When I say that I've never seen HER cry, I am actually talking about two different women - - - my own mother and my mother-in-law, Little Ma. A while back, I had said that I was going to start making a list of women that I feel are strong and resilient and are true Steel Magnolias. I am putting these two women at the very top of that list.
When Hazel's parents passed, she took matters into her own hands, and together with her sister and brother, took care of final preparations. When, her daughter left this world, she soldiered on even though she was carrying a broken heart inside. When her husband died, she circled the room comforting everyone else. I never saw her cry. Oh, I'm sure she did in her own private moments, but she had the strength and grace to endure through the toughest of times, and hold things together for everyone else.
Yesterday was a day full of lies! We had told Little Ma so many stories to get her out of the house and off to
Tina's for her "90th" birthday party. Unfortunately, her hip was absolutely killing her and she was really debating whether to go out for lunch with us all for Cate's birthday lunch at a steakhouse, and to see Dan and Tammy while they were back here from Minnesota. This is the story we had been telling her to get her prepared for going somewhere. (I think we lied so good, that Cate was beginning to tell herself that she was going to have steak at the steakhouse! She said later that she had a much better meal, because the women in her family are fantastic cooks!) We could tell that Ma was not doing the best, but what could we do? Dozens of people were waiting to see her and celebrate her life! Lon had been to her house earlier in the morning, and he said she was in a very fragile state of mind as far as emotions went. Being in pain so much, and not being able to do the things that she had always done, and was still wanting to do, was so frustrating. Plus, she is trying to get her leg wound to heal, and therefore, has to be so careful about being outside - which she dearly loves. Lon could tell that she was fighting back tears, since everything seemed so depressing.
Well, we did get her out of the house, and we did get her up to the party. But, oh my, was she surprised at seeing all the people there for her. She sat in the car and told us "she just needed a minute" before she got out to join in, because it was so overwhelming. She bravely managed to fight back any tears
It was a wonderful day, with wonderful people and wonderful food. The weather cooperated pretty well. At least it didn't rain, and the sun came out every so often.
The other woman whom I never ever saw cry, was Mother. Again, when her parents passed, she took the reins and steered everyone through the tough times. When her sister was killed in a car accident, she held on strong. When her other sister died from kidney failure, and then again when her brothers left us, she was a rock. For such a little woman, she was tough as nails when it came to controlling her emotions and not letting anyone see how devastated she really was.
I'm sure she had lots of disappointments and fears in her life, but never let anyone see her cry. There was one frightening time back in the 80's when our family was going through a horrible event. I remember my phone ringing, and I when I answered, I could hear someone sobbing. It took me a while to realize that it was Mother. She just needed to talk to someone about what was going on. When I told her that I was headed out to her place to be with her, she refused to allow me to come. I'm sure she didn't want me to see her like that. Even as an adult, that really shook me up that finally something was horrible enough to cause such pain in my mother!
Well, my husband, kids, brothers, sisters, and some friends have all seen me cry at one time or another. I guess I am more like my dad in that respect. If something upset him, he would tear up. If I even think of something happening to someone I love, I tear up and start mopping away at my eyes. Tough! It's just the way I'm made. And sometimes tears are healing.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL