Sometimes our tears express our gratitude for life's beauty -- and our intuitive apprehension of its basic impermanence.

NOTE: Scroll on down if you just want to see the “TOP TEN Videos that Will Make You Cry”! 

I am a big believer in the healing power of tears. I believe this because I am a cryer. I cry at weddings. Graduations. Bar Mitzvahs. Movies. Poetry. Prayers. And yes, even commercials.

I cry every Friday morning when my favorite radio show, StoryCorps comes on. You know the show? One person interviews a loved one about their life. They tell each other the most amazing, deeply moving stories. And they alway end with something like, “I love you and you have always been my hero,” and tears run down my neck and soak my pillow. It’s a Friday morning ritual my husband has grown accustomed to.

I cry at YouTube Videos, much to the consternation (and sometimes embarrassment) of my children. I don’t fault or blame them. In fact, I deserve every eye-roll, head-shake, and dismayed shrug I get. I have them coming to me. Fianarantsoa  It’s karma.

You see, my mother was a cryer. Once when I was a teenager — probably just around the time I was getting ready to leave for college — I caught her at the kitchen window dabbing her eyes. I asked her what was wrong. “Oh, it’s the new neighbors,” she said with a sniffle, “They just put in a new swing set.” I stood next to her and observed what she was describing: two small blond children, probably ages three and five, screaming with laughter as their father and mother pushed them on their new swing set, their toes stretched up towards the clouds. “Yep,” I said, “A new swing set. And you’re crying because . . . ”

A tear rolled down her cheek and she wiped it away and smiled at me, “Well, they think those children will be small like that forever. But they’ll blink their eyes and those kids will be grown and out the door.”

I probably should have put my arm around her and said, “Don’t worry mom. I’ll always be your little girl.” I didn’t. I think I just stood there and willed my eyes not to roll. I remember thinking, “Oh my God. This woman is crazy.” Thankfully, I had the good grace not to voice it.  I probably said something sensitive like, “Um . . . Can I borrow the car?” So you see what I mean about karma.

My mother cried at the Mean Joe Green Coke commercial. (Your probably remember the commercial: a boy offers an injured and dejected Mean Joe Green a Coke and then Mean Joe Green tosses the boy his jersey and the boy says, “Wow. Thanks Mean Joe!”)  But not just the first time she saw it.  Every time. My father would just quietly get up and get the tissues when the commercial came on.

Okay, so blame it on genetics or conditioning, but now I now have my mother’s tear ducts.  And if I ever need a good cry, I can just go to YouTube and let it flow. So here (without further ado and in no particular order) are the  TOP TEN VIDEOS THAT MAKE ME CRY (If you share my genetic propensity for getting misty at the slightest provocation, I suggest you take a moment now to grab a box of Kleenex, otherwise, proceed at your own risk):

1) A flash mob comes together to wish a favorite bus driver a happy birthday:

2) This is a shampoo commercial. Really. Didn’t I just say I was just like my mother?

3) The audio from this video is taken directly from a StoryCorps interview. It is one of the sweetest and saddest testaments to love I have ever seen. Don’t let the cartoon images fool you:

4) People from around the world come together to reiterate this eternal truth: All You Need is Love (I get especially teary when the group from Kazakhstan come on because that is where my two sons were born):

5) For anyone who has ever fallen down and gotten back up, this one’s for you:

6) This was created by the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus as part of the “It Get’s Better” campaign — a movement created in response to the tragedies of gay teens who took their own lives because they were being bullied in school. This video was to inspire hope and offer courage to LGBT youth:

7) We all know that children watch what we do. And they follow our examples. Our actions are powerful. This video drives this point home (with amazing music) — Children see. Children do:

8 ) When I was a child, I adored Mr. Rogers. I idolized him. I honestly wanted to marry him. I recently came across this video where Mr. Rogers melts the heart of a cynical senator in a congressional hearing. That man sure did know how to work magic. I miss him:

9 ) Okay, admittedly, I created this one. When I first heard the song, I cried. When I thought of the story that went with the song, I told the director and he got teary. When we filmed it, the art director and the makeup artist cried when they got to the part when the mom receives the message from her daughter at work. So, believe me, I know it’s all pretend. It still makes me cry:

10) If you have ever loved someone who was counted out before they even started — and if you believed in them and supported them regardless of the odds, this one is dedicated to you:

Did I say ten videos? I meant eleven. This one’s for you, Mom. I miss you. I wish you were here so we could watch YouTube videos and little children swinging and cry together.  And P.S. I will always be your little girl:

What are the videos that make you tear up? Please feel free to post the links in the comments section below.