The Sweetness of Tears

I should have posted Friday afternoon, to say that we got a “drive-by” reading of the CT scan, which showed no obstruction and “no signs of new disease,” but it’s been a difficult few days.

Though the headache and nausea have disappeared, the stabbing pain in my left side persists, and it’s really hard to believe that it’s not, in fact, at least a partial obstruction.

But this is a time of waiting, and I’ve grown used to this. I think my friends and family are getting used to it too, the not knowing, but breathing well because it is, at least, not getting worse.

I’m looking forward to Tuesday when, I’m hoping, we’ll have more news. Hopefully we’ll have a radiologist’s read on the CT scan, as well as a comparison to the last one, to see how the tumors are faring. Not well, I hope. I will also have my latest CA-125 result.

In the meantime, a book, as usual, has taken it’s place in my arsenal of “things that help me through the waiting” like delicious soup (thank you Ingrid) and bouts of Words with Friends.

I just finished The Sweetness of Tears, by Sugartown’s own, Nafisa Haji:

What a beautiful read. I was truly sad when I finished the story with at least twenty minutes of good heat left in my bath tub.

“What is it about?” Little J asked the night before, seeing how enraptured his mama was by something that wasn’t Bravo.

“A lot of things. Partly about a little boy who is separated from his mom,” words which I wanted to reel back in like a poorly cast line, Little J’s face pleading with me to undo what I’d just said.

“But it’s OK. The tears between them are sweet, a sign of God, a sign that love is real and that love heals us.”

Haji says it better:

‘Those tears are good tears…tears we cry for others are tears of sweetness–to be appreciated as a sign of God’s love, and sorrow, for all of the injustice that we lowly creatures, human beings who have not yet learned to be human, all of us, inflict on one another. It is a good thing, when we cry those sweet tears, she said. It is a good thing.’

One thing I love about the novel, which traverses Los Angeles and the Middle East, from the seventies to the turn of the century, is that tears are not about loss and grief. Tears can be shed for the person who is right in front of you, for a past that is gone forever, for a part of our own human essence that thrived but now no longer has a touchstone for existence. But overall, that tears can sweeten the heart, can uplift, is what has helped me through for so long. The language in this novel has strung words, like pearls on a necklace that hung blank across my heart for so long.

I hope you get a chance to read The Sweetness of Tears.

I’ll be back Tuesday with some more thorough information, I hope.



  1. Rebecca’s avatar

    Love you. Love your words. Love your strength. Love your grace. Love your kindness. Hugs from the Stokes Family. xoxo


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