I realize that I’ve now entered a new phase of my life where I cry all the time. These days, I can scarcely get through a church meeting without shedding tears. I think the reason for this is because so much of what people say and teach there is more meaningful to me now. I’ve grown spiritually. I thought you were supposed to read your scriptures and pray a lot to get like this, but apparently brain surgery sufficeth. As I write this, I also have a sudden and sneaking suspicion that this may also be a direct result of the prayers in my behalf by others. After all, in matters when you just have to turn it over to the Lord, sometimes the prayer will involve learning and being at peace with the situation, or receiving comfort—which is what often happens at those teary moments in church. I am especially fragile during pioneer stories, tales of service and charity, discussions about the atonement and the protection of temple covenants.
Additionally, is the less comforting fact that my right eye likes to leak randomly. If I’m a bit tired or overwhelmed when I’m talking to people, I’m constantly dabbing at my right eye with a shirt sleeve. Taking out a tissue and wiping at my face seems too obvious. It’s like waving a white flag around: I surrender—and just to prove it, I’m going to cry about it! I’m starting to think that the tears may come from the part of my brain that’s specifically triggered by stress and humiliation, because inevitably, it is those particularly uncomfortable social moments that make me tear up. (Seriously, why don’t I just lay down my gun and give up now?) Just kidding. I have no intention of ever giving up any fight like that. As I said, white flags are out, and sopping shirt sleeves are in—except for sacrament meeting, when the tears are too overflowing to use anything other than a product manufactured for just this purpose. Besides, surrendering at church seems so much better than surrendering in the middle of an awkward conversation.