This I Believe

Cara - Rexburg, Idaho
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

I believe in tears. When I was a young child I was very shy. I didn’t like to talk to anyone. I was very sensitive, a little too sensitive. Sometimes my dad told me that he had to give me a little “spank” to try to make me say hi to our family friends. I just ended up crying. My tears followed me through childhood. We would be sitting around in the living room preparing for family prayers and all ya had to do was say something like, “Cara, what’s wrong? What did you do?” I’d set off like a perpetual water fountain. It couldn’t be stopped for a little while. Funny thing is I never did anything wrong. It was just the prospect of being in trouble. Now I look at those experiences and just laugh. Those tears are my “funny memory” tears.

As I sit here writing, a tear streams down the side of my face. You might think, “Uh-oh, here comes this huge confession.” Don’t be alarmed. I’m sick. I have a cold. It just made me think of the diversity of tears. Obviously we all know about the sad tears. The ones that come when something horrible happens, or when we’re in pain, but what about the others?

There are tears like these ones that build up and blur the page. Then there are those that come from hormones. I blame it all on the hormones, not on the ducts in my eyes. I might be watching a commercial that expresses some thoughtful idea and hormones make my ducts leak; they can’t hold it all in. When my husband and I just sit and talk, I get so into what I’m saying and all of a sudden these drops of salty moisture roll out over the edge; sometimes they take mascara with them. I call these annoying tears.

Recently, my husband and I went down to Georgia to visit my family. The last night we were there, we all got together and played some games. That set us off. My sisters, my mom, and I were laughing so hard. Then, the eyes blurred and we couldn’t stop ourselves. We were all laughing so hard we were crying. I’m sure you all know that feeling; the odd mixture of laughter, lack of breath, and tears. It’s great! I’m not sure how it works, but all I know is I love ‘em. I call these laughter tears.

Then, sometimes there are just happy tears. Like when your future husband asks you to marry him. I didn’t cry, although he expected me to, but many people do. For me, I don’t know exactly how to describe them, except that I get so excited. My joy just leaks out everywhere, especially from my eyes. I heard a story about a town in Utah that was putting on a production of when Jesus Christ blesses some children. When it began, one child got so into the moment that he threw his arms around the “Jesus” and started crying. I don’t think he was sad, in fact I think he was just so overwhelmingly happy. Have you ever felt that? The joy just pours out. I hope everyone has felt these tears. They are the best tears; they are happy tears.

What would life be like without all these tears? People would never know the depth of feeling. Tears may be annoying, funny memories, laughing tears, sad tears or happy tears, but how boring life would be without them.