Big Boys Do Cry

"Big boys donít cry." I heard those words a lot growing up in America in the late sixties and early seventies. In those days men were expected to be tough and rugged and never shed a tear no matter what. Our heros were all stone faced cowboys who were too strong to cry. Believing this then I tried my best never to cry at all during my teenage and early adult years.

All that changed, however, as I was driving home alone one night shortly after my Mom died. It was dark and raining outside. I was struggling to keep the car on the road while at the same time struggling to hold the tears back in my eyes. I remember almost going off the road twice as I blinked back the salty water that was burning my eyes and blurring my vision. My hands shook, my heart hurt, and my soul felt dead. Finally I could do it no longer. I stopped, pulled over, lay my head on the steering wheel, and cried. I cried until the tears couldnít fall anymore. I cried until the pain that I was holding onto so strongly finally fled my heart.

After that night I realized something. Big boys do cry. In fact, it is the biggest hearts that cry the most. I realized too that it is our tears that can release us from our anger and our grief while reconnecting us to our love and our God. Tears help us to embrace this often bittersweet life. They help us to keep growing closer to each other in love and joy instead of shutting ourselves up in dull, aching, and lonely hearts.

These days I cry a lot more often. Sometimes the tears are sad. Sometimes the tears are joyous. But always the tears are full of love. I do my best to follow the advice of Leo Buscaglia who said, "Crying is good! It cleans out your eyeballs!" My eyeballs are a lot cleaner now than they used to be and my heart is as well. I hope then that every boy and girl out there realizes that tears are a gift from Heaven. They wash away the pain and water the seeds of love in your soul.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2009 ( -- submitted by: Joseph Mazzella ]

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