I am in this great Facebook private group called, Dusty Record Club. You post YouTube oldies and reminisce. I love it.. I go Dancin’ in the Streets with Billy Mack, who told me Don’t Mess with Bill ’cause if you do, you’ll learn That’s How Heartaches are Made. Yes, we bring ’em up and call ’em back. It’s so cool, relaxing, and fun until I hit an oldie like I’m the Last One to be Loved, by Dionne Warwick or You and I, by Stevie Wonder, and any slow Luther. Then, here they come…. first, the memories, then my eyes close in reflection, and finally, a tear rolls down my face. I admit that music can be mesmerizing, but lately, music or not, it seems I just can’t stop crying. I used to be a baller; now I’m a bawler!
I am blessed to have really wonderful Sistah-friends who have been with me through every transition – births, deaths, and now, life-renewal. (Here I go, crying just thinking about them). If we are watching a film, I’m bawling; talking about a friend in need, I’m bawling. Don’t let me start talking about a loved one who has passed. I do, what Oprah calls, “the ugly cry,” If you feel a life circumstance requires emotion, you can’t seem to muster up, just call old Victoria Falls here; I’ll be your surrogate. Sometimes I think I’m gon’ Drown in My Own Tears. (Thanks, Ray Charles).
I do admit some things are worth crying over. I went to see Just Mercy, a film about the “justice and redemption” in the Alabama criminal justice system. It highlighted the attorney, Bryan Stevenson, who worked to free a man who was falsely imprisoned. When the film was done, I cried. But then I was overwhelmed with the enormity of the crisis in the criminal justice system and I started gulping and crying deeply for all the Black folks maliciously still behind bars; then for the victims honored in Stevenson’s Criminal Justice Museum and Lynching Memorial. When they flashed a picture of his Equal Justice Initiative team, I cried some more for the exoneration of over 135 prisoners and the possibility of hope. Today, that’s how my tears flow and I must say, unapologetically.
The truth is that as we age, our hormones go wacky, and we tend to cry more. Let’s face it; we have more to cry about, especially the pain of losing people we know/love. Two other truths – 1)As an emotional release, crying is good for us, and 2) As we age, we care less about what others think about us. You know me…striving to live in truth. So I’m gon’ continue to Cry, Baby. (Thanks Garnett Mims).
So many of my days savor in joie de vivre’ for which I give thanks. (I forgot to mention that sometimes I laugh so hard, I cry). However, we never have to apologize for the ability to express emotion; it is a gift.
“Love has the final word.” Ricki Byars
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