caminante haciendo camino
i'm a sucker for men who cry
2004-12-12 | 10:51 p.m.

I’m a sucker for men who cry. No, really. I am.

I remember a few Christmases ago, when A.J. was still in the picture. I had never watched “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I had caught snatches of it here and there, but I had never sat to watch this holiday classic from start to finish. This being one of his favorite movies, A.J. made me sit and watch it one weekend. I remember looking over to him and he’s sitting there watching it with tears running down his face. Sure, he’d seen it dozens of times. But it still touched him enough to elicit tears. My heart just melted. (I know, I know...I’m a sucker like that.)

It seems as if recently I’ve had men crying all around me. A few of the alcohol and drug experts with the local sheriff’s office have been conducting these DUI training seminars for us. They’ve been pretty intensive – a four hour class every other week. The two sheriff’s deputies that have been teaching the classes have been with the department for a dozen or so years, they’ve done hundreds of arrests, worked special crimes, seen the worst of the worst, they know their jobs inside and out.

At the last seminar, Deputy T was telling us about a meth arrest he had made a few years ago. The defendant was a well-respected business owner in the community, with a family and every outward appearance of normality. Except that he had a meth habit that had him driving down to Phoenix every week to buy his week’s worth of drugs. He had managed to keep his drug habit from everyone until he was stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Deputy T did the drug recognition examination that led to his arrest and eventual conviction. Deputy T was telling us that he had walked into a local pizza restaurant a few weeks ago, and happened to see this same man at a booth having dinner with his family. The man saw Deputy T and waved him over. This ex-drug addict introduced Deputy T to his wife and kids as “the man who saved my life.” As Deputy T was relating this story to us he was visibly overcome with emotion. This strong, tough officer, with a gun on his hip and a world of experience on the street, broke down crying because one person acknowledged that what he does every day actually made a difference. We were all so moved.

Then last week, one of the other prosecutors in the office invited me to join him and another local attorney for lunch. I don’t know either of these men very well, but what I’ve learned of DS, my co-worker, it appears that he’s led an amazing life with extraordinary experiences ranging from cattle ranching to acting. At lunch, DS was talking about some of the time that he spent in Central America during the volatile 80s and 90s. He, too, was so overcome by the memories that he was trying to share, that he broke down crying. It was as if he’d unleashed a torrent of emotion that he’d kept at bay for a long time. He was never able to finish his story. I’d love to hear it some day.

I like both of these men so much more because of their willingness to feel enough to cry.

I managed to get some of the holiday “to dos” done this weekend. My christmas shopping is practically done and almost everything is wrapped. My cards are all written and addressed. I just need to buy some more stamps tomorrow. My unbelievably large Santa Claus collection is (mostly) unpacked and displayed back home. I managed to drag the tree out of the garage this morning. I’m not sure if it’ll get decorated as I’m not planning on going back home until the 23rd. But I’m hoping that someone will take pity on that tree and put some lights on it. I still haven’t done any baking and there’s no way that I’ll get decorations up on the outside, but for the most part I’m on top of this whole “make merry” thing.

Listening To: incredibly annoying late-night commercials
Reading: diaries
Feeling: a bit sleepy -- time to call it a night

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