The Gift Of Tears
This has been a week of tears, to put it mildly.
I’ve witnessed joyful First Communion celebrations and attended a heart-wrenching funeral. I’ve celebrated the 16th birthday of my oldest son and the anniversary of my father’s death. I’ve heard an announcement of a grandbaby on the way from an overjoyed grandmother-to-be and heard news of friends fighting illnesses.
Twice this week I have heard Father Bernie Etienne, pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Evansville, speak the message that during times when we cannot pray for ourselves, others can pray for us. I have witnessed this so many times - others praying for God to watch over their loved ones in happy and sad occasions. And happy or sad, tears have had a place in all ceremonies.
Pope Francis has referred to this emotional outpouring as “the gift of tears.” In a 2013 homily at Casa Santa Marta, the pope said, “All of us have felt joy, sadness and sorrow in our lives, (but) have we wept during the darkest moment? Have we had that gift of tears that prepare the eyes to look, to see the Lord? We, too, can ask the Lord for the gift of tears. It is a beautiful grace ... to weep praying for everything: for what is good, for our sins, for graces, for joy itself.”
In the middle of this emotional rollercoaster, I took some time out to take my son and his good friend to see Guardians of the Galaxy, II. Myself being a long time superhero fanatic, I will gladly see just about anything that includes good versus evil with capes and aliens thrown in for good fun. The movie did not disappoint; the music alone was worth the price of admission.
Featured prominently in the movie is Cat Steven’s Father to Son. This song has been a favorite of mine for decades, and one I often rocked my babies to through the wee hours of the night.
It's not time to make a change
Just relax, take it easy
You're still young, that's your fault
There's so much you have to know…
Who knew that a movie featuring an emotionally-stunted blue alien, trash-panda and CGI baby twig would give me the outlet I very much needed? I felt the tears start and knew that this was the release I needed to let out the build up of emotion I had been wrestling with for days.
All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside
It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it.
I know more tears will be shed as the month continues and I watch former students and friends’ children graduate from high school and college. These children are growing and moving to their next stage in life, as one should. Joy and pain will intertwine as parents watch the evolution of their dependent children into independent adults. And we will send up our prayers to God through our tears.