This I Believe…

Courtney - Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that in order to maintain some level of sanity, you need a good cry every once in awhile. While crying is sometimes seen as a form of weakness, my great aunt Merle told me otherwise. She is the biggest inspiration in my life, and this moment was one of many that helped me to realize this. A few weeks ago, she had a stroke, and the entire family was devastated. So, I chose to go pay her a visit last weekend. When I walked into the room, her eyes lit up. Merle sat straight up, scooted to the end of her bed, patted the bed so I would sit down, put her face on my shoulder, and broke down. This surprised me more than anything ever has throughout my life. No one else in my family has ever seen her cry, and I knew this at the time. She had always put up this tough front up until that moment. After about five minutes, she sat straight up and said, “Now that was the best therapy I’ve ever had.” She went on to tell me how she never really cried and needed that moment more than ever before. Merle let her guard down in front of me, and that I will never forget. On my way out the door I told her I loved her, and all she could mutter as I walked away was “Thank you.” I have never in my life felt like I helped someone anymore than in that moment. Merle helped me to realize that crying doesn’t necessarily make you weak or vulnerable, but rather crying helps you to let your tensions go. Crying is a form of releasing what is going on in your life, and whether you are more stressed than ever or one little thing happens, it is a necessary part of life. I have always hated crying in front of people due to feeling embarrassed, but Merle showed me that weekend how much it actually does mean to be able to cry in front of someone. I felt so good when she let her guard down because I knew she was comfortable with me. I now honestly believe that in order to make it through your life without completely losing your mind, you need a good cry every once in awhile. I have learned so many lessons from my great aunt Merle, but this one is not only the most recent but one of the most important. Somewhere in the middle of her tears I remember her saying, “When you feel like you’ve met the end of the rope, just reach up through the pain and keep grabbing for more.” She showed me by letting her guard down, that you should let others in and fight through the pain together because maybe that person can help you to reach for just a little more rope.