This is the news: a family, who used to live in our neighborhood, went camping in a remote mountain area this weekend. One of their sons, age 10, somehow got separated from the family at 4.30 in the afternoon. By 9.30 this morning, after an evening and night of heavy rain, he had not yet been found, but his backpack had been located by searchers on horseback. There was no cell service where they were camping, and several counties worth of emergency crews and search and rescue teams were ready to help, including the super-fancy helicopter with heat-imaging technology - waiting only for the weather to clear.
My friends, devastated by the news, had tears in their eyes. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why was I not crying about this horrible, frightening, awful thing?
By a few minutes after 10.00, news arrived that the boy had been found, safe.
And then, the tears came. With the relief, the gratitude, and the release, I felt the horror of the possibilities. It was strange to find myself in a chapel full of joyful, happy people - and I was crying. Maybe for relief. Maybe for gratitude. But surely, somewhere in my heart, I had to know Little Man G was okay before I could have my cry.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm broken, that way. I don't manage to cry at appropriate times, but I seem perfectly capable of weeping long after the time to cry has passed.