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Monday, May 14, 2018

It's All Right And Part Of Life To Feel Sad

I have many reasons for sharing my journey. Spiritually and emotionally, I receive so much strength, it touches my soul so deeply, from countless people in our community and around the world. I'm convinced that my challenging cancer journey is also a test and a blessing. One of the great things about sharing my journey publicly is, not only the loving and supportive feedback I receive from people who tell me that my writing has helped them through a difficult time or inspired them in some way, but also the kindness that I receive from people who were complete strangers one moment and have come into my life in any number of ways.
In my early childhood, I had the charming bedtime rituals of childhood fantasy. My mom had the patience of a saint and it felt like she allotted endless time making our bedtime rituals enchanting and memorable with books, stories, and songs. It must have been the late 70’s and early 80’s and my brother, Eli, my mom, and I cuddled up together every evening on the bottom bunk bed. First we read books and then we sang songs.
We had multiple rounds of hugs and kisses and the worst part, for me, was when it was time for my mom and dad to leave the room for the night. I dreaded the dark and worried about falling asleep. Even with the soft constant glow of a nightlight my fear of the darkness and night was always there until I was at least 10 or 11. The fear of night added something to our bedtime rituals; my mom or dad always put on a record for us to listen to as we drifted off to sleep.
We had quite a collection of vinyl back then and I had my favorites. Some nights we might have only listened to one side of the record, but most nights my mom or dad had to come and flip the record several times for me. My brother, Eli, had it easy and drifted of to sleep in minutes. I remember listening to my all time favorite, Free to Be… You and Me over and over and over again.

That LP with the pink jacket was a record album and illustrated book that came out before I was born. Back in 1972, celebrities of the era  including Alan Alda, Rosey Grier, Cicely Tyson, Carol Channing, Michael Jackson, Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy, and Diana Ross sang the songs and narrated the stories.
You can listen to the entire album on Spotify.
The concept of the album was to encourage gender neutrality. The narrative of the record praised values like tolerance, uniqueness, and taking pride in individuality and your own identity. One of the main messages of the record was that boys and girls can do anything. That was how I grew up: free to be me. I always loved music and I usually have music playing in the background; sometimes only in my imagination – in my head. In every situation I star in imaginary music videos somewhere in the back of my brain. For a while, when I was feeling sad, "my Song" was: “It’s All Right to Cry,” performed by football hero Rosey Grier.

The science of tears is that, we need them to keep our eyes lubricated. Tears are universal.  My Google research proved to me that humans are the only species that cry for emotional reasons. The flow of tears have other purpose beyond the flow of salty water. When you cry, your heart rate increases, you sweat, your breathing slows and you sometimes get a lump in your throat. Red puffy eyes and salt water in tandem with the Fight Or Flight system known as the sympathetic nervous system take over your life for whatever amount of time is necessary.
Some researchers claim that suppressing tears is a physical health hazard. There’s a saying attributed to a British psychiatrist, Henry Maudsley, “The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.”
Fear, helplessness, frustration, sadness, and anger have the potential to make us cry. Joy and relief can make us cry tears of relief or happiness too. 
Life is a cry-fest and it should be. If you care enough to cry then your life is meaningful. It’s alright.
If you can feel then you are alive. 
I still think that the artistic exploration of crying by song writer, Carol Hall and her conclusion expressed in her 1972 song is brilliant and timeless.
It's All Right To Cry by Carol Hall copyright - 1972
It’s all right to cry
Crying gets the sad out of you
It’s all right to cry
It might make you feel better
Raindrops from your eyes
Washing all the mad out of you
Raindrops from your eyes
It’s gonna make you feel better
It’s all right to feel things
Though the feelings may be strange
Feelings are such real things
And they change and change and change
Sad ‘n’ grumpy, down in the dumpy
Snuggly, hugly, mean ‘n’ ugly
Sloppy, slappy, hoppy, happy
Change and change and change
It’s all right to know
Feelings come and feelings go
It’s all right to cry
It might make you feel better
It’s all right to cry, little boy
I know some big boys that cry too
I miss hearing that Free To Be You And Me Record crackling away as I drift off to sleep and I still sing it in my head quite often and I remember ALL of the words.
Please continue to pray for Ahava Emunah bat Chava Ehta


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  2. May Hashem grant you a refuah shelaymah b'karov, and you should continue to inspire us all the way up until the entire world has a complete refuah with Moshiach!!!

  3. I am always inspired and uplifted by everything you share. and love seeing you out and about :D <3

  4. Gd willing
    refuah shleimah
    I'm always so happy to see that you have a new blog post

    1. Thank you for always supporting me Batya! Your words are so heartfelt and meaningful to me ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ

  5. I loved the book!! And Carol Halls song is the one I remember best. Wow.

    1. I can see you listening and connecting to Carol Hall too Miri... bless you for being so real and loving!