Almost two years ago, Mark and I went on our 3rd anniversary trip, a road-trip throughout the southwest. Our last destination was in Taos, New Mexico for one day of skiing, one day of sledding, and a half-day of exploring.
We found an amazing burger place that had awesome gluten-free buns. We couldn’t believe it, since Taos is a small town. But yay for gluten free! So we went to Five Star Burgers, which I reviewed here.
While we were waiting for our food, I looked out the window and saw a stray dog roaming around the parking lot. I immediately started crying. Mark was so taken aback because before this, I almost literally never cried. In our first three years of marriage, Mark says he remembers me crying twice. I didn’t cry at funerals or when I found out a family member had passed or anything. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I was never sad. It’s just that my sadness never manifested in that way. I was always in control of myself, my emotions and my reactions. I just didn’t cry.
Anyway, after the shock of seeing me crying, Mark asked me what was wrong. I pointed out the dog and blurbled on about how the dog doesn’t have anyone to take care of him or love him, and it’s cold, and there’s no place to comfortably sleep, and blah blah blah. This was also especially weird because I’m from Houston. A huge city. I’ve seen hundreds of stray dogs in my life. They have never affected me the way this one did.
I just couldn’t stop crying!
The waitress came by to ask for our order and noticed I was crying. I hesitantly told her about the dog, and she goes, “Oh, sweetie, don’t worry about him!”
I probably looked at her like she was crazy, because she continued, “That dog has been here since before Five Star Burgers owned this place. People have tried to take him home, but he refuses to go anywhere. Someone once did, and he ended up escaping from her backyard and finding his way back here! He’s happy here. Look at his belly, he looks like he eats well, right? We feed him normal dog food along with lots of meat and veggies that we would have to throw out anyway. We even get a vet out here to check him out every once in a while.”
Wow! I should’ve seen that he wasn’t a skinny dog, and he actually looked very healthy and happy to be lounging in the sunshine. The waitress noticed that I had perked up; she patted my back and took our order.
I felt stupid.
I had never reacted like that to something “sad” before. In fact, I barely ever cried. Mark was shaken up from my crying; he wasn’t used to it at all, and I wasn’t either.
During the rest of our meal, we talked about why I had reacted that way. We concluded that it was my health, since it had been starting to decline a lot faster recently, and that my compassion for those who hurt (physically or emotionally) had increased because I now knew pain so well.
Fast forward to today, and Mark is now very accustomed to my crying about animals, homeless people, squished bugs, and even inanimate objects that look sad. I have even had to block some people’s Facebook feeds because all they share are photos of dogs at shelters. I just can’t deal with the sadness of everything anymore. I can’t afford to cry all day long.
I think that I cry mainly because of my health and how messed up my hormones are, but also because, right now, I can’t do anything about the sad things I see. I want to adopt or foster every dog that needs a home, but I can’t because I barely have the energy to take care of my own dogs. I want to give to every organization that rescues cows from horrible conditions at a “farm”, but I can’t because I have to pay for my own health needs. I want to build every homeless person a house, but I can’t because I don’t have the strength. I want to tutor every child that has a risk of dropping out of school, but I can’t because of my brain fog and confusion. And, oh, so much more.
So that’s why I cry. I cry because I can’t do anything about all the sad things in this world, and I want to so so badly.
I can’t wait until I don’t have to just cry about the sad things, and instead I can get off my butt and do something about it. That time WILL come. And then I won’t have to feel crazy anymore!
(If you’re new and/or don’t know about my health conditions, click here to read about my journey.)