...and I'll cry if I want to. Three times if I want to. Before my Mom buzzes on speed dial, let me explain. I'm a pretty solid person. I don't cry unless I'm really mad, really sick, or really tired. However, give me a good feature story, in print or on-screen, and I'm a goner. Case in point.
Cry #1 started at 9:30 am, in my bed in Florence, where I was curled up with Oprah Magazine reading a story about a couple that donated nearly 2,000 ounces of breast milk to a milk bank after losing their child after a six-month battle with illness in the hospital. The Mom had pumped the entire time her baby was too sick to eat the milk, saving it in her freezer, two spare deep freezers, and her brother's freezer (now that's family love). When her sweet baby died, she called a milk bank and said, "My baby died. I have all this milk. What do I do?" They told her to ship it and they'd cover her costs (standard procedure), but shipping that milk away felt too final for the family, so they packed up a truck and drove those deep freezers, plus extra coolers to hold the spares from the normal freezers, and drove 200 miles to deliver their special package, and say a final goodbye to their sweet baby.
See? I can cry at that! Justified. But picture me in a pile of pillows with curlers in my hair, waiting to get ready for church... ah yes, "pitiful" comes to mind.
Cry #2 happened later, back in my apartment in Birmingham, when I insanely decided to watch Taking Chance on HBO. Have you seen this movie? It's about a Marine (Kevin Bacon) taking the body of a fallen comrade home to his family. Over the course of eight days, he travels with him on planes and in trucks, even sleeping in an empty warehouse with him so he wouldn't be alone. I came close to tears several times, but the tipping point was watching him salute the Styrofoam casket as it rolled down a conveyor belt off an airplane, causing all the grounds crew and passengers to stop and pay respects. Blubber blubber blubber.
Cry #3 was not to far later. Right after Taking Chance finished, Big Love began on HBO. It seemed happier than the Law & Order Marathon on FX, so I watched the big, complicated family road trip across the country and remembered my family's days in the big blue van and, at times, an RV. Happy times, yes? Then the teenage daughter (SPOILER ALERT) miscarried in the middle of the trip, losing a baby that no one even knew she had. I have no idea who this character is, or who the baby's father was, but she cried and I cried right along with her. Then I took my puffy-faced self to bed and hoped for a better tomorrow.
The funny thing is, my tears don't really mean I'm sad. I didn't go to bed depressed or hold onto any anger or sadness. They just signify emotion. Maybe it was therapeutic? Either way, I'm upping my salt intake today for sure.