Two Tear Types – A Week In The Life of A Mother and Daughter

The stories of our lives. They are lovely in the living, lovely in the telling. And the re-telling sends them out to those who want to capture hope, redemption, love from the lives of co-travellers. We all walk into these story webs, hold on to some, shake some off, release their glistening parts to others.

Your story gives me hope and gives me pause. I gather fragments of redemption when you tell me where you were and where you are. How you love and how you live.

So when I tell you mine that is my hope unfurled before you. That you would hold a remnant of my life. Place it by your ear as a child cups a shell to hear the sea whisper a haunting call, the mystery of the sea of life, just held. Just hold.

We remember better when we record. There are fragile, tender moments that feel like water in our hands. They evaporate but we extend their living by freezing frames, holding on in a form that remains a little longer, life extension in remembering. And tears they hold and record the tender places, drop by salty drop. As they roll.

We sat in the pew on Friday, upright rigid waiting to mourn in harmony. The shoulders of our rock between us. We the mother daughter bookends. And she simply could not stop the tears from rolling fast and long, slow and steady, changing speeds as the funeral moved through stages of remembering. She wept and we could not catch her tears fast enough, her father and I. The stockpile of kleenex was no match for the arsenal of tears. The tears won today. As they should. This was the day for weeping and mourning. So she did. The cold air marched in as she wept. The winter battling spring can be a good companion for a crying girl. Weather matching moods.

The preacher preached of down here and up there, his words wrapped healing round the little chapel, old, historic holding all the mourning as day turned to dusk. But grief can heal. And people heal. And don’t we come together over loss in a way that only God could orchestrate. That though we break we break together and that begins the glueing back together. Maybe even stronger. A down here mystery. The up there realms are dancing in glory. Only if they like to dance. No forced marches there, after all. But yes, the broken whole and yes, the captives free, and yes the tears are dried.

And only hours later when a momma thinks that all the tears have been harvested in this season there are more. And they are rare as precious diamonds from her eyes, falling, running down her soft young cheek. A man may be of few words, she this girl, a lady of few tears.

So when they flow they are precious in their rarity. Infrequent, they send love notes, clues from her heart.

In the mother daughter mystery that started in the womb of reading clues and cracking codes of emotion sent out by child, morse-code tapping in the tears. I am there to translate.

Saturday’s tears are of a new variety. And each one drips like liquid gold. We nestle around to hear the man tell his Jesus story. Big and burly headed to the NFL. He now lives a different story refined by the tender touch of the Nazarene.

She sends out messages in her tears. Of how her heart is hearing life around her. Each one holds a wet penned-note. Some dry before I can break the seal, read the letters from her soul. But that she lets them roll, communicating in the dripping wet is golden. I’d catch each one if I could.

But up there is a tear catcher. And I trust Him to hold them because I am a leaky broken sieve.

And after all. He has been the parent of the crying chid. The Son of Man and Son of God has cried out from the cross-bars of a wooden cross. So I trust The Catcher of All Tears to catch hers and mine. To hold the ones born of joy and born of pain. Bearing clues to love and life and death. Of what can spring forth from the springs of joy and springs of sadness.

Each caught triumphantly by the Father of The Son of Man. Who captures by Him every tear. Not one is missed, not one slips by.

There are two times twenty types of tears, really or even more. Each wet one a clue to more of you and more of me. And I know well the holders back, the holding on who fight with every fiber not to let one roll. To remain high and dry, but cry heaving heavy deep inside.

Be a catcher of the tears down here with me. And leave the ones that we can’t catch to Him who reigns up there. The Comforter, The Healer, the dryer of all tears.

But mother, daughter, father, brother, look for the tears of joy, tears of sorrow in your day. Rejoice with those rejoicing, grieve with those grieving. And wipe the tears with me of those who remain with us down here.

And I shall weep when I survey the wondrous cross and look to it in times of hurt with gratitude. The Restorer of All Brokenness sacrificed for us.

Catch with me two types of tears.

joining sweet dear Laura.

7 thoughts on “Two Tear Types – A Week In The Life of A Mother and Daughter

  1. This is such a beautiful meditation on tears, on family, on God, on His saving grace. Wow, you covered so much in so few words. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. Fine words touch my heart this day. I know tears of both sorrow and joy, but mostly sorrow right now as I recently lost my 98 year old Mama. She truly dances now and so my tears are beginning to be less, and the memories of sweet moments are more frequent. He holds me and catches my tears. I am grateful for the earthly tear catchers, especially my husband these days. God gave me a jewel. I am glad I came by today. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  3. Dear Elizabeth
    Oh, dear friend, your words are trying to unleash all those tears that are suppressed in the recesses of my heart. But we need to let the weeping ushers in the joy of a new morning. A morning where our Lord glues all the broken pieces of our lives back together, and our tears, the paint that transforms the broken walls of our hearts into a beautiful fresco!
    Much love

  4. This has comforted me on many occasions–knowing He gathers my tears. Somehow, knowing this let’s them flow. I’m sorry for whatever losses brought the tears, Elizabeth. But your words are evidence of the beauty that God can make from our sorrow.

  5. Dear friend,
    my first thought when reading this was Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows [wanderings]. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” My mom shared this verse from her Grief-share course and its stuck with me. I love the idea that he knows not only the hairs on our head, or the stars in the sky…but the tears that fall from our eyes, weather in gladness or mourning. I love that you call him the teacher catcher.
    and your reference to striving to catch each tear as a letter and read it before its gone, but you know that you’re a broken sieve and he will catch them all…that is so poignant and heart-wrenching. Thank you friend.

    1. Oh friend, I love your insights and your encouragement and the ways you interpret my own words. I learn about me when I read your comments. May you have a blessed Holy Week. Thank you for being here with your heart and words, Janelle. Gift.

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