I hear the first bars of that song in church and I am a goner. And it is ok.
An “old” friend reminded me over dinner last weekend (as we were discussing this blog) that not all tears are the result of pain and sadness. Happiness also brings on tears. Even he has cried over experiences with his children. (Tears are NOT limited to females – Ladies, don’t you love a man who is not afraid to shed tears?! Except maybe those on the Bachelorette!) The births of my three children and the marriage of my oldest daughter all brought tears, but were the result of sheer happiness! Not to mention tears at all of their college graduations. Of course, this happiness could have been the result of knowing I just got a big raise (no more tuition payments!) BUT…..it also meant no more visits to Chapel Hill – Top of the Hill…..no more visits to Wrightsville Beach – Dockside and the Oceanic. So maybe there were a few sad tears in there after all…
In the beginning of this “new journey” I cried a lot. For a while, I could not tell anyone my husband left me because I could not verbalize it without tears. Then I could. And I did. And a funny thing happened: it was not me who was crying, but the people I was telling… I was comforting them and in so doing, their tears eased my pain. Because not one person I told said, “I saw that coming.” Not one.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not go around blubbering, and I never cry myself to sleep (not that there’s anything wrong with that, except puffy bloodshot eyes the next morning. Anyone have tips for that??) Sometimes a good cry is just what the doctor ordered. And a good place for a good cry is in the shower! Try it!
Just be salty! Take a shower and have a good cry!
“sweat, tears, or the sea” continues next Wednesday with my favorite – the sea!