In a recent post I said that I almost never cry. I think the truth might be that I almost never let myself cry. Tonight has been an exception to that. I just finished reading Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane and there was no way I was going to stop the tide of tears.
The problem is that once they start flowing, the tears take on a life of their own. No longer am I crying for the characters in the book, rather I am crying for the pain and hurts of this life.
One minute I'm standing by the hospital bed of my dear sister-in-law Bonnie kissing her goodnight for the last time. Remembering all the crazy and zany things we did as teenagers, or reliving one of our great vacation trips.
Then there are tears for my precious brother who I loved with all my heart. I can see his face and hear his voice, and I cry for all the time we will never have. I cry for my sister who is gone; whose life was never quite what she wanted it to be. There are tears for my parents; my friend Nadine who died so very young.
Then the broken dreams and disappointments hidden so deep in my heart they rarely see the light. Not until that unguarded moment, sitting alone on the porch reading a novel that breaks the dam of self-control and lets all the hurt and loss tumble forth.
In retrospect, isn't it healthy once in awhile to let one's guard down, to cry a few cleansing tears? I guess I'll have to be more careful about my choice of books in the future. Or maybe not.