Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tender Hearted

I was driving to my son's basketball practice, and the radio show I was listening to was talking about a teenaged girl who had been battling cancer. She recently lost the battle but the show was doing a fundraiser on her behalf. The story was so sad that I honestly started crying on the drive over-we are talking 10 mintutes.

I don't consider myself someone who cries all the time. Some people (my mom comes to mind) cry very easily. I dont think of myself as one of them. In fact, it is my goal not be a giant crying person. I don't know why it's such a 4 alarm drill around my husband but when he detects I have been crying, he is merciless in his investigation. I just want to be left alone for fear I might cry harder-and instead, here comes the incessant pokes, "Are you crying?" What are you crying about?" Seriously, what do you think? Of course I am. I just heard the saddest story on the radio. Stories of children or animals that are harmed always create a faucet in me. I have always been like that.

I remember in the 6th or 7th grade, we went on a field trip to a school for handicapped children. This was in the early 80's when handicapped kids went to separate schools. I still cry about it when I think about it. Those kids were the sweetest, happiest, most grateful kids I had ever met. I could not believe it.

I remember crying when the stray dog behind our apartment in Iran had puppies and one of them didn't make it. I think my mom actually reinacted its survival so I would stop crying.

I also cried as a senior in high school when I met a homeless man on a field trip. He wasn't even that endearing-just a bit of a drunk who took an interest in talking to a bunch of 17 year olds. His name was Whitey. I just figured he was down on his luck, and it made me so sad.

I cannot bear to read stories about people abusing their children. Right after I had my first son, I was home, being all hormonal and post pardom. I will never forget the little boy named Tanner whose unspeakably evil and undeserving parents shook him to death. He was about the same age as my three week old baby at the time. I cried for hours. I can still close my eyes and picture that little baby.

I can't stand to watch the Caylee Anthony story that is in the news every day-the one where her mom is in prison for killing her. I started tearing on the treadmill last week when they were showing pictures of this child who was 2 years old when she was killed by her own mom.

I also have a hard time watching certain movies. As incredibly well done as they are, movies like Schindler's List, Blood Diamond, Hotel Riwanda, Saving Private Ryan...they just tear me up. Mostly because they are true-and I literally hurt for the people they depict. I hate the thought of people suffering.

My first lab, Casey, had to have surgery on his knee when he was 6. I cried my eyes out when I went to see him the first night after his surgery. He couldn't come home with me so I crouched down in his holding pen, and he and I just cried together. Then, about 6 months before he died, I took him to the last of about 10 vets to see if I could find a way to heal him and make him a young dog again who would live for many more years. Of course, the vet saw right through me, but could not bear to tell me that wasn't possible as tears just streamed down my face. So, he sent me home with a ton of pain killers for him so my sweet best friend could hang on until I could face the inevitable.

I am the mom who cries when her kids get vaccinations, I have to fight back tears when my kids tell me they didn't get invited to a birthday party, or someone was mean to one of them at school. When one of my kids is sick or gets hurt, I long for it to be me instead. I am just a giant wuss really. It is the good and the bad about me I suppose. A very good friend of mine name Joy once told me I was tender hearted. That is a nice way of saying cry baby-but I'll take it!


  1. Um, I cry at country music songs and commercials and if you cry if front of me I will cry with you even if I have no idea what you're crying about.

    I don't mind all of that. What I DO mind is that I can not argue with my husband without crying. It is very hard to make a point with snot and tears streaming down your face!

  2. And why is that considered such a weakness anyway? It's one of the biggest hangups men have when it comes to communicating with women. I couldn't agree more with you on that angle. I hate losing my composure in a disagreement with my husband. Then the focus always becomes, "Why are you crying?"

    As for the rest of it, I dont' really mind it either. :)

  3. Ya know, I still cannot watch the end of the movie "Dancing with Wolves" b/c I find the part where John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is getting his butt kicked extremely disturbing. I swear I have watched that movie probably 30 times and I still have never seen the end not once.

    That movie...definitely a tear-jerker!

  4. If it makes you feel better I'm just as much a crier as you are! Have you ever heard the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow? Gets me every damn time!

  5. My tears, which have flowed easily all my life (I'm 51 now), are rarely kept under control since my only sister died last July at 49. I can't get thru a whole day yet without losing it somewhere along the way.

    Books, songs, commercials, radio programs and news stories...they all make me weepy. Remember the diet pepsi ad when the young researcher was to teach a small group of chimps to use ASL to demonstrate Thank you and You're Welcome; they bring her a soda. Just when she thinks her efforts have been for naught the little critters sign to her and she is Astounded. I cried every time.