Where did all these tears come from?

According to Dictionary.com the definition of tears is as follows:


/tɪər/ Show Spelled[teer] Show IPA



a drop of the saline, watery fluid continually secreted by the lacrimal glands between the surface of the eye and the eyelid, serving to moisten and lubricate these parts and keep them clear of foreign particles. Synonyms: teardrop.

this fluid appearing in or flowing from the eye as the result of emotion, especially grief: to shed tears.
When I was 11 my mother died.  During the next few days of viewing and the funeral my father would look at me and say, “If you feel like you are going to cry chew some gum or blow your nose.”  For years following that time I would do exactly as my father had told me.  Soon, I would only allow myself tears at a sad movie or book.  Often times they (the tears) would escape when I got very angry.
Years later I discovered my tears.  I accepted them as part of who I was.  As a woman, I was created to have emotions.  I was created to have the ability to show my emotions through shedding tears.  It took a long time for me to accept and live with this notion.  Having two daughters I tried to pass on to them the beauty that are tears.  Today I can cry when I see a leaf fall off a tree.  I am THAT person!
Earlier this month my dear hubby and I drove up to our nation’s capital to be with my youngest and her wonderful hubby.  We went up for a baby shower and I was so excited to get there.  Family and friends from several parts of our life were coming into town to celebrate this wonderful adventure our daughter is embarking on.  Watching her and her hubby prepare for this time is an exciting adventure for my dearest and myself, our joy explodes with each thought of what is about to come.
Our oldest daughter travelled from San Diego to join in the festivities.  She arrived early in the week and was able to spend time with her sister.  So, when we arrived it was family reunion time!  Tears of joy flowed easily in seeing my babies (okay, I know, one is in the mid 30’s and the other is pregnant and can see her 30’s easily, but they will always be my babies).  We laughed, we cried, we blew our noses and we spent the rest of the evening together.
The next day my daughters and I went out in search of the perfect shower dress.  Going to a nearby mall we scoured the first store and I sat watching while my daughters invaded a dressing room and laughed and played with each other while trying on several dresses.  I found my throat tightening as I watched and remembered these two girls.  Memories of several dressing room experiences flooded my mind.  Times of tantrums, of arguments, of giggles and along with them thoughts of fashion disasters and prom dresses and swim suit debacles.  I cleared my throat and stood up while we went to another shop in the mall.
By the time we hit the second store the giggles and jokes were running rampant through the store as my daughters fell into step in shopping together.  I saw them hug and pinch and start to cry with each other.  These little girls were grown women with emotions of their own and experiences that they have shared and held together as only sisters can.
Taking a break for putting pregnant feet up came next and I went to fetch drinks for all.  When I returned to where they were I glimpsed them squeezing hands and being teary eyed.  AGAIN, I choked up and tried to swallow hard.  Didn’t work much.  Soon, the three of us were looking at each other with tears in our eyes and laughing at the ridiculous-ness of it all.
The following day was the shower.  I woke up in tears, but managed to get myself under control and pick up the last-minute things I needed for the party.  The shower itself was a blur.  Seeing my sister and her son and daughter in law, seeing nieces, friends from early Navy days and friends from elementary school, it was all much too much.  Plus that my dear friend is also my daughter’s mother in law was just enough to have any woman blubbering into her glass of wine…
Sunday was mother’s day.  Overwhelmed isn’t close to how I felt that day.  The emotions of the previous days and then the knowledge of celebrating mother’s day finally got to me.  I no longer could keep the flood gates closed.  Unexpected weeping came upon me while preparing for the day.  It caused confusion in me.  I hadn’t had that type of reaction in years.
I would like to say I pulled myself together and no one was the wiser, but I can’t.  My blotched face and puffy eyes told all who saw that I was a mess.  Looking around that day, though, I knew I wasn’t the only one and that gave me comfort.
Our oldest returned to our home with us and has spent the past couple weeks visiting here.  I have found myself looking at her and feeling the need to hug on her and burst into tears.    She leaves for her home tomorrow early in the morning.  It has been a wonderful visit.  She and my hubby escaped the confines of our home today to have a day to themselves and I am taking the opportunity to write.  It will be difficult to say good-bye to her in the morning.  My arms will truly be lonely for my babies once more.
But, in thinking of this all, especially the tears, I am thankful for the gift that they are.  When my heart is overflowing with the goodness this life has given, I know the tears escaping are the result of all that my heart is holding.  When my throat tightens with emotion, I know that it is indescribable joy that has no words to describe it.  I am thankful for the tears, the joy, and the pain of seeing my babies so far away.  Even in that, though, I know my babies are no longer that, they are independent and strong women who have their homes and their lives and they are living those lives with fullness and joy.  I am blessed to see them like this.  I often wonder what my mother would have thought, how she would have reacted, how blotched her face would have gotten.  My  prayer as a young adult was to be able to see my children grown.  That prayer has been answered abundantly…  What a wonderful month this has been for me.  I really didn’t know I was able to produce so many tears, but excuse me while I go blow my nose once more.
Here are a couple of pictures from the shower.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF

part of the decorations

My beautiful baby and my hubby
part of the gifts for my grandson

Published by marycatherinethomas

M. Catherine Thomas is a published writer, speaker and teacher. Mother of two and grandmother..

10 thoughts on “Where did all these tears come from?

  1. That was a lot of emotion is short period of time…tears of joy are always a welcomed gift. I would start stocking up on the tissues, because when you see your grandson the flood gates are going to open again. Joys & Blessings bring it ALL out. The pictures are lovely.

  2. Oh DAF, I’m sitting here with a wadded up paper towel of my own, What a beautiful post you have written here. I makes me wish I wasn’t so far away from my sisters, or my “babies”. Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming experience.

  3. DAF, you words have the power to move… and they have moved me today. Tears are such a release, whether of joy or sadness. I hope tomorrow is not too painful and you have so much to look forward to!

  4. ((hugs))
    I can’t imagine…my little ones are only 5 and 9 and I’m getting teary eyed at the latest Proctor and Gamble commercial (the, “Mom’s the Hardest Job” one) When I think of the weddings etc. down the road…ack! Start the waterworks! I used to be cold hearted…now, I’m a mushy puddly on the floor 😉

  5. The time just goes by so fast. I have heard this all my life and I forget it until I see my grown daughters together and wonder how in the world they became the young women they are. I can imagine how busy you are with two little ones. Mushy puddly on the floor is wonderful… grab a roll of paper towels and cry away, tears add to your beauty and gentleness. Thanks for stopping by my blog, it has blessed me to see you here. DAF

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