I can keep it together for quite a while as long as no one else is crying. Even if it’s a completely sad movie or a touching moment, I can hold my composure. Let someone I love start to sob over something I’ve been strong with, though, and I can’t help but turn into a blubbering mass of sodden tissues.
It was like that yesterday. I sat and stroked our cat as he took his last breaths, spending all my tears on him before anybody came home. I was ready to be strong for the kids. Do my mom thing. Be the rock.
The older girls arrived home first, and were very supportive and helpful. Though sad themselves, they were concerned more for me. We talked a little, and everything was alright. A hug or two, a few stories remembering him, and they could move in a subdued manner into their night. When their little sister came through the door, that all changed. She burst into wailing tears at the news, and though I was steeling myself for it, I couldn’t help but melt into a puddle with her.
I’ll be going along, thinking I have it all under control, and she’ll think of him and start to cry. It’s an automatic, visceral response – it seems I have absolutely no control over it, but all of a sudden the tears are leaking down my face as well.
The day will get better, and perhaps I’ll have more time to straighten my backbone and toughen up while she’s in school today, but I have no more faith in my tear ducts. They have betrayed me too many times in the last week or so. They are fired.