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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I need a good cry

I was sent this as an email and I assume it was to be passed on. Since I like it, I am passing it on.
I Need a Good Cry

By Norma Zager

I haven’t cried in a long time. To some that would be seen as a positive. That is unless you know that when I cry, it is with happiness and pride at the state of my country or anything that is good and positive. Thanks go to my Aunt Dora for this unusual personality quirk.

When my grandson was born I began to cry when the nurse informed my son and me of the blessed event. To dispel her questioning glance, my son immediately explained, “it’s okay, this is my Mom being happy.”

I sobbed when Kennedy spoke the words, “ask not what your country…” I balled when Nixon resigned, overcome the system still worked and the press was still a force for good.

I burst with pride and my eyes filled when De Gaulle gushed over Jackie Kennedy, and John Kennedy proudly announced to the world, “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.”

Don’t even ask about the waterworks when Neil Armstrong hopped off that last step and did the whole one-small-step spiel.

A whole box of Kleenex bit the dust the day the Berlin Wall came a tumbling down and, as little Israel brought the Arab nations to their knees in 1967 and had to literally be pulled off of them, there weren’t enough tissues in the world.

But the last years have brought less tears and more anger. Not the same. Not by a long shot.

Tears when Detroit burned in 1967, when John, Bobby and Martin were murdered, when insane animals flew into the World Trade Towers. No tears of joy there, only anger.

Watched numbly as Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the intelligence level in Washington fell into negative numbers, and I could hardly breathe as ash filled California air year after year. Tsunamis, earthquakes, wars, pestilence, murders, starvation. So much bad stuff, so little time to cry, so little to inspire an American to bursting pride or to happy tears.

But then it happened, suddenly and without warning.

As I watched a town hall meeting, a lady who should have been playing bingo was instead shaking a fist at the moron she had inadvertently elected to Congress.

Oops. I felt that old feeling. That sense of pride that my country was once again beginning to function, to work, to show the feistiness that makes it great.

How can a little old lady shaking her fist at an idiot politician move someone? How could it not? My eyes were wet.

This is America. The fist shakers, the gutsy, the involved are what delivered this country from the oppression of England to the strongest nation on earth.

The doughboys, GIs and grandmas who worked as riveters are what eventually brought evil dictators to their knees.

We have never been a nation of wimps. Until now. I know because I don’t cry much anymore. Until Grandma showed up at that town hall meeting to take back America, my eyes were pretty much dry.

I am brought to tears quickly watching Americans engaged in their country’s welfare. I am angry when politicians try to destroy the passion of good involved citizens.

Ah, then I cry happy tears at the thought that in the 2010 voting booths, when Americans show up en masse, the mantra will be, “Just say no to incumbent!”

Remembering the 1968 Democrat convention and the police beating the demonstrators still haunts me.

I still get misty at the memory of the National Guard escorting a young black girl into a classroom in Little Rock, what better use for our military?!

It felt so good to cry again as Grandma was escorted out of the town meeting hall.

I imagine all Americans have their own way of measuring how America is doing.

There have been missed tear-filled opportunities of late for sure.

I could have cried if, when Iranian women were battling oppression and being murdered in the streets of Tehran, the First Lady or Gloria Steinem would have shouted foul from the rooftops.

I could have had a good cry, if instead of sending a check to the UN, the President announced he was using the money to feed and protect the 25,000 children who die each day in this world.

I would have been happy to sob rivers if the billions for pork in a stimulus bill had been used instead to provide safe new schools for our nation’s children and a hefty raise for underpaid, overwhelmed teachers.

I am saving my tears. Hoarding my Kleenex until the day I hear the President say, “It’s not about me. It’s about what the American people want. We will work out a bipartisan health care bill that helps everyone and we can afford.”

Or when he proclaims, “I don’t care what Rahm Emanuel says, Israel must survive on its own terms.”

Or when he finally acknowledges, “America is predicated on strong Judeo-Christian principles, and it is that religious ethic that makes it the greatest country in the world.”

There should be many happy moments ahead for Americans to shed tears over. I miss the weepy, swollen eyes and the healthy sobs. Good for the soul. Somewhere deep inside I hold out the hope streams of water dripping down my cheeks will soon return, and America will once again be a country by the people, for the people, of the people. With an abundant supply of all the Kleenex you will ever need, I stand ready.
In the series “Postcards from Israel,” Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this “point - counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives. Feel free to share with others (or better yet, to link to this post).

© Postcards from Home, September, 2009


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