I. I was very young when I first saw an adult cry. I did not actually see an adult cry in person; I saw it on television. Nonetheless, it was the first time I have seen an adult shed tears. That night, I was at home with the babysitter when my mother left to run some errands. I remember that the babysitter tucked me to my bed early and I immediately fell asleep. After some time, I was awakened by the sounds of people talking. It was rather loud, and I could hear the voices of a man and a woman in conversation. Out of curiosity, I got out of bed and opened the bedroom door. At first, I thought that maybe the babysitter had some company.
So I carefully walked downstairs to the den, where the babysitter usually stays. I took a peek and found her alone. The sounds I heard came from the television; she was only watching a movie. I remember that it was an old movie, as it was in black and white. To my surprise, the woman in the movie began to cry. I was surprised because I have never seen the adults in my house cry. I thought crying were only for babies and young children. After that, I learned that adults can also cry.
II. When I was younger, my family and I were on a road trip. The trip was generally smooth, until my father decided to take a short cut. He was driving the car, and he turned left to a narrow dirt road. It proved to be a wrong decision; the road led to a cemetery, where a burial was taking place. The width of the road made it difficult to pass through, but the parked cars on both sides of the road made it more problematic. The traffic caused my father to drive slowly, allowing me to witness the burial. I saw all of the mourners; all of them were dressed in black. However, a man stood out in the crowd out of his sheer size.
As a child, I was terrified of bald, stocky men. They all seemed intimidating to me. The man in the cemetery was tall, stocky and bald. Because he appeared intimidating, I did not expect him to cry in the burial. I was not used to seeing men cry, especially those of his size. I was expecting him to be simply serious but not emotional. Besides, it was said that men do not cry. As we drove past the cemetery, I caught a glimpse of him pulling out a handkerchief and wiping his eyes. He was indeed crying. I contemplated that maybe the grief over the loss of a loved one may have been too much to bear, that it prompted a seemingly intimidating man to cry.
III. Our next door neighbor was a woman with two children. The woman had fair skin and dark curly hair. She was remarkably thin and was rarely seen at home. My mother said that she worked two jobs so she could pay the rent and feed her children. I always liked her because whenever she was around, she would smile at me and her eyes would seem to smile too. She had those distinct smiling eyes. One day, my mother and I went out of the house as we were hearing loud noises from her home.
We saw this tall man coming out of her house, dragging the children with him. She was screaming while grabbing on to the man’s arm. She tried to stop him, but her small frame was no match to the man’s physique. The children were shouting for their mother as the man dragged them into the car. The man immediately hopped in the driver’s seat, closed the door, and drove away. The woman just stood there in the street, her eyes still fixed on the car that just disappeared. A minute later, she bowed her head and covered her face with her hands. Then she began to cry. Her cries became louder, and soon all our neighbors were already watching her.
I later found out that the man was her former husband and her children’s father. She worked so hard to take care of her children, only for them to be taken away from her. I never saw her smiling eyes again. She soon moved out. I believe it was after that incident when I truly began to have respect for single mothers who work hard to take care of their kids.
IV. I am used to witnessing marriage proposals on television. I have seen programs wherein the men would go down on one knee and the woman would then gasp in shock, cover their mouths with their hands and become motionless for a few seconds. Afterwards, they would become hysterical in glee. In the past, I thought that such moments were too emotional. My opinion changed when I witnessed a marriage proposal firsthand. I was in a coffee shop with a friend when a couple entered. They looked like the average couple; nothing seemed extraordinary about the two of them.
The woman took her seat, while the man went to the counter to order. I did not pay them much attention afterwards. It was not until much later when I realized they were deaf-mute, when I noticed that they were using sign language. I did not expect a proposal to occur, not in a coffee shop. So when I saw the man go down on one knee, I was taken aback. My friend and I watched closely, along with the other customers, as the woman nodded and hugged his future husband. As the people in the shop cheered, tears were streaming down her face. Unlike other women, she did not overreact. She was just happy, and her tears showed it. I guess true love does make people happy, and the happiness does not have to be showy to be expressed.
V. One time, I had the chance to watch The Oprah Winfrey Show. I can remember that the episode featured a middle-aged African-American woman who took care of many children. I cannot recall if she was married, but I know she had three children. When the woman’s siblings died, she took the responsibility of raising them as well. She and the children had to cram themselves in a small three-bedroom house. She worked several jobs to support these kids, most of which are not even her own. The problem was that the home was not hers and if she did not pay a certain amount within the specified time, they would be evicted. The woman and the children were invited to the show where they were to receive gifts from Oprah.
They were given things they needed; they received new beds, kitchen appliances, and even a van. However, the biggest surprise of all was when Oprah announced that they would be shopping for a new home. The woman hugged Oprah tight, and wiped the tears running down her face. I knew the woman was happy because of all the material things she received. Most importantly, I know those tears were of gratitude. It was not the material things per se that she was grateful for; she was thankful for the help that those things could offer her and the children. I knew she deserved those things for all her dedication and hard work. Still, she was very grateful.
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