Tears of joy

Tears of joy. That is an interesting phrase, isn’t it?

They come unexpectedly. Could you ever work yourself into tears of joy?

I was sitting in the bleachers when I watched her step up to the block and beep! The swimmers dove into the water.

It was just the 50-yard freestyle. The shortest race. About 40 seconds by Junior Varsity timing.

I watched as she swam in good form, cycling her arms – breathing – kicking her legs.

She was one among them.

I could hear the cheering all around me and felt grateful – for it blocked the sounds of my sobbing. I used my hands to cover my mouth and wipe my eyes.

Then I watched as she touched the wall, finishing first or second, I can’t remember.

The joy was nearly intolerable. Fumbling for my phone, I stepped away from the crowd and hurriedly texted my closest family and friends.

I wanted to run into their arms.

Joy in the knowing

Before that swim event, I didn’t know I had that power within me. Given the right circumstances, I could erupt in joy.

I experienced it once before – at the birth of a child. But this wasn’t a birth or a beginning.

It was a knowing.

A deep, long knowing of the journey.

To the parents and anyone beside me in those bleachers that day, they could only guess what caused my tears.

They saw – just as I saw – six swimmers swimming an average race.

But there was more. So much more. Details buried in this mother’s mind.

Which causes me to wonder: what other sources of joy do I have?

And: would I choose a different life?

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