Monday, August 1, 2011

Don't Even Tell Me You're Crying Again

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  It's the negative self talk in my head when I am talking about something cancer related and I start to cry.  Sometimes it just happens in a conversation, out of nowhere, when I least expect it, I choke up, and it throws me.  It has happened during my speeches; there are a few things I say that always make me cry.  One of them is:

When cancer happens, it happens to the whole family.

At the last appearance I made, I could feel myself choke up during the speech, and my negative self talk was going crazy:

Get a grip Lady.
Cry baby.
Why do you have to feel everything so deeply?
Aw geez, you aren't cryin AGAIN are you?
Don't make a fool of yourself.
Don't embarrass yourself.
What will people think?
Don't upset them.
You are supposed to be strong and inspirational,
not Debbie Downer...
Don't even tell me you are crying again.

As I was standing at the podium talking, and could feel my throat get tight and fought back tears and lost, this scolding was going on in my head.

Then a couple days ago, I remembered something that happened at the speech.  You ever have that happen, where you have recall of something you didn't notice at the time?

I remembered when my voice cracked with emotion, there was a couple in the audience, sitting right up front together; she was obviously the cancer patient and he the caregiver.  When I started to cry, I saw the man gently reach over and place his hand on top of hers, give it a pat, and I could see the love and the grief they held back a moment before.  He left his hand on hers for the remainder of my talk.

I keep thinking about them, and I feel so grateful tonight for this recall, and wanted to share this story with you.

I know my words and my tears literally moved him, his hand on hers an affirmation, for her, for me.

Lord, God of Compassion,
give me the vision to see who needs your touch,
and Lord,
give me the strength
to give myself permission,
to fearlessly be my most fragile self
as I put a face
and a voice
on all the ways
cancer hurts.



Kendra said...

I, too, find myself crying at the drop of a hat. Even tonight, watching a usually happy program on tv, I was choked up for no particular reason. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Tears are a way to wash the soul that has been in pain. Tears are the proof that we live and fight even though the battle wounds us.

Never, never be ashamed of the tears that you have so dearly earned on all those long, dark nights during your treatment.

I hear the tears in your voice and see them in your eyes and my head raises up a notch or two. That's my sister, the warrior. How proud of her I am . . . how thankful that she is still living in this world that I share.

Love you.

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