Tears can be caused by grief, anger, happiness, and sometimes a combination of all of the above. These past two weeks have been a series of events that culminated in a morning of beautiful ugly tears. It started with something as simple as renewing my CPR a few weeks ago. That moment also made post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) real. Yes, PTSD, I have that. I went through therapy to learn how to deal with it but also learned it’ll sneak up on you like it did a couple of weeks ago.
I watched the videos of people performing CPR and the scenarios were more real than I could imagine. Then came the moment when I had to practice what I learned on the mannequin. I looked down and for a moment it was as if I was transported back to the night I was doing CPR waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Somehow I was able to practice what I learned and quickly came back to reality. No tears that day.
Several other scenarios occurred throughout the next two weeks that would bring me back to the day Mark died. Tears? No. Sadness? Yes! Anger? Yes! Life? Keep moving forward. Then came this morning. I woke up with a migraine. Being a single parent means that even a migraine doesn’t mean that the world stops. I still got the kids ready for school, me ready for work, and got my cup of coffee to go before we walked out the door. As I was walking to the car all I could think of was how much I missed the teamwork Mark and I had, especially on mornings like this.
As I did my last drop off I saw a kolea bird by my car. Culturally, we believe that the kolea is messenger or spirit of our loved ones. Most of the time they are pretty quiet birds. Well this morning, in the dark and wind, this kolea kept chirping at me like it was talking directly to me. My first thought, “Oh, hi Mark!” I got into my car and as I passed the cemetery that Mark’s niche is in, the song “A Thousand Years” started playing. Then the most beautiful vision entered my thoughts like Mark was visiting my mind. It played out like a scene from a movie.
Mark was in his prime, happy, fit, smiling and holding my hand. I was younger, skinnier, smiling and holding his hand. The love was tangible. We were so incredibly happy and together. Mark looked at me and it was as if his thoughts became words. He was happy. He was in a place where that moment of our lives was an eternity frozen in time, we were together. That was my past, his present. He wanted me to know that would always be my past but that it was just that, the past. My present was raising our children and life continuously moving forward. I needed to remember to find happiness in my current reality and someday, love. That was his wish. Then came the stop light on the off ramp to work.
A yellow light and a police officer. So yeah, instead of thinking I cold make it through, I stopped. Right then, Whiz Kalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” started playing and the song finished right as I parked my car. Got it Mark, message received. The water works started. Those beautiful ugly tears. I pulled it together to get out of my car and thought I was ok. Wrong! I got into the elevator and thanked God it was empty. That is until the 4th floor. Someone got on the elevator and the only thought in my mind was, “Why couldn’t they take the stairs down? It’s only 4 floors, down not even up! Why is someone standing right there?” I could feel the tears trying to come out. I did my best to hold it together until I got to my friends’ office near the elevators. After a few more tears I was able to make it to my office and start the day.
On my drive home there were so many rainbows and more hearts in the clouds. I kept thinking back to the morning and that vision and those tears. I found joy in the tears. They were happy tears from a vision I will forever hold in my heart. I was lucky to have experienced that love that allowed me to smile with tears in my eyes. Tears from a beautiful life, a beautiful past, and a love that knows no boundaries letting me know I’m doing okay. Beautiful ugly cry tears.