Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Brother Abroad: Silly Sisters

As a young girl, I was never much of a crier. Really. I would go with friends to see some sad movie like Beaches or Steel Magnolias and, though I was moved by the dramas and the tragedies, I was inevitably the one passing around the tissues and consoling everyone else.

I'm not sure where that came from, and I would inwardly roll my eyes at their blubbering. It wasn't that I felt any disdain for people who cry (my grandpa is the most emotional movie watcher in history), I just kind of looked at it as a weak trait to have. To let fiction interfere with reality...there were far worse things in the world that deserve our tears than Shirley MacLaine demanding that Debra Winger be given her medicine.

But something has changed.

I can't exactly pinpoint when it happened, but I can be a regular old ball of emotions, susceptible to tears at any moment.

I cry at movies, moving songs, touching stories, losses endured by friends, and I'm still crying about Joseph's second trip to the ER...that story will come tomorrow.

I guess this change might have something to do with children, or an older, more realistic understanding of the world, but whatever it is, I'm not embarassed by it as I once might have been. Something about allowing myself to express emotions (even if it is prompted by a cartoon racecar pushing the other aging cartoon racecar across the finish line....damn you, Lightning McQueen!), it all makes me feel more human.

Is that weird? I actually don't care if it's what I do.

So, of course, when I had to say my goodbyes to Paul on yet another deployment, I was far from the strong sister you might expect when she grows up military.

I couldn't even get the words out....I was weeping. I think I said something about running if anything happens, just run, though they may have just been a line from Forrest Gump. What I do remember is driving away, my mother crying, Julie's face crumbling, and my brother smiling with an "Oh, geez" in his eyes as I tried to catch my breath, John rubbing my shoulder in reassurance.

Oh geez, I'm crying now.

This is Day 85.


Julie Weaver said...

Consider it a sign of maturation. Paul is very used to it from me, I cry by the simple sight of someone else crying. It's what makes us human...your brother is also known for letting a few tears escape his eyes proud and always have a tissue at hand.

Stacey Lewis said...

Your story just made me cry! It doesn't take much for me and never has. I am the girl who can cry just thinking about Jack Dawson nodding his head when he realized he had to let Rose stay on the floating wood in the water! It's all too much for me! I agree, be proud and if you forget your tissues, your sleeve will work just fine!