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Me Duelen en el Alma

Updated on March 18, 2009

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Me Duelen en el Alma

By Wes J. Pimentel

I don't cry much. In fact, instances of me crying are about as rare as tax returns. I don't have much emotional depth. I tend to be very cold-hearted and numb most of the time.

A few moments ago I had a cry the likes for which any Hollywood director would kill. I was actually sobbing. Man-sobbing is ugly. It's not like when women cry. When women cry it's beautiful, like a dewdrop rolling from a leaf. When men cry it's usually very unexpected, so we're never prepared. We have no technique. Sounds just spew out of you and you tend to blubber and drool. My nose gets really stuffed up.

The reason for my complete loss of bearing was the thought brought about by a scene in a movie that I am watching. It's on pause right now so I can write this. I figure while inspiration strikes, I might as well take advantage.

The movie is called Bella. It's a beautiful movie of little repute. I am an absolute movie buff, so I am always trying to find new and interesting things to watch. Thanks, Netflix.

Anyway, without spoiling the movie I will tell you that there is a scene in it which forced my focus to turn to the death of my daughter. Even writing that last sentence was painful. I never thought I would be capable of this level of emotion. The mere thought, just the notion of my daughter dying in some kind of accident is overwhelming to me.

I was sitting on the couch enjoying this movie, when the pivotal scene happened. The force of this scene struck me with all the gentleness of a prized bull's goring. I was woefully unprepared for my reaction. It took a moment for the reality of it to set in, but once it had, I was no longer in control of myself. It felt as though a silent question was asked. How would you feel? As the question was silent, the answer was also unspoken, however, not nearly as quiet.

The most unimaginable pain seized me, viscerally. I felt an intense pain that I knew resided in the parts of me that cannot be studied under a microscope. By the time I attempted to cease the entertainment of the thought, I was crying with a humiliating ferocity. Luckily my daughter and I are the only two people in the house. I felt like running upstairs and yanking her out of bed to hold her, to smell her hair, to feel her tiny arm laid over my shoulder. I refrained, for there is no need to disturb her slumber with the silliness of a love-sick old man.

My mother has this saying. She's Colombian, so it's in Spanish. When describing the love she has for my brother and I, she would always say, "Ustedes me duelen en el alma," which means, "You hurt in my soul."

When I was younger I took this saying for granted. I had heard it so much it became a background sound like the constant references to the saints and to God that Colombians are always throwing around. A few years ago I started analyzing how my family and other Colombian and Hispanic families speak to one another. When I came across this saying with my fresh, analytical eyes, it had a great impact on me. I have often thought about this saying and the incredible emotional depth it represents.

Since having my little girl I am much better acquainted with this kind of intensity of feeling. My little Fauna truly does cripple me from the inside. To truly love one's child is to live in excrutiatingly agonizing bliss. What a tormented, bittersweet fate we parents face. To think that your entire life resides within the confines of this clumsy, little, chubby creature.


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      Edith London  8 years ago

      Tu Naciste con muchos Dones,uno de ellos y tal vez el mejor el Don de expresion, y el Don de transmitir, y al transmitir hacer sentir a otros lo que tu estas sintiendo. Que Dios te siga bendiciendo, hoy manana y siempre .

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      Carlitos 8 years ago

      You have come a long way. However, there are still miles to travel in parenthood. Your children will force you to deal with all of your emotions, good and bad. They give real meaning to an otherwise rudimentary existence commonly referred to as life. My goal is to see Fauna the second week of August. Try to control your tears until then, take care.

    • dsklajic profile image

      dsklajic 8 years ago

      I saw wes cry once. Awwww.

    • Schwag profile image

      Schwag 9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Cris A - Thanks for the comment. I am getting a llot more in touch with my emotional side. Not too much, though, I hope...

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      That's why I don't go the cinema to see a movie that I know would be a cry fest. It's a toss up between being ugly or hold the pain in your chest. Not much choice so I settle in the confines of my room.

      I've seen grown men reduced to pool of tears when their babies say "ouch". Beautiful sentiments, thanks for sharing :D

    • Schwag profile image

      Schwag 9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      TR - I completely agree. I had no idea how my mother felt all these years. Now that I know I feel like crap for a lot of the stuff I did.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Being a parent is a an awesome and mighty thing. You wish you could be everywhere, to take the bullet, to stop the speeding car with the sheer strength of your love, to ensure that no one ever, ever, hurts your baby.

      The kids never know until they have a kid of their own.

    • Schwag profile image

      Schwag 9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Amy G - Thanks for the comment. I agree. There are few things more honest than a man crying. For us to cry we have to strip ourselves of every bit of macho social programming and release something we are trained not to. My mother still says it to this day and her aqctions prove it's true. I was just speaking to her about it, in fact, on the very day I wrote this. You may sound like a white girl saying it, but I bet it's heavenly for your children to feel it when you display it.

      Jake - You sneaky bastard! You're not supposed to know this side of me. Thanks for the compliment on the photo. I walked into our bedroom while we were still in Clarksville and saw her like this. I was so touched I had to snap it.

    • Jake4d profile image

      Jake4d 9 years ago from Tennessee

      Wow, great article. It takes real writing skill to convey such visceral and intense emotion. I, unlike you, have a very intense and variable emotional life, but when I try to express that in writing I don't think it comes across to my readers. In the great words of Shell Silverstien "The great things I wrote when I was stoned look like shit in the morning light." Keep up the good work

      PS The photo of Fauna looks professional.

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      Amy G 9 years ago

      I love seeing guys cry - and not because it's clumsy! Because it's genuine. I can cry at the drop of a hat, because well, I don't know why. Guys don't, which makes those moments quite a bit more stopping...I know what you mean, though about the good pain that comes with being a parent. I love what your mom said...I bet I sound like a super white girl saying it, too!

      Thanks for the read.

    • Schwag profile image

      Schwag 9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Hawkesdream - Thanks for the comment. Every word is true. I was truly caught off-guard by my display. Good night.

    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 9 years ago from Cornwall

      How absolutely refreshing, a man than can ,not only feel, but also show his emotions in such an unadulterated way. And not only that, to actually put everything on hold ,to talk about them.

      Very moving indeed.