I think the way I'm going I shall be blubbing at just about anything by the time I'm 60. I know that men, as they get older, suddenly become more... no, less able to control their emotions, especially ones that have you reaching for hankies. Maybe it's because I was a Caring Understanding Noughties Type (I say 'was' as this is no longer the noughties) or maybe it's because I now work with people and people have a way of inveigling their way into your emotions.
Anyhow, my most recent visit to the land of 'what the fuck is wrong with me' happened last night. I had, much to the wife's bemusement, settled down to watch the Spurs v Bolton FA Cup quarter final and despite going a goal down after 4 minutes, my team equalised and looked in the ascendancy, when something horrible happened.
Fabrice Muamba used to be an Arsenal player, but that is immaterial, because on the 41 minute mark he collapsed and 'died' on the White Hart Lane pitch. Only the actions of quick-witted footballers (normally something of an oxymoron of a statement) and medical staff, who worked valiantly and at times seemingly in vain to save the 23-year-old's life. The game, which was finely poised was cancelled, the fans were united in their support for the stricken player, the other players and the decision - never before could a game have been abandoned where there was not a single dissenting voice to be heard.
ESPN's coverage was respectful; as soon as the shot of Muamba obviously having a fit, face down on the WHL turf was shown, the producers decided that it was more prudent to focus on anything else. The crowd, the reaction of the players, the looks of complete and utter shock on everyone's faces - you didn't need to see a man fighting for his life to know there was a man fighting for his life.
And I sat there feeling emotion welling up in my stomach; yes, I will admit to feeling a bit like rubber-necking, but equally I could hear the emotion in my voice when telling the wife who Muamba was and stating the bleeding obvious when saying things such as, 'this is bad' and 'I hate to say this but I think he's dead'.
So, with the game rightly abandoned, we decided to watch something else and that something was the second part of Martin Scorsese's George Harrison documentary. Which, of course, doesn't have a happy ending and at the end I was sat there thinking about George - the tenderest and most self-effacing of the Beatles; and John so cruelly stolen from us by a madman with a gun; and there was Ringo, with tears in his eyes and a thick voice, making a funny, but poignant, joke about his own blubbing. I wiped more than one tear from my eyes and the wife, always finely attuned to death, wandered into the kitchen and I knew she had been crying as well. Someone else's tragedies and deaths have a way of making you remember your own grief all too acutely.
And today is Mother's Day; not a day I've ever been a huge fan of; because as anyone who knows me will tell you I think all of these 'days' are just the creation of card companies who understand that humans have a love of something and they should show that love by buying a card for that special occasion. It's like Valentine's day - if I love my wife, I'll tell her (and I do regularly); I don't need a card to show it.
But, today is Mother's Day and I haven't got a mum any more; George and John are still dead and Fabrice Muamba is in critical condition, fighting for his life...