men cry too

Mawsie’s house was on a hill. When she was old and I was young. After she died someone sat a bear on her porch. They killed it and stuffed it and left it there, because it was something to do and they didn’t want it in the house.

Her husband passed away some time back in the thirties. She never had another. She buried a baby without a name….a little boy with a long one…..a daughter whose man didn’t want her to live anymore.

In a rocking chair. Where the bear sits now. Sat Mawsie. Her hair black and bunned. Her house coat striped in red. Laughing. Loud. That’s how I remember her.

My grandfather buried his head and cried when his momma died. We never saw him tear. We never heard his pain. But we knew. Because Mawsie was gone…and my grandfather had never buried his head before.

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  • Dagoth
    May 27, 2006 at 16:26

    Hi Buffy

    I hear a lot of talk about “Nurture” versus “Nature”, If it were all “Genetic” Men still wouldn’t cry, and I don’t think you will ever be able to measure how much of an effect growing up in our surroundings has on us. I think only time, and those who remember, will tell…

  • Henny
    May 28, 2006 at 18:29

    Hello there. I realize I have been rude not returning your email sooner, but it was never my intentions to be that way. I like your writing. My son writes and he and I love the gift of putting words on paper to make emotions and imaginations flow. Hope to visit again real soon.

  • Melissa
    May 28, 2006 at 19:04

    That brought tears to my eyes and a stinging to my throat. Very beautiful in an achingly sad way.

  • Amy K
    May 28, 2006 at 21:15

    This makes me think of the first time I saw my father cry. I was 13, and it was when his father, my beloved grandfather, died. It was a moment that both frightened me and comforted me.

  • Amy
    May 29, 2006 at 16:25

    This was very well written, and like the others who commented, it reminded me of the first (and only) time I saw my father cry…when we left the bedside of his dying mother and walked into the sleet.

  • sara
    May 29, 2006 at 21:07

    thanks for your comment on my blog. i’m grateful to have such a great writer visiting. i visit yours quite a bit – and admirably. fascinating stuff here. hope all is well on the other side of the atlantic.

  • LisaBinDaCity
    May 29, 2006 at 21:58

    Your writing makes images very vivid for me…

  • kenju
    May 29, 2006 at 22:10

    Buffy, thanks for the visit and comment. Where in WV were you from? I love your writing and especially the rerun on the 21st.

  • Linny
    May 29, 2006 at 23:14

    That is soooo sad.

  • David
    May 30, 2006 at 1:33

    WOW…so you really got to see your great grandmother? I wish, I could have met mine. I’ve always believed you can never get far in life, unless you know where you come from…and obviously, judging by your small, yet captivating post, and the fact your family knows about taxidermy, you come from a family of gifted artists…

  • piu piu
    May 30, 2006 at 8:21

    …. something about men crying is so upsetting

  • sage
    May 30, 2006 at 15:06

    Very nice! Thanks for commenting on my blog (and I hope you enjoyed Gulley’s book–its an easy read). Do you know of Denise Giardina, who writes about West Virginia, coal and religion and unions?

  • Erin
    May 30, 2006 at 16:08

    That is beautiful, you are an amazing writer! Wow. That passage was very moving and I agree with the last comment, “something about men crying is so upsetting”

  • Dawn (webmiztris)
    May 30, 2006 at 16:22


  • kerri anne
    May 30, 2006 at 19:12

    I still remember the first and only time I saw my grandpa cry. It was at my dad’s funeral. And I was sitting next to him, leaning into him, my head on his chest.

  • colleen
    May 30, 2006 at 19:13

    It’s even more touching to me when a man chokes up. I appreciate it.

  • Dan Flynn
    May 30, 2006 at 20:00

    A rich and well realised piece Buff. I like the eccentricities you write about, how these in many ways conservative people are also a little off kilter. And to paraphrase Hannibal Lecter ‘Love the bear!”

  • Lynn
    May 30, 2006 at 20:30

    what a sad memory. Men crying break me down every time! I can’t take seeing it or hearing it.

  • Liz
    May 31, 2006 at 2:43

    the first time I saw my dad cry I was 8 years old. we had just arrived in Cameroon. He hadn’t been back for almost 10 years. I wondered why he was crying.

  • Peachy
    May 31, 2006 at 9:11

    I love your stories.

  • Party Girl
    May 31, 2006 at 20:31

    That was really lovely. Simple prose yet, very powerful.

  • LAZY Blogger
    May 31, 2006 at 22:51

    Very sweet! ~ I also enjoyed the Simple English stuff too (on the previuos post). My sister’s husband was from the U.K. I think he said he was from “Stratford Upon Avon” (at least I think that’s where it was). ~ jb//

  • Al
    Jun 10, 2006 at 2:35

    I don’t have a clear memory of my father ever crying, except possibly at his mother’s funeral (I was ten at the time). My mother seldom cried, even at funerals. She said the grief was too deep for tears, a line borrowed from one poet or another but in her case true. I can’t remember the last time I cried, but I broke up seeing my father’s obituary in the paper – I’d been holding up fine until then. Actually, I wish I’d bawled like a baby but it wouldn’t come.