"BRB CRYING" by Makaela Stephens
When I think of my family I think of crying. By this I mean both that I think of actually shedding tears, usually brought on by homesickness and a sense of loss. But mostly I think of the literal act of crying. Crying is a big thing in my family, especially on my mother’s side. In private, in public, together, alone, we cry.
My family is my mother crying when she meets me at the airport after months of separation. It’s my sister sobbing through the night after her first breakup. It’s my grandma, who cries when she thinks of her son’s recent passing, how sick he was at the end. It’s me, in my apartment after a grueling week, tearing up as I wonder why everyone is so anxious to start their lives because adulthood seems so goddamn exhausting.
But we are not only good at crying in the face of heartbreak or loss. Hecht women can cry over pretty much anything.
My sister cries when she watches the Beyoncé DVD and when she’s reunited with her best friend from college after being apart for a while. On multiple occasions I have seen my mother cry during coming attractions at the movies (this is a habit I have now picked up… hello Inside Out). Her tears over my sister and I leaving often become tears of appreciation for who we are and who we have become. My grandma encourages us to cry when something moves us. She told my mother when she was a young girl that it was “wonderful” that a piece of classical music had brought her to tears. I think about this, and I cry.
A knack for waterworks. More than looks, dispositions, or talents, this is what the Hecht women share. And like my grandmother before me, I think that’s truly wonderful.