Tears of Joy

tears of joy a new painting and blog post by dorsey mchugh



Tears of Joy

I grew up in a family of women who talked freely and men who worked hard and spoke very little.  There were lots of stories told around the kitchen table.  Some, I have already shared,  like when my sister, Kit, and cousin Scott ran away on their horses at age 7.  Or the Sunday afternoon Kit and I decided to have chicken dinner ready for mom and dad when they got home from town.  The story of those chickens lying with their necks broken in the chicken coop is one I am old enough to remember.  All these stories got larger in the telling.  My friend Doak Turner tells me  not to let the truth get in the way of a good story.  So in that same spirit I carry on this tradition of storytelling.  During those years when Todd and I meandered around in my amazing red and white Volkswagen van, we often dropped in on the people we loved.  When Todd was 3, we stopped to see Aunt Betsy and Uncle Mick’s new house in Wyoming.  Mickey was working hard on the landscaping the weekend we arrived; he had planted trees and grass in the front yard.  One tree was bragged about more than the others.  It was a cherry tree, which was about 4 feet tall.   Uncle Mickey’s personal story included having been in the battle of the bulge during the 2nd world war.  He was a really great Dad, and he was very consistent in his Love and in his discipline.  My sisters and I were always on our best behavior around him, as we didn’t want to experience the discipline or the wrath of Uncle Mickey.  When Todd came around the corner of the house proudly dragging a 4 ft cherry tree he had just cut down with a little saw found in the garage, there was a long moment of silence.  He was so proud of his accomplishment; he did not notice us holding our breath waiting for the boom to fall. Instead of showing any anger, Betsy and Mickey looked at each other and laughed for several seconds.  They were so kind and loving to Todd, I felt I had learned one of my best lessons ever.  Mickey spent several moments affirming Todd.  They went off together for a little walk.  When they returned, Todd felt very good about himself and also knew not to cut down anyone’s tree again.  Mickey had told him about George Washington, our first president, cutting down the cherry tree.  Todd was then in good company as he learned why he should place a governor on his urges to raze things to the ground.


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