Don't You Cry.

“Ding, ding,” goes her Hello Kitty bell as she peddles hard around the track. Her bike flops lopsidedly from one rickety training wheel to the other. She doesn’t want to take them off yet. The sun is hot on our backs and the air is painfully dry.

This is where we live now. It still doesn’t feel like it.

My phone is in the purple and white basket clipped onto the front of her bike; it’s playing Guns N' Roses' Don’t Cry as we circle the track, waiting for her brother's practice to be over. I’m humming along and pretending Axl is singing to console me, (and also pretending that the lyrics are not largely a bunch of relationship garbage – I mean genius – I mean garbage.)

She is excited to have the important job of carrying my phone, especially whilst it blares music. Happily, she dings her bell along like the 6th member of the band. We just need some tight American-flag biker shorts and a lot of pomp and then we'd be all set out here.

The months since moving to this place have been long and difficult; the changes have been a constant struggle, launching me into yet another "difficult phase" of my adult life. Has there been anything but a succession of difficult phases? 

Well, so, this is what I’ve come to... “bumping” a 1991 hit from a four-year-old’s bicycle when I really do feel like crying at 4:00 in the afternoon?  

I fear I keep repeating myself, but gosh life is hard. It’s hard with really, truly big problems at a lot of times, and a lot of other times we take our small problems and inflate them into bigness.

Today, I am tired of this sadness so biting. And while I’m at it, I’m tired of limping for the last six years and ending every day in pain. I’m tired of nerve damage and hot flashes and treatment side effects and…  and parenting failures, and... I’m tired.

We all grow weary of our own burdens at times, don't we? I know so many of you, dear friends, struggle with your disappointment, your loneliness, your heartache, your stress, your pain. Maybe you also need someone to tell you today, “don’t you cry,” or hey, “go ahead and cry” - whichever it may be that you need.

So while I ironically seek some console from infamously self-destructive, hedonistic 90's rock-stars, I know it's actually humility, realistic expectations, and outward focus that will push me through.

I hope it will for you too.

I hope you still walk; peddle; ding your bell; play your music.

And of course, even though sometimes it doesn't feel like anything, would that we remember “There’s a heaven above you baby.”

Sometimes that's all there is.

Guns N'Roses: Don't Cry. Written by Duff Rose Mckagan, Izzy Stradlin, Matt Sorum, Saul Hudson, W. Axl Rose • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group


  1. I think you need a northern visitor to disturb your hot, dry days. Perhaps this fall.....

    1. Are you kidding, we would so love that! We also plan to have a family trip aaaaall the way up north to you guys in the next couple of years. Something to look forward to. :)

  2. Ooooooh so good. Yep. Dinging my bell. This rings true to me. Thanks for sharing. Prayers for your weary heart right now. Rough year for me too and through all the suffering I've learned that God is right in the hard with me...I'm sure you've felt that over and over. That being said, maybe a good ugly cry on the track might do you good...sunglasses can hide a lot of ugly cries.

    1. Hi sweet Laura, your tough year has been on my heart. I am glad you are ringing your bell. You are such a strong, beautiful woman. (Strong women need good cries too!)

  3. Hugs Jen. Another transition. No place is perfect, but every place has its gifts for you. Keep searching for solutions to your pain. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    1. Deb! Thanks for the encouraging words, much appreciated friend.

  4. Hugs Jen. Another transition. No place is perfect, but every place has its gifts for you. Keep searching for solutions to your pain. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.