I Cried A Lot Today

It was almost a year ago that I wrote and posted this. Times aren’t near as rough today as they were on that day last year, but oddly, I have been struggling a bit with my self-worth this past week or so. I have these bouts of self-condemnation now and then, and, man, they can take me to a realy low place. Anyway, I thought I’d throw this out there again today; lots of new folks visiting the blog these days, and they might want to see it. By the way; no tears this time around; everything is pretty much ah’ight.

It’s been a rough day for me. No one reason… just a lot of things came crashing down on me. I tried to cover it with funny stories and tributes to those I love, but… I cried a lot today. I’m not as big, tough, and happy go lucky as I let on. Just sayin…

I Cried a Lot Today

I cried because I’m not the man I hoped I’d be

I cried because I’m not the father my sons deserved

I cried because I never saw my grandsons play baseball

   I never got to stand in the yard and toss the ball back and forth with them

I cried because my daughter in law doesn’t even know me

                And what she knows of me, she doesn’t like, or trust

I cried because my wife loves me without question

      Without asking for anything in return; merely my presence

           And I cried because she deserves so much more than I have to give

I cried because five soldiers died in a faraway land

          And no one on the news thought it worth a mention

                I cried for their mothers, fathers, wives and children

But most of all… I cried… I sobbed and wept for the longest time

         Because in spite of all I’ve done

             the pain I’ve caused

                 the tawdry race I’ve run

                   God said to me, “I love you, my son.”

So gently, he spoke

           His hand upon my shoulder

               Oh, how that hurts…



                            how it fills me with awe and wonder

Yes… because He loves me…

                                                  I cried a lot today

Copyright © 2011 C. Mashburn

Sharing this with dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night ~ Week 39


  1. Mary said

    Charles, I am one of the new people to your blog. I am glad that you posted this poem. I really admire a person who cries and admits it. There really is so much to cry about – both the good and the difficult in one’s life. I doubt there are many people who have truly lived up to the person that they wished to be or knew that they could be. But, yes, despite all, God loves us!

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment, Mary! Sometimes life knocks us down, but we just have to get up and give it another go.

  2. Charles, this brought tears to my eyes as I relate with your intro so very much. We all put on a happy face and its hard to let people see what is really going on. I have done it and actually, truth be told, I too am not the happy go lucky girl you see online. I have problems and sadness like everyone else, so I know! I get it! Great post and Thanks so much for sharing your heart! xoxox

    • I don’t think we’re alone on this, Kellie. Life is often hard, and all we can do is keep plowing forward, keep smiling, and hope the bugs don’t get past our teeth. GACK!
      Thanks for the great comment, my friend!

  3. Shawna said

    Beautiful ending, Charles. Isn’t it funny how we store up our tears? When we do cry, it’s for a million different reasons.

    • Yes’m. Big ol’ boys like me tend to store them up way too long, and when they finally git loose, you best git your rubber boots on!
      Thanks for the wonderful comment!

  4. yeah man…this is beautiful…and despite all our misgivings we are still loved and that is a beautiful thing…as we strive to learn to love in a way that is similar…

  5. terri0729 said

    I don’t trust a man who doesn’t cry. Makes me wonder if they have a heart. I’ve caused my share of pain too, Charlie, and have shed my million tears over it. I’ve cried for the soldiers killed and their families, especially when I see protesters at the funerals and the news media thinks these dang celebrities are more newsworthy.

    I think the enemy attacks us with our guilt at times because, unlike God who remembers our sins no more, we can’t let go of it. We must be masochistic or something the way we torture ourselves when we’re depressed and replay our mistakes over and over in our heads.

    But, better that than being stone cold heartless and having no remorse at all, huh?!

    Loved the poem and sentiment of it Charlie! Hold your head up high, my friend, you are a wonderful person! The past is the past, it’s what you do with the present that counts!!


    • I guess that’s the good news, Terri; we know the source of the attacks, and we can stand against them. Sometimes, though, we have to get knocked down just to prove to ourselves we can rise again.
      Thanks for the wonderful comment. I hope you know how much I appreciate you!

      • terri0729 said

        Thanks Charlie! That makes it mutual then!! 🙂

  6. Charles, this was truly beautiful. You have an amazing heart and are supportive because it is who you want to be. I cried because I know I am likely not this kind. Amazing work!

  7. waynettebaker@comcast.net said

    I enjoyed this very much again Charlie. I struggle with self worth alot after the wreck. April 20th will be 5 years and I find it getting harder on my body as time passes. It is wonderful to know that you are loved even if you are not perfect.

    • And you, my friend, are doing great. I don’t kid you when I say you are an inspiration to me. (Everything else… yeah, I’m usually kidding) But, hey! You’re so easy! And I mean that in the best of ways! I think.

  8. You know Charles, we have to be able to make mistakes so that we learn from them. I so dislike people teaching boys that they didn’t ought to cry, when boys have feelings that need to be shared and expressed too so why on earth shouldn’t boy and grown men cry. It’s ludicrous not to expect it and, (to me) if a man can show his emotions, it shows he really does feel things deeply and not just on a superficial level. I’m glad you cried and, I’m glad you shared it.
    It’s sad that you don’t know your children and grandchildren. Maybe in time they will come and seek you out for themselves. Sometimes the price we have to pay is so high. Yes, God loves us anyway, without sin and sinners, we wouldn’t have a need for a God, would we?

    • My dad wouldn’t allow us to cry when we were kids. One of his favorite lines was, “I’ll give you something to cry about!” So, I had a good supply stored up by the time I figured it was okay to let them loose.
      And, I’m okay with things; I can’t change the past, I’m doing the best I can with the present, and I look forward to good things in the future.
      Thanks for the awesome comment. I appreciate your loyal visits and the kind things you always say.

      • OMgoodness, I’d forgotten the “I’ll give you something to cry about!” that was a mantra from my dad…and “keep a stiff upper lip”…I still when I finally cry, cry for everything I held in….I recall people saying…”It wasn’t THAT bad , whatever it was, you have to cry
        like that, and I’d cry harder and say, it’s everything from the last six months, or a year and keep crying til the well was dry then have room for another year or so’s tears.
        Thanks for reminding me of that.
        Siggi in Downeast Maine

      • Yes, the “I’ll give you something to cry about” was usually followed by another of my favorites; “Go get my belt!” I can laugh about that now, and remember thinking, “Are you out of your mind? Go get it yourself!” But the mere thought of a strapping could stop the tears and get me safely out of the room. And, eventually, I learned not to cry. It took me a long time to understand it was okay for a man to cry. I’ve gone the other way these days; tears often come too easily. I’ve become a big ol’ softie, I reckon.

  9. Adura Ojo said

    Such an open poem. It’s everything it should be and I hope you felt that too.

  10. ayala said

    Sad and beautiful. Inspiring…thanks for sharing.

  11. I’ve been playing the self-worth game lately, too, Charles. This poem feels familiar, perhaps I saw it before. But definitely worth a reread. One thing that resonated for me this time through was the death of soldiers, so often unacknowledged. And tears are holy, cleansing.

    • I wrote and posted it last year on April 18, Victoria. If you’ve been reading my blog that long, THANK YOU!
      It is hard, and a human trait, I suppose, to second guess and wish we could have a do-over. But, alas, we only get one shot at each minute, and try as we may, it cannot be undone or re-done. I’m learning to leave the past in the past and deal with each day, but it is not any easy thing to learn to do.
      Thank you so much for the awesome comment. It is very much appreciated!

  12. Ohhh…Charles…this leaves me speechless. I, too, am humbled and awed by such love. Thank you for words that touched my soul today and soaked deep.

    • Thank you very much, Cindee. I thought you would appreciate this one.
      I appreciate your visits and comments very much!

  13. Sherry Mashburn said

    It doesn’t matter how often I read this, but it resonates more powerfully each time. Beautiful, Charlie. I am so proud to be your wife.

  14. Ah, that is a good cry to cry. Humbling, freeing, and worthy of tears

  15. Charles…
    thanks for posting this today…
    I feel isolated here in Maine…for good reason … I am !
    And I get melancholy at time thinking of the two grandchildren…mine are all girls…I’ve never spent a holiday with…tho thanks to facebook, I get to see them grow.
    It is so difficult to think maybe I’ll see them a couple more times in my lifetime if I’m lucky.
    I won’t go on and on,
    but I feel validated by your words in this post.

    Blessings to you and your wife,
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • This living so far apart–the way life has turned out–is a very hard pill for me to swallow, Siggi. When I was young, I had this vision of being a father and a grandfather, and doing all the things the way I’d seen them done in families I admired–mine was no model to go by–and I so looked forward to it. But now, my sons don’t have much to do with me; one because he lives 2300 miles away, and the other because he hates me for not abiling him out of jail when he got his 4th DUI. I hardly know my grandsons, and I’m fairly certain I never cross their mind. Yes ma’am, it hurts; it hurts a lot sometimes.
      But life is the way it is for a reason–I have to believe that–and we must find peace in the way things are. I struggle to do that at times, but I’m getting better at it. Our lives are different, yet the same, and though we are only friends via the air waves, we can help each other along the way. I value and appreciate your comments, and hope somehow my posts and comments on your posts encourage you, as much as yours encourage me.
      Peace to you, too!
      Charlie in Texas!

      • I thought about “the belt” comment yesterday evening … and this morning
        on the way to the portrait group. The other artist and I both had German (me)/
        Russian (him) fathers. My father was a talker not a hitter. Seldom spanked,
        and then only under extreme circumstances. I was a very obedient child, and
        it didn’t take more than a threat of whatever was worse than the words to get
        me to behave. My brother, I can remember him being spanked for mis-deeds,
        but another time. I lived my entire life in fear that my parents would disown me
        and never speak to me…that was a certainty in my mind.
        My daughter tells me all I did was work…which is true…and we don’t have any
        traditions. When my mother wouldn’t talk to me and disowned me, and I wouldn’t
        travel from Maine to Seattle to see her when she was ill, my daughter told me
        “what goes around, comes around.” I’d had back surgery and was not able to
        travel at the time. I could barely walk. The doctor said it wasn’t a good idea.
        Besides, I had no resources due to helping my daughter in some difficulties that
        were beyond her control…that’s a book to tell about it….
        My son has two teenage daughters…and it is expensive living in Denver. We talk.
        I applaud you btw, for not bailing your son out…I wouldn’t have either…a given.
        My mother finally disowned me because I would stop my 30 year old daughter from
        marrying a Merchant Marine, from Liberia, studying on a full scholarship with living
        expenses, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. There was no way I
        could forbid (my mother’s words) my daughter from marrying for the reasons my
        mother stated. The end of the story is a “well, what is, what is”, … as I was
        calling the nursing home my mother was at…another long story for another day…
        to say I would come in two week…at the time I was on the phone, they found
        she had died, of “natural causes”, sitting in a chair.
        Thank you for all your sharing…I do feel connected to you thru life experiences, the same but different, and cyberspace…and to your wife…she seems to be a gem.

        Siggi in Downeast Maine

      • All of that sounds very familiar–but slightly different–and I could add to or discuss at length many of the things you say. But, if we are hinest with the things we write, we’ll each know the other’s story in due time. I think anyone who reads my encouragements, poetry, and stories, for any length of time, will have a very good idea of who I am and the life events that combined to mold me into this person I’ve come to be.
        Thanks for the great discussion, Siggi. And I think you know–as I know–everything is gonna be ah’ight.

  16. oceangirl said

    How many times I have cried reading your poems.

    • I take that as a supreme compliment, oceangirl. When Sherry tells me somethig I’ve written made her cry, I tell her, “That’s my job.”
      Thanks for the wondeful comment!

  17. Chazinator said

    Tears are hard for me, I must admit. But I know that crying for those things that should have been, those missed chances and opportunities of a life that I missed should fill my days. Your honesty in recording your failings is important, and I think we should all make this moral assessment and reap the tears that may come. I am glad that you have solace in God, whose love brings comfort and understanding.

    • Your comment makes me think of the old saying, “I wish I had known then, what I know now.” It seems we always have to learn our lessons the hard way.
      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Charles. I appreciate it very much!

  18. Emma said

    Beautiful in its truth, Charles. We have so many things to regret in this life, but one promise that we can always cling to in spite of all of our shortcomings. Lovely poem, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Emma. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. Sometimes, I just have to let it out–in tears, and on paper.

  19. forgiveness… a sweet thing

  20. poemsofhateandhope said

    Chalres- ia ctually thought this was beautiful. Just pure emotion poured straight out…as men, sometimes we think we can’t cry…peorsonally- i don’t think we would be men if we didn’t…this touched me deeply….

    • Thank you very much, Stu! It IS pure emotion, and I remember well the day I wrote it. Sometimes you just have to let it all out, and lay your cards on the table face up.

  21. Thank you for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes. Really, really beautiful.

    • You are quite welcome, Sonia. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      I’m trying to stir up interest in your start/ending writing contest, too. I hope you don’t mind?

  22. Good News said

    Very touching post.. I believe that it’s good to cry once in a while… good for the soul… A release of the intermost feelings of you.. and besides God see’s all of our tears… Blessings my friend… Bro Pat.

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