Back when my best friend was just my good friend, we were sitting in a booth at The Mothership—aka the first Raising Cane’s location, for those less addicted to fried chicken than I. She was telling me with quite a bit of confidence that she wasn’t “a crier.”
I looked back at her, baffled beyond words. Crying has never been something that I thought anyone was exempt from. But there she was, the anti-crier, sitting before me as I dipped my battered and fried tender into that mystery sauce.
Weeks later, I would spot tears running down her face during a movie—About Time, to be specific—and the spell was broken. The invincible, impenetrable facade she was hoping to portray had been all but destroyed by the likes of a red-headed time traveler.
For the record, I never believed she wasn’t “a crier.” Everyone is a crier in certain situations, just some more than others. And I would place myself firmly in the “more than others” category.
Just last week, I was telling a college-age boutique worker the initials to monogram on my two-year-old son’s backpack when I lost it. Slow, silent tears flowed from my eyes as I selected a font to complement the small, gingham bag. He’s growing up too fast.
On July 13, I was once again in a situation where tears took over. I opened Instagram while putting my younger son—notably backpack-less—to bed. And there it was: Holly Hollis Stars smiling happily back at me from the Mary Bird Perkins Instagram account.
Let me be clear: I only knew Holly in passing. I wrote a story for the 2019 inRegister Weddings issue about her and her husband Mark’s elopement, which quickly followed Holly’s stage four, triple negative metastatic breast cancer diagnosis back in 2018. When I met with her in her office to talk about how she had made lemonade out of the worst lemons possible, I was moved by her positivity, kindness and unwavering smile.
For the next few years, I kept up with Holly, albeit in the way that people “keep up” with one another in the age of social media. And when she passed, I cried. Surprising, right?
Back to July 13, though. On her 40th heavenly birthday, it was announced that her family, friends and former workplace launched a legacy fund in her honor to further cancer prevention and early detection measures. Now, I’m crying again.
In this month’s cover story, in addition to the stylish insights of the 20 Best Dressed Ball honorees, you’ll also read about their connections to the American Cancer Society cause. The loved ones that have fought and, in some cases, lost their battles to cancer. And if you’re a crier like I am, your eyes will get a little misty.
But a few tears are nothing to be ashamed of. I think they’re something to embrace, especially when they lead to actions that will change the course of cancer care. So whether you’re a crier or not, I encourage you to read the stories, like the posts and maybe even donate or volunteer. And don’t be afraid shed a tear or two.
Editor’s note: My best friend—the anti-crier—cried reading this.