I am not one prone to crying. I think that has something to do with a messed up childhood, or some weird sense of duty or honor or machoism, or maybe I’m just messed up (yeah, probably that one). Mind you, I’m not saying I don’t cry, or that I don’t want too, I’m just saying that for some reason, when the feeling of crying hits me, my body and mind fight the emotion and I end up just having this pain in the back of my throat.
My inability to cry when I should has even led me to say these words, “It’s ok to cry. How about you cry for the both of us?” For context, I said this to my daughter while hugging her at my mother’s funeral. (see, totally screwed up, I know.. right?) However, those times that I can remember actually shedding a tear (singular, btw), it tends to be when I am watching something about the men and women who serve in our military.
For instance, “Black Hawk Down” hits me so hard in the ‘feels’ that I struggle with watching it. It’s a great movie, but there are a few scenes in it that I am just a mess inside. One scene in specific is when the ‘doc’ is trying to save the soldiers life who has had his femoral artery severed. The intensity of that scene is just.. yeah.
“Lone Survivor” also had a tearing up affect on me. Not the movie so much, mainly because I really didn’t like Mark Wahlberg (but Ben Foster and Taylor Kitsch.. bravo zulu), but the very end of the movie, when they honor the men who died during Operation:Red Wings. I sat quietly, trying desperately to read the names of the men who gave their all on that day, through eyes that were welling up. I don’t think I said a word till after I had left the theater.
Show’s like “Restrepo“, “Arlington: Field of Honor“, “Inside Combat Rescue“, “Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company“, and “Murph: The Protector” are on my list of things that have caused me to get that random tear in my eye.
A few weeks back, while watching one of these shows, someone in my house asked me, “Why do you watch these shows?” It was a question more of curiosity the condemnation, so I looked over at them and just simply responded, “Because sometimes.. I just like to feel.” It wasn’t meant as a slight, but just as a simple answer to someone I know just doesn’t understand those of us who have served.
As the poem I wrote a few weeks back starts…
(And in closing, my wife will say I cried at the end of “Pretty Woman”, I don’t remember this, and I think she is wrong about it, but.. because she is my wife, I had to make sure I added that in, cause she would have totally called me out on it (even though I didn’t).)