Tears, Tears*


[Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California]

Back in the day, when I taught in greater-Boston homeless shelters and drove a lot, it sometimes seemed as though Spirit manifested Itself through NPR (WGBH, in particular). Heavy-hearted after a particularly grueling or heart-wrenching session with a troubled student, I’d get in my car, turn on the radio, and lo: one of my favorite pieces of music was being played—and at just my favorite part! Although I knew Spirit didn’t actually work this way, this “personalized programming” happened so often that I allowed myself to take comfort from this gratuitous, wondrous gift.

Last Tuesday: same thing! Only this time it was the New York Times website that offered me just what I longed for at exactly the moment I needed it. I’d just come home after visiting Neville Center, a highly respected long term care facility (what we used to call “a nursing home.”) And, yes, although I liked what I saw and, yes, I could imagine My Loved One** staying there and receiving excellent care, my visit triggered a panoply of emotions—some of which I still cannot name, identify.

Idly I sat at my computer and clicked on Safari/the Times website— just as the word “Live” flashed on the screen and, it turned out, just as President Obama marched towards the podium to give his gun-control speech. Oh, Reader, how I needed to hear that impassioned speech! Our insane gun laws tearing me apart, how I needed to see Obama weep over the lost lives of those children at Sandy Hook. I cried, too.

Until last week I would have declared myself way too old and way too contrary to need an elected official mouthing what I long to hear. That I’d feel I was being played should any politician sing my song. Not true any more, apparently. Apparently the horrific and mean-spirited right-wing rhetoric of these past few months has taken such a toll that Obama’s reasoned speech—well, it gave me hope. And lifted my spirits. On a day when I really, really needed it!

This week, renewed and grateful, I wait to see how Spirit will continue to break through as I shepherd My Loved One’s transition to Neville Center. And lo: it’s already happened in the form of a wise and patient social worker who helped me fill out a “Do Not Resuscitate” Form. (Yikes)

Thank you, Spirit, for all your blessings.


* The first as in crying; the second, the verb meaning to break apart (and rhymes with stairs), as in to tear a piece of paper in half.

** I’m being discreet, here, because a) it seems respectful and b) recently had a nasty phising incident so am reluctant to put much personal info online.

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  1. You wrote, “…too old and way too contrary to need an elected official mouthing what I long to hear. That I’d feel I was being played should any politician sing my song. Not true any more, apparently. Apparently the horrific and mean-spirited right-wing rhetoric of these past few months has taken such a toll that Obama’s reasoned speech—well, it gave me hope.”

    I hear (or is it see:-) a future poem coming through those words.

    And do feel a little lighter having read your up-rise.

    Thanks for the meditation:-)

  2. Dear Patricia,

    Hello, there, Patricia, my so, so very dearly special and dearly precious For Always friend and sister who you are so joyously For Always so, so very much!!!!!!! Wow, this is such an astounding blog post article, sister!!!!!!!! A Very Nice, Special, Happy, and Blessed the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coming up for you and yours so, so very much, sisterfriend!!!!!!! Sister, your title to this so very cool writing perfectly complements this stupendous blog post article! I so, so very much love and like your explanation and use of the words tear and tears, my so very good friend! The picture which you have very graciously and generously featured with this magnificent blog post article is very beautifully poignant, sister! I so, so very much love and like your sharing on your earlier experiences with teaching in the Greater Boston area homeless shelters. Wow, I know that you must have been such an asset and a blessing to the homeless residents there bringing such diligently conscious and conscientious work to your teaching, sister!!!!!!!!!

    I know what you mean, Patricia. It just so warms, moves, and touches my heart when our leaders like our President Obama reflect our very vision and hope. I’m such a dreamer and so very sentimental that I’m easily inspired and uplifted when leaders or even persons in general like with people who aren’t even world and national leaders but ordinary folks can just make my very heart and spirit leap for joy from their visionary faith, hope, and promise. I, too, have cried so over all of these horrific, vile killings by senseless gun violence and shed such cleansing tears with our Pres. Obama’s words like such a healing balm, sister!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m very emboldened, energized, and renewed by our President Obama to continue to take heart, take part, and to take action in my very small way for there to be more of a blessed safety securely in our country and world, Patricia.

    Please know that I’m praying so, very hard for your so, so very dearest and darling Loved One keeping this Loved One covered in my daily and frequent prayers sending all of my thoughts of positive energy towards your Loved One, sister! I For Always with such sheer joy and pleasure keep you, Patricia, in my heart and my For Always daily and frequent prayers and thoughts, your dear husband, all of the rest of you very precious, special, and beloved family, and your very pure in heart friendsfamily at your marvelously blessed and holy Friends Meeting at Cambridge sending my lovingly caring and sensitively heartfelt thoughts with positive energy all of you way for sure For Always, sister!!!!!!! I, too, say,”Praise be! Thank-you, Spirit, for all your blessings!!!!!!!!!!,” You, Patricia, and your very spectacular blog post article and other very inspirational, insightful, uplifting, and enlightening writings are among my very, very many bountiful blessings out of our Spirit’s Bountiful Blessings for me!!!!!!!!! Yay sister yay sisterfriend yay my friend Patricia yay!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!

    Please have a totally terrific and a thrilling Thursday, a wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, Patricia!!!!!! My day is so uniquely blessed as I have joyfully read this absolutely amazing blog post article, and very joyously responding to it with my heartfelt comment!!!!!!! What a greatly immense joy and blessing you are to me, Patricia, and you help me along my walk and journey with Spirit as your sisterfriend Christian black woman, sisterfriend!!!!!!! Thank-you so, Patricia!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my sisterfriend Christian white woman Patricia who you are For Always so, so very much, with such Peace and Love to you For Always, my sister, and with such Blessings and Even More Blessings to you For Always, my so very dear friend,

    Your sisterfriend Christian lesbian black woman in the spirit and solidarity For Always, Sherry Gordon

  3. Dear Patricia- Jane and I recently read: “Being Mortal- Medicine and What Matters in the End”, Atul Gawande. You may know him as writer in The New Yorker and several other books.
    He traces from “nursing homes” to today’s communal-type facilities. Giving elders more choice, less rigid schedules.
    He talks a lot about the last days/months and what doctors what to do or not.
    A fine book. A last forum at FMC, I found that Nancy Cirillo has read it, as well.

    thanks for your thoughts, David

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