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"Don't Cry Out Loud."

"Don't Cry Out Loud. Just keep it inside and learn to hide your feelings..." ---December 1976, Melissa Manchester sung that song. I believe it had become a hit then.

Today, as I was going through old business items. Old medical books I've accumulated over the decades. I began to get upset. It's not that I didn't know why I was. I knew. It's that I usually keep it inside because I've mostly hid my feelings.

"Baby cried the day the circus came to town. Cause she didn't want parades just passing by her."

I'd often wondered what would have happened to my husband if I'd passed before he had. He said to me half-kidding a decade ago, long before he became ill, "If you go before me. I'm going to be cursing you out. The paperwork you'll leave behind. Hmm."

.""So she painted on a smile and took up with some clown. While she danced upon the net without a wire."

I replied to Norm, "Oh com'on. I'm organized." He responded, "You don't file things immediately in your home office." I went back, "So, I'm always three weeks behind." He'd shake his head, "I don't know Jody."

"I know about her, 'cause you see Baby is an awful lot like me."

As I reminisced on this past conversation this morning shredding another box of client files. Then the conversation I'd had at the bank yesterday. As I approached the teller of about my age, we exchanged words briefly in Chinese. I was delayed on my Chinese response to one of her questions. But it came out just right. We both laughed as I surprised the teller on my proper Mandarin response.

"Don't Cry Out Loud. Just keep it inside. And learn how to hide your feelings. "Fly high and proud. And if you should fall. Remember you almost had it all."

Then we moved to speaking English. I continued looking around to see noone behind me. "So, I shocked you." She nodded with a big smile. "So, I've been cleaning for nearly the past five hours." She asked, "Why? Your house that dirty?" I replied, "Nope. I actually have been getting most of all files of clients I'd had. Hey, it was nearly thirty years. I had 4,000 clients." She replied, "Whoa." I remarked, "Yeah. Thank God I'd already done 2012 and before after Norm passed in 2020." She nodded, "Oh wow. I never thought about all that paperwork." I added, "Yeah. HIPPA, lawyers, people's prescriptions, insurance companies, doctor's letters. Bukoo paper. It's got to be shredded."

"Baby saw that when they pulled the big top down. They left behind her dreams among the litter."

We continued our chat as the bank seemed as if a library with no one in it. Calm, quiet, peaceful it remained for a few minutes. "So, I signed and filled out the form. Got three. Here you go." I placed the papers for deposit on the shelf to her. "Okay." She replied. "So, I checked with the kids on their children's books. They read a lot. And they took real good care of those books. So I figure to donate to the library." She replied, "That's such a good idea. Both kids still in school, right?" I replied, "Yeah. And I'm still busy." 

"And the different kind of love she thought she'd found. There was nothing but some sawdust and some glitter."

Soon a patron entered the bank. I looked back. The teller finished. We again spoke in Chinese before I departed. I still had to run yet. And I knew I had a non-stop day ahead of me. It was already nearing two in the afternoon. Between sweeping up the litter I'd created with the shredding machine and the second draft editing I needed to finish on my twelfth screenplay and pet care, dinner wouldn't be till nine that night. Too, my stomach was a mess. Couldn't figure it yet. So, I was none too interested in eating. Running outside and praying as I did came before all that.

"But Baby can't be broken, cause you see. She had the finest teacher that was me."

So, onto today as I'd turned down another runner last night for a slow long run in a park today. Shredding, sweeping, making certain my stomach was settled. I let him know I couldn't gage when I'd make it out for a run. I really wanted to say, 'Maybe not. But let's do a two o'clock lunch tomorrow.' However, I realized that I needed to pursue my shredding and give stomach a chance to relax in order to heal from what ailed it. So, I let him know it was not in the cards for today, too much work on my platter this week.

"I told her: 'Don't Cry Out Loud. Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings."

The past thirty minutes after finishing more than I'd realized. Counting boxes left ready for shredding. Going through my medical books. I paused to finish a cup of decaffeinated green tea, finish my apple and have a maple cookie. I suddenly began to get upset. The ridiculous feelings flowed painfully. Yeah, sure it's going on four years since my husband's death. But yah see, the medical field treated him horribly. Yes. I told our mechanic of over 25 years the full story about two weeks ago. He was floored, "That's horrible." He announced to me. I nodded, "It's the worst medical treatment of a human being I'd ever witnessed. But it's not surprising. People didn't care the way I do." A psychologist who I'd done a speeches for, told me over thirty years ago that I cared '...too much'. But I can't help that. A running friend who's a doctor told me years later that the world needs more of that. When I told him that, " compassion for others was ripping my heart out." I remarked to him.

"Fly high and proud. And if you should fall..."

So here I am, reminiscing on the cruelty that was tossed a dying man's way. Someone who didn't deserve that kind of callous treatment. 'Why did such a high end medical organization do that to him?' I wondered for a second, then I knew it was about ego and greed. They knew they couldn't make money on this dying man. They tried, but what they wanted was wrong. At first, my husband didn't realize it. I knew it, though I said nothing. I'd seen it before in my life. With my clients and most of all, over thirty times with my medical interactions concerning my body. That was the truth. Cruelty for money and ego was the truth. Then the tears came. They came because they were coming. I'd held back till only the last month or so. I kept my sadness at bay for over three years. I fought it. It was a losing battle.

"Remember we almost had it all..."

In all I didn't have growing up, I'd not let myself feel the shortage. The shortage of being loved. I was used and abused. I knew and know our stays here on earth are temporary. I've always accepted that. So, the one love that took me out of that was gone. I could accept that. But I cannot accept how he was treated by the medical community. Someone who truly loved me, loved his children. Someone who cared like I had was mistreated by the medical community because they couldn't get from him what God had helped him gain. The medical community wanted what they didn't earn. And I knew it. ---Jody-Lynn Reicher 


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