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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: TEARS - (as in crying) (10/04/04)

TITLE: Tears? What Kind?
By Jean Boulmay
10/07/04

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The heavily made-up older woman dabbed at her eyes, with the dainty lace-edged white hankie. Mascara, running from the outer corners of both eyes, left a black trail through the bright red rouge on her cheeks. Raising her perfectly coifed gray head; faded blue eyes look in my direction. What do I say, I think, trying to appraise the situation. Not knowing the woman, I realize that “tears” can mean anything! “Are they tears of joy, or tears of sadness?” I softly voice aloud. Without more information, I cannot determine.

Watching the now freely flowing tears, I think of times when my own tears rained down just as heavily. Learning of the passing of friends and family members brought tears. Losing a job, I wanted, brought tears. Even becoming angry or frustrated has brought me tears.

But, tears also come when I listen to spiritual music that touches my very soul. Tears can appear when I think of loved ones, or see and feel the beauty of nature. Tears appear when something or someone touches me, not necessarily physically, but deeper, somewhere on the inside.

Her head now bowed, I continue watching the elderly woman, seeking a cue on how to respond. Maybe she just received news that she is going to be a new grandmother, and is happy. Or, maybe a loved one died, and she is sad. Did she receive an answered prayer? As thoughts are racing through my mind, I see the wrinkled face more clearly, as she slowly raises her eyes, and peers up into the sky. I hear a softly spoken, “Thank you Lord.”

Standing up, I walk over and sit down next to the woman, who is quietly staring at the sky, as though she sees something only she can see. She does not attempt to stop the flood of tears, as they fall from her cheeks onto her blue, silk dress. She smiles.

“May I help you?” I ask her gently. “No, thank you,” she replies in a trembling voice. “Everything is alright now…. Johnny is ok,” the words are spoken quietly, with a sense of peace. Hands lie on her lap, palms upward. Turning in my direction, her eyes look into mine. She continues speaking in a soft, quiet tone. “Johnny is my husband, we have been married fifty-three years. For the past few months, he has suffered a great deal of pain from a variety of medical problems.” Several seconds pass, as I wait for her to go on. In silence, an age spotted hand wipes a tear, dropped on blue silk. Glancing in my direction, she continues speaking in a voice filled with peace. “Recently, I have been asking God to take away Johnny’s pain.” Gazing into the sky, she again seems to be viewing only what she is able to see. “Thank you for your concern, but everything is really ok,” the words are spoken in the same peaceful voice. Softly smiling, she explains, “Johnny’s pain is gone.”


Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight10/11/04
Great entry! Yes, indeed there will be no more suffering,no more pain!
Joanne Malley10/13/04
Even in loss, the love of Jesus brings comfort and hope. Thank you for your down-to-earth writing style and the message your article revealed.
Phyllis Inniss 10/14/04
Very tender and touching moments. Great story. Blessings.
L.M. Lee10/15/04
I've been right where you are...not knowing how to help a crying person. You displayed true compassion.
Rose Gingerich10/17/04
Very touching!
Blessings, Rose