List #5 Part Deux


I recently had a momentary break down a few weeks ago. Though I do have to admit that it was the result of several stresses conspiring against my emotional well-being  for a couple weeks. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was…

3. Remembering someone in their permanent absence.

This is a reality that I feel most people can relate to and requires little explanation. Missing someone and not being able to tell them that you miss them, who do you tell? When there are a lack of words, that’s when the tears roll in.

In this same experience however, even though I was sad remembering the people who were not here any longer, and how their absence affected me and other members of my family, I felt overwhelmed by the love I had for the people who I do have in my life.  And there is a lack of words to describe this, because the words that come to mind have been used too much and no longer serve their purpose in the right way.

“I love people!” Though it has been said, just doesn’t capture the sentiment the way that I would like it to.

I should be careful quoting my dad again, because he’ll begin to think that I listen when he talks. But, I am going to tell one story that will illustrate my point clearly. One Easter Sunday I had friends from college over to our family dinner at my aunt’s house. If you asked any friend that I have ever made outside of my family to name three things about me, those three things would be that I laugh at everything, I have a story for every occassion, and I love my family.

Knowing this and observing how my family interacts, one of my friends, in a conversation with my dad asked, “How have you guys stayed so close for so long?”

My dad’s head tilted and his eyes glanced up toward the ceiling and without any more hesitation, answered, “True Love.” When you realize that, there are no words, and as I mentioned, when there are no words, that’s when the tears roll in. So though it seems to contradict #1,

4. True Love.

This is the most preferred inspiration of tears. To be so overwhelmed with goodness and love that all you can do is cry, well, now, that’s just special.

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4 thoughts on “List #5 Part Deux

  1. Aunt Michele (and sponsor)

    Uncle Tony and I had this experience once. It was after Grandpa died and we were asked to sing a song at church that was beautiful and thoughtful not to mention touching. In rehearsal we just couldn’t get through it without becoming emotional. The piano player, who is also a family friend felt bad for asking us to sing such a song on the heels of such an emotional event. We both kept trying to explain to him that they weren’t sad tears. We struggled to explain (now it is laughter through tears…my favorite emotion) and words just couldn’t get to the heart of it. Being people of faith (all 3 of us) we all knew what we meant but I don’t think we even finished a sentence. True Love.

    By the way…we did do the song at mass and we did cry a little but I don’t think anyone noticed but us.

  2. Aunt Mary

    I have to echo Maddy’s words, Michele’s comments and John’s simple summation, if for no other reason than when I read them, my eyes welled up! I realized this a long time ago (and reaffirm it often) – when I think of Dad and Vinny, whether it’s brought on by a story, a deja vu moment, a photograph or, as is most often the case, a particular piece of music, I know that, although the emptiness of not having them physically near enough to touch (which I miss so, so much) certainly tugs at my heartstrings, it’s really the memory of their smile that makes me misty-eyed. Those smiles were the warmth in my life … my true love.

  3. theoldman

    God bless you for quoting your father! It makes him feel important.

  4. SG

    There’s a Joanna Newsom quote that hit me sometime in the relatively recent past, related to #3:

    “And the rest of our lives will the moments accrue
    When the shape of their goneness will flare up anew,
    Then we do what we have to do (re-loo-re-loo),
    Which is all that you can do on this side of the blue.”

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