I believe in the freedom of tears. I hate that feeling that I get that I need to be strong, to ‘hold it all in.’ The real strength comes from those tears. They give me the ability to cope with pain, to reminisce about my past, and to rejoice over my future. Each drop has meaning. When I found out that my house, the house that I was literally born in and had grown up in, the house that holds so many memories for me, would be taken by the bank, I sobbed. With each tear, I remembered something else that had happened to me in that house. Each tear brought fresh pain, a strong wave nostalgia that carried thoughts of my sisters long married or moved away and all the times we shared in that home, laughing, fighting, and playing.
Memories of summer on swings that my grandfather made for us, or being hosed down by my mother in freezing cold water after swimming in the lake in our backyard; those times of sledding down our hill, making a tunnel in the snow, and running back inside for the hot cocoa that was always waiting; memories of me screaming up at one of my older, taller sisters about something simply ridiculous are all things that I don’t want to leave behind.
Memories are funny things: I know that there were times of unhappiness, times better left behind, but somehow, that’s all forgotten. In some way, each tear brought out that pain, and eventually, release. As I sobbed harder and harder, shook more and more, gradually I felt that pain fall away. I felt each tear slide down my cheeks, taking a fraction of the pain, the hurt, away. It was almost like watching our maple tree, named Jamie after my deceased brother, in October, with bright red leaves one by one leaving the tree and floating away. And for a time, it would stand bare, with nothing to protect it from the harsh of the winter but its own skin. Come spring, however, it would bloom bigger and better than the year before, and it would wait for the next fall to strip it of its leaves. Somehow, this trial was leaving me bare, and while I knew I could expect a bigger and better tree, it didn’t fix that winter right then.
Those leaves, however, slowly helped me shed the longing I felt. I stood up stronger, finally able to cope, and walked into my sister’s house with a smile. Now, I believe in the freedom of tears.