Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Tears

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Last night I laughed so hard I cried, while watching my grown son and daughter "hula-hoop" with the Wii my son received for Christmas. Later, as I lay in bed thinking of the day's events, I thought about other times in my life when I felt so happy I cried.

Of course, there was the birth of each my children. Within seconds after having them, I was struck by the overwhelming thought that suddenly there was a new soul in the room with us. A not-surprisingly-happy tear moment.


And there have been many other not-surprisingly-happy-tear moments: Andrea's and Adam's high school and college graduations, Adam's and Emily's wedding.

But what about those unexpected tears of happiness? The ones that catch you completely by surprise? I have been lucky enough to have many, but these are the ones that first came to mind.

When my husband, Stephen, took me to see my first Broadway play, The Lion King, the theater was beautiful, with velvet and guilded gold. I was thrilled to be there. But, when the lights dimmed and the music began to play - when the beautiful animal characters walked through the center aisle of the theater, I leaned over the side balcony and my throat tightened in that familiar way that precedes tears. The costumes were incredibly beautiful, and the music, powerful.

A few years later, Stephen and I were on a Mediterranean cruise. The whole trip was magnificent, but the highlight was when our ship pulled into the Grand Canal in Venice. I hurried to the top deck where Andrea Bocelli's voice boomed over the loudspeakers. Venice surrounded our ship, and smaller boats and gondolas swirled around us. I don't know what it was - Bocelli's voice serenading me in Venice, the beauty of the city around us, or simply the realization that I never thought I'd be there - but happy tears welled up in my eyes.

When I finished Broken Dolls, a book I've been working on for over three years, I was happy at my accomplishment. But, that happiness didn't compare to what I felt when an agent asked me to send him the full manuscript after reading the first four chapters. I literally wanted to do somersaults! There is something in the realization that someone likes a story you have written, and I saw his request for my manuscript as a positive step in the direction of fulfilling a life goal - to have a book published. As I told my husband of the good news over lunch, I choked up as I explained that it no longer seemed like just a fantasy - that maybe I really would have a book published one day.

Happy tears - droplets of water so tiny others may not even notice them. But to someone who experiences them, the happiness is so big and full it can't be contained.

Wishing you only happy tears!

Waiting for Emily to walk down the aisle - even Adam is crying happy tears.


2 comments:

  1. A few years ago I started writing a blues song/poem entitled "Tears of Joy." Evidently I never completed it - at least I can't find it now. These last couple of weeks I have received several "heartwarming" Christmas story emails (break out the Kleenex), many of which I passed on. There's something wonderful about Happy Tears that just makes you feel good all over. Thanks for sharing your Happy Tears moments with all of us. I wish you many more to come.

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  2. okay, now you've gone and made me cry! Beautiful, Jan. These tears expand in our hearts and are diamonds in our souls!

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