And I don’t just tear up at funerals. My family says my nose gets red first, before I weep, sob, & blubber until my voice dissolves into hiccups. Snot has been involved. And it isn’t just at funerals. I have cried at weddings, graduations, parades, ball games, & dance recitals. I cry at movies and shed tears across pages of books. My husband teases, “What’s the matter? You have something in your eye?” when the only thing in my eye is tears.
I cry when I’m happy, sad, proud, angry, or witness anything that stirs me. I cry for the victors and for the defeated. I cry at partings & reunions. Apparently, my emotions have a direct line to my tear ducts.
I have come by this trait genetically. Mom was a crier, but so was Dad. There are some who find man tears a sign of weakness, but to me they are a sign of caring. If Dad talked about his family, his home town, or his Army crew, tears gathered in his eyes. It was that emotion/tear duct connection that we share.
I have been an avid reader since I first learned how, but in recent years I’ve done a lot of manuscript critiquing, and a good manuscript must pass the tear test with me. If a story doesn’t make me cry at some point, the author failed to pull me in emotionally. The characters didn’t make me care.
Bruce Coville once said, “A story should contain at least: one belly laugh, one honest tear, and one gasp.” Good test, Bruce. But if you want me to love your book, it should leave me wiping my eyes and blowing my nose. Hubby should ask if I have something in my eye.
What was the last book that made you cry?
Kathy Cannon Wiechman