“Are you crying?”

Perhaps, you remember the scene from the movie A League of Their Own, when manager, Jimmy Dugan, chews out one of his players, Evelyn. Evelyn made a mental throwing error that caused her team to lose their lead in the game.

After Dugan berates Evelyn, he walks back to the dugout. Evelyn remains on the edge of the playing field, and she starts to cry. Manager Dugan sees this, and asks Evelyn, “Are you crying, are you crying?” Even though she is crying, Evelyn responds with a “no.” 

Dugan explodes again, charges back out to Evelyn and emphatically tells her—“There is no crying in baseball.”

Well, maybe there is no crying in baseball, but there is crying in real life.

On Friday morning, February 28, I had a good cry.

 A dear family friend had to make a difficult decision.  That news pushed me to the edge. The week had already been rough with some frustrations pinging me from lots of directions. I sobbed for several minutes. I needed that cry.

On Sunday afternoon, my friend and neighbor, David Teague, and I  went to see the documentary, Once Were Brothers. The film is about The Band. No one in the history of rock music has a story like The Band. Despite their successes and the mark they left on the music industry, The Band’s narrative at times is very sad.

After leaving the theatre, David and I acknowledged how sometimes a song or the performance of a song can move a person to tears. A couple of times during the documentary, David’s eyes filled with tears over some of the songs. 

It is ok to cry.

I love this quote from Ray Charles about crying:  “I suppose I’ve always done my share of crying, especially when there’s no other way to contain my feelings. I know that men ain’t supposed to cry, but I think that’s wrong. Crying’s always been a way for me to get things out which are buried deep, deep down. When I sing, I often cry. Crying is feeling, and feeling is being human. Oh yes, I cry.”

I think what I love about Mr. Charles’ quote is the simple honesty. I can’t tell you how many times tears have welled up in my eyes listening to his live recording of “You Don’t Know Me.” I can hear the heartache in his voice. 

On Friday morning, I was crying out of sadness and admiration. A person had been given a second chance by our friend. 

Our friend had invested a lot of time, hoping this person would beat the odds, figure things out, and make life work. It took an incredible amount of courage and risk for our friend to do this. But now, no one will ever be able to say our friend didn’t provide an opportunity for change to take place. 

American writer James Baldwin has these words of wisdom attributed to his thinking:  “People can cry much easier than they can change.” I agree with him. It is tough for a person to change. Especially when he or she can’t see the need to make an adjustment.

Now, our friend will need to recast how to move forward without this person. I know that will not be easy. But, sometimes second chances also apply to the people who initiate them. Now, our friend has an opportunity, a chance to change the future for the good.

I hope our friend can hold on to this logic from Audrey Hepburn:  “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

After making a difficult decision, it is easy to lose your poise, your confidence, your trust in yourself, and others. 

But the key to moving forward is just like Miss Hepburn stated—remember “you are never alone.” 

Don’t forget that.  

And even though there is no crying in baseball, it is ok to cry in real life.

And you will not be alone in your crying.

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