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Very few people have ever seen me cry. I have a very ugly crying face but that’s not the only reason. I was raised in a family of very strong women and I couldn’t stand the idea of letting anyone see me in my weak moments. So to my detriment, I often suffered my sadness alone.

Despite my attempts at concealing, my mama always knew when I was down (mothers always know). She used to tell me that it’s OK to be vulnerable. I didn’t believe her but I should have. She is the strongest woman I have ever known and I saw her cry and be vulnerable all the time. I envied her openness and honesty. I loved when she intuited my sadness and just held me without offering advice or suggestions.

While I offer others help in my area of expertise, there are so many aspects of life where I myself need help. It has taken me some time and life experience and humility to realize that I don’t have to project perfection; that when others know of my struggles it’s very likely that they will lend sincere compassion. And to know I have others who empathize, cheerleaders in my corner is the best comfort in my times of need.

I wish I took my mother’s advice sooner and I wish I still had her to hold me. I would have spent a lot less time alone with my sadness and fears. My greatest comfort is that in those times at least I had her...

(Our wedding day was one day I cried freely, many many tears of joy. And yes my mama, my matron of honor, my only bridesmaid, wore a tux just like all 20 best men and groomsmen).

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