Tears in my Bread Dough

I had intended to do a post today with a picture of Colin’s newly painted room (stay tuned…it’s coming!), but decided instead to share a bit of my heart.

As I’ve mentioned before , I’m no stranger to grief. The older I get, the reality is, many people whom I’ve loved deeply now reside in Heaven. I grew up in such a happy home with such a secure childhood. Losing people who were part of that “secure” world later in life was a difficult thing. I really don’t enjoy tears much. For me, grief and mourning has brought an abundance of those. I’ve often been slightly ashamed of that…

Right now a dear friend of mine is going through a difficult time. She is spending time with her gravely ill mother, and these days are excruciatingly hard. She has graciously included me as a part of a group of her friends that she sends regular prayer requests to. Her notes are straight from the heart.

Even though I’ve been through similar situations, I feel very inadequate in the “What should I say?” area. I don’t feel my words are “wise” enough and I never want the person going through suffering to feel as if my words are flippant. The last thing I want to do is cause them more hurt and pain.

I was pondering all these thoughts as I made a big pot of minestrone soup yesterday. I decided to also put some ingredients in the bread machine. Ahhh…fresh bread and soup. That’s one of my favorite smells in the house.

The soup was simmering away and I had moved on to the bread machine. All along the way I was thinking of my friend…and her mom…and her dad… My heart was so sad. And I knew I wanted to write her a note to let her know I was praying for her. But again, I had that whole “inadequate words” thing goin’ on in my head.

I was pondering what she had last written. One sentence came to mind. “I just miss my mom.” And that did me in. I miss my mom, too. I, oh, so identify with that. (Although my mom is still living, she has advanced dementia.) And the next thing I knew, I was standing at my kitchen counter sobbing my eyes out.

When I finally got ahold of myself, I glanced down and realized I had absolutely no idea what ingredients I had put in the bread machine! (But, contrary to the title, there were no tears in it. That would just be gross!) Then I got silly… I hadn’t even been following the right recipe! Instead of regular bread, I had made the “rapid bake” variety…

I managed to throw something that seemed to make sense into the machine and went upstairs to type my friend a note.

I did. But in the course of that activity, I had the privilege of reading a note another friend of hers had written. It said this:

” ‘God bottled those tears to quench the fires that
might ignite again someday.’~Robertson McQuilken


I remember grief feeling like waves
from the ocean knocking you over…
never knowing when they would come~
but that it was best to let
them overtake you instead of
resiting. There is no right time or
wrong time or way for grief.”


That beautifully written paragraph gave me a whole new perspective on tears. They aren’t something to be ashamed of. They are actually a gift –from my God who cares so much for my hurting heart that He provides me with something to help ease the pain of that fiery ache of grief.
It also dawned on me that perhaps the “beautiful words” of comfort weren’t what God was asking me to do. Someone once told me that the best way you can offer comfort to those hurting is to say nothing but cry with them. Who knew it would take me 42 years to realize… God made me a “crier”!
So, dear Friend, these tears that are running down my cheeks right now are for you. Oh, I wish I could hug your neck…and kiss your dear mom’s cheek. But, since I can’t, know I’ll be thinking of you and your family all throughout this day. May you feel His presence and His precious arms holding you up.
With all my love~



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  1. Thank you, Rita. Beautiful. I've been shedding many a tear lately. My Dad and Mom came from Alaska to visit. My Dad has advanced Alzheimers. Well, the trip proved more than he could handle and he is in a nursing home near us now…after a month of trying to find a place, while he waited in a hospital. Life has turned upside down and the future is uncertain. I am finding that everyone's grief is unique to their own heart and soul. You can't really walk in another's shoes. But, yes, a shared tear is meaningful. On a visit to one of many places, tears sprung from the eyes of a woman who was interviewing us, as she saw the strain and sadness on our faces. She was a complete stranger to me, but not to grief and sorrow. That meant the world to me. Thanks from sharing from your heart. I'm sorry to hear about your mom…in all the turmoil I can forget that others walk their own roads of sadness.

    I'm looking to the final resurrection with more and more anticipation and longing all the time. How bout you?


  2. Oh, Heather, thank you for sharing part of your story with me. And, yes, my thoughts are often of Heaven. It's hard for me to fathom how wonderful it will be…

    I'll be thinking of you, too, and your situation…

  3. I have been through the aging parent "ordeal" and survived although, at the time, I didn't think I would make it. A few tears shed always made me feel better even if they didn't solve anything. The act of crying is like giving yourself a moment to think about your own pain……you have to take that time. It was sad to see my Mum go through dementia but now that she is in heaven, I barely remember those years but I still have strong memories of the good times when she was such an excellent mother and exceptional woman. What a gift those memories are! The journey you are on is a long and winding road but it will lead you to acceptance and peace one day. I hope this for you.

  4. Thanks for your kind words, Lois. And by the way, did I ever tell you I had a wonderful Aunt with your name? She's singin' with Jesus now…but I'm still using some of the fabulous dishclothes she made me while here on earth!:)

  5. Thanks for sharing your heart so well through words Rita. You are a gifted gal!

    When I recently apologized for crying with a friend (thus making her cry too!) I apologized right away. Afterwards I thought – why am I sorry? It was a special time for both of us! I'm starting to think that I like crying too. 🙂


  6. What a moving post! I think it was about 15 years ago that someone told me that tears were a gift,and there was no need to try to stop them. I have learned to be thankful for them, even though I don't exactly enjoy crying in front of others!

    Life can be difficult sometimes, but having someone to share with, even just being there with no words or just saying "I care about you" through words or deed, can be very meaningful. I've found that to be very true.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Precious as you are! Whether they are tears of joy or tears of heartache they come from the same place and if they are shared then the painful journey is made more bearable. I wrote this morning and as you know the posting did not get to you but I was wanting to tell you of a story I read once about a frantic mother who was waiting for her elementary aged child to get home from school and when she didn't arrive and the minutes ticked by the irrate, distraught mother headed to meet her. daughter. As she saw her in the distance she ran to to her daughter and hugged and yelled all in one gesture. The mother questioned the child on where she had been and why was she late. The young girl tried to explain as her mother settled down that her friends mother was going into the hospital and that she was really sick. The mother then said ,well what did you say to her? The wise little girl said that she didn't know what to say so she just stayed and cryed with her. That to me is empathy (your pain in my heart) at it's best and she did what we all need to do a little more! My mother use to gather my tear drops in a medicine bottle sometimes when my heart was so sad. She was a wise soul who said…they might be gone…(the next time I went to see how much liquid was still there) but they are still a part of you and don't be afraid of them. They also wash things clean.Rita, thanks for sharing! God has given you a gift. <3 Coleen

  8. Thank you all for your very kind words. And Coleen, thank you for not just typing that beautiful story once, but twice!(silly computers!), for me. You are all a blessing to my heart.

  9. Oh my goodness…. Where do I start?? I came here earlier tonight to see your wonderful kitchen makeover and just kept reading and reading and reading….I lost my sweet mom in January after watching her decline for 4 years with dementia. I know how bad your heart hurts seeing that. It truly is the " long good-bye" I miss my mom terribly, but I'm no longer riddled with the sadness I had watching her decline.

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