Posts Tagged ‘Mother’

It’s All Right for Mommy to Cry

We went to see a family movie* in the theater on Monday. My son had already seen it with his grandparents when he visited them in Ohio, so he knew enough to warn me that I might cry.

He feels uncomfortable when I cry around him, but I’m trying to figure out how to let him know that it’s just part of who I am.

He was right, of course. I cried at a couple of different dramatic points in the first 2/3 of the film, and then could not keep my eyes dry for the last 1/3. It was a really good show.

I just cry sometimes. Not all the time. Just whenever my heart can’t hold my present emotions all at once.

It could be in a movie–yes, even an animated family film. It might be during church–although I’m equally as likely to laugh out loud there as I am to sob.

I sometimes let tears flow about frustrations in day-to-day life, work, or relationships.

I might break down understandably because of trauma–you know, like that time when the Wi-Fi router blew up? Other times I cry for what seems like no logical reason whatsoever.

It may not be every day. There may even be weeks at a time that go by without a good cry.

But these tears of mine just sometimes gush out as my heart bursts forth with whatever it can no longer contain.


But my son, he doesn’t like it one bit. He’d really rather I not do it.

At first I thought he was embarrassed by it. So I asked him.

“That’s not it, mommy,” he explained. “I just don’t like to see you upset.”

“So you’re worried about me?”


But for being worried about me he can be pretty obnoxious.

Sometimes he glares at me–he has even mastered the preemptive glare in which he tries to lock eyes with me if he even suspects I might cry as if to say, “Don’t even think about it.”

Other times, when he doesn’t notice until I am actually teary-eyed, he’ll nudge me with a “Hey, cut it out! I don’t want to see that!” jab.

Then there are times when he sees me crying while I’m talking to my husband about a problem and he’ll overhear a bit and want to be my little “fixer.” He’ll pop over and give me some seriously oversimplified solution to some really complex situation that’s weighing on me.

Most of the time, in one way or another, he’s essentially telling me it’s not okay, that I shouldn’t cry.

For that reason, my favorite response of his to my tears is when he sweetly brings me a stuffed animal, “for love comfort.” I like these times best of all because it gives me some hope that he’ll let it be what it is and not try to shut me down or fix me.

I know it’s a pretty sophisticated idea for a 10-year-old kid to take in–that’s okay that his mom cries sometimes. But I do hope he’ll come to terms with it.

Because it just is.

I think crying is like singing, writing, doodling, and speaking for me. It’s all related to the idea that I need to express what’s in me. It has to come out somehow. Even the very most important thoughts and feelings aren’t fully real to me if I don’t have some way to let them out.

And while I never want to burden my son with problems too big for his little ears and his little heart to deal with, there are just gonna be these times when I get a bit weepy. And I don’t need to be fixed or quieted, I need to pour out my heart.

He doesn’t have to watch.

But we’ll both get along better when he learns that it’s all right–probably even good–for mommy to cry.


*The movie we saw on Monday was How to Train Your Dragon 2

Home Sweet Ohio & Flying On


This heart-shaped dish is part of the beautifully eclectic decor at my mom’s house in Ohio.


My husband, David (aka “Tink”), and I made it safely back to my home state of Ohio. I was born and raised here, Tink and I met in this state, and before moving to Texas we spent a few wonderful years in ministry up here. Ohio is home for me and it is great to be back visiting family & friends up here.

If you’re wondering how everything went with my son and his trip–it went great! He flew up here to visit with my mom & step-dad for a week before Tink and I arrived by car. Tink and I drove up because we’re combining my family reunion here in Ohio this weekend and my Deaconess conference in Wisconsin next weekend all into one big trip. Our son’s early arrival was a bonus for him and his grandparents.

It’s interesting when I look back on how emotional I was about my son’s departure last week because I ended up enjoying the extra “me time” and really, really enjoying extra time with Tink. And my son had a great time with my mom & step-dad here in Ohio.

What’s also interesting about my whole break-down last week over my son leaving is the whole last-minute passing on of my stuffed bear named Arty. It was this big deal to me to have sent my beloved bear with my son, but I acknowledged in last week’s post that it probably mattered more to me than to him.

Well, I was right.

When we got to Ohio I asked my son how Arty was.

“Oh,” he said, “he’s still in my suitcase.”

And I laughed out loud that he didn’t need Arty despite how much I needed him to take Arty. And I was okay with that. Really, really okay with that.

It turns out this whole travel plan has worked out beautifully. I’m glad that the three of us are reunited, but we all did fine while my son was up here without us.

And what is most interesting of all is here I am back home in Ohio for a brief time visiting my family up here, but my own dear mother has been letting me go over and over for decades now. And my mom will have to let me go once again when we leave here on Sunday to continue our trip and eventually return to our far-away land of Texas.

I draw strength from my mother’s courage in releasing me and entrusting me to God’s call in my life. And I draw strength from this chance I have to perch at her sweet home in Ohio for a time before flying on.

A Simple Farm Girl Overcame Obstacles and Became a Leader in Her Field


Welcome to “Tuesday Tributes,” a series for lifting up people who have impacted our lives. They may be our teachers, neighbors, parents, friends, or mentors.

Each Tuesday I will share a story about someone who has inspired me, mentored me in the faith, or shaped my character. Then you can tell your stories in the comments about someone who has impacted you in a similar way.

Today’s tribute is about my mother. There is so much I could say about my mom and how she has inspired me, but I just got back from her retirement party and I want to pay tribute to her career in particular.

My mother, Sharol Herr, was a career nurse and retired in February after 39 years. Her career was full of dedication to patients, interdisciplinary collaboration, and mentoring others in her field. My mother overcame obstacles to her dream of becoming a hospice nurse and became a leader in the field of hospice and palliative care.

My mother chose nursing at a time when it was one of only a handful of options available to aspiring professional women. As the first in her family to pursue education beyond high school, mom left the family farm to attend Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, OH. She got a nursing license and began working in the Mount Carmel Health System.

When I was in grade school my mother began seriously investigating her dream of becoming a hospice nurse. She hit a roadblock though; her basic nursing license was not enough.* Even as a kid I empathized with how hard it was for her. She wanted to be a hospice nurse so badly, but she wasn’t allowed because she wasn’t qualified with the education she had.

She was faced with a choice; she could ignore her dream or she could go back to school. She followed her passion and returned to the classroom. She continued working and took classes as she was able. My favorite times were when I got to go to class with her because I got to see her learning important things to fulfill her dream.

Eventually she got her bachelor’s degree and had a little more waiting to do before she finally got to fulfill her dream of becoming a hospice nurse with Mount Carmel Hospice. This much of her story alone blows me away because of the obstacles she overcame to get to that point. She was a simple farm girl who finished college while raising two children and got into her dream specialty.

Eventually mom went back to school again to enrich her mind and she got a master’s degree in counseling. She remained working at Mount Carmel Hospice.

Then the field of hospice began to expand. Hospice is part of a broader philosophy called palliative care which emphasizes comfort rather than cure and patient and family education to help cope with illness. Hospice is reserved for patients with a terminal illness, but palliative care can be applied in other situations as well. When Mount Carmel Hospice embraced this broader philosophy they became Mount Carmel Hospice and Palliative Care.

Mount Carmel became one of the first hospitals in the country to offer palliative care more broadly and my mother was part of the interdisciplinary team that pioneered it. Not only that but Mount Carmel became one of six hospitals in the nation to teach other hospitals how to develop their palliative care programs. My mother has taught about palliative care around the country. She also helped teach at and administer the teaching program for Mount Carmel.

That simple farm girl blushes when I talk about her being a pioneer and leader in her field, but this is my blog and I’m calling it like I see it. I am so proud of my mom’s amazing career. She inspires me to keep reaching for my own dreams.

*I just spoke with my mom and she clarified that getting her bachelor’s degree was a “self-imposed” limitation. All the same her degree was a great accomplishment and was a great asset in her career.
For more information about palliative care, visit Get Palliative Care.
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