Monday, May 7, 2012

Fuck Yeah! (Grab The Soap) How Listen to Your Mother Gave Me A Voice

Last night my dad walked right up to me, hugged me and said “Do you realize how lucky you are to have him?”  The ‘him’ he was referring to is my husband, and yes, I do know.   Then, he declared that he was going to wash my mouth out with soap for swearing.  The people who I was most worried about hearing what I had to share, hearing my story, were my parents.  Last night was the first time they would hear about my struggles with their grandsons’ father.  I thought for sure that my father would follow in Karen’s charge with torches and pitchforks in hand to exact justice.   I was also worried about coming off as a woman scored, or bitter or angry. 
Katy said something really poignant pre-show – that walking into the theater was like “Hoosiers” and it was!  In that final championship game, right when they are all walking into the fancy gym and they were all having that “holy shit” moment.  Yep, I was having that too.  Standing there at the Biograph and looking at the stage…holy shit!
I was nervous, really nervous.  Megan told me to pretend that it was just to two of us having drinks and talking.  To just picture her, but what was racing through my head was the fact that I don’t drink!  What kind of drink would I have?  And I yell when I get passionate about what I’m talking about, I couldn't yell in the mic. 
And then I sat.  In the dark, side stage. 
I remember NOTHING before that point, not the pep talk from Melisa and Tracey, which I’m sure was great.  Not any instructions, if there were any.  I just listened and counted as 1, 2, 3 … my friends went up and shared their truths.  Then I saw Melisa get up to go on stage.  I don’t remember getting up, or freaking out about being in heels or any of what Melisa said as she introduced me.  She walked off, gave me a low five and I walked on, out, into the brightest light ever and looked out into black. 
Preshow my dear friend Sarah sent me a photo of the view from her seat and reassured me and said that if I needed a friendly face to focus on to look for her. 

Thank you god!  But I couldn’t see anything, at all.   So, I took a deep breath and almost cried as I choked out the first three words “My Dear Son”.  I can’t start crying NOW!  I took a deep breath and continued in what I hope was heard as strength and confidence. 
I made notes on my script.  Where to make hand gestures, where to pause, where to slow down and where to look up.  None of it mattered when I was up there.  I looked straight ahead into darkness and pictured Sarah, I looked to the right and pictured Megan with drink in hand and I looked left and pictured my husband.  And I shared my truth.  I shared how my first son changed everything about me.

Thank you to my fellow cast mates who greeted me with high fives and hugs and thumbs ups when I walked off. 

Thank you to the petite brown haired woman who found me in the lobby after the show and thanked me.  You have no idea of how much I needed you to say that.  How much I needed a stranger to come up and let me know that what I said was heard. 

Thank you to all my dear friends and family for coming out and supporting me.

Thank you to Melisa and Tracey for allowing me this opportunity.

Thank you to Audrey, Vanessa, Melissa, Jen, Katy, Karen, Lou, Alisha, Megan, Brandie, Nancy, Judy, Stacey and Hyacynth for validating that I have a voice.   

On the drive home my husband was silent.  I was starting to freak out.  Did I say something to piss him off, was I really THAT bad, listen, I know my hair was big, but was it too big?  What the hell was going on?  “So…what did you think?”  The awesome thing about my husband is I know - I know without a doubt that he will in fact tell me the truth.  He didn’t want to say anything because he didn’t want what he thought, to influence or deter what I thought.  He didn’t want to limit my voice on my night.  That yes, he heard me almost cry in the beginning.  That yes, he saw me almost topple the podium.  He also saw me walk out and thought "she brought it".  He was proud of me.  He said that now it wasn’t just he who was able to see how amazing I am.  And I cried. And I am lucky. 

Thank you Ann for making something that allowed my voice to be heard


  1. I love what your husband said. I love it. He's so right. You are amazing.

  2. Trading in my pitchfork so I could hold up a lighter for you! You gave me chills again last night, just like the first time we met sitting nervously side-by-side at the pizza place. Our cast is forever bonded~

  3. Awesome. Just awesome. I love that a stranger found you and told you that you were heard. It gave me chills.

    Thank you for your heartbreaking, but so honest, story. I'm happy to know you.

  4. Your piece was INCREDIBLE. Thank you so much for telling your story.

  5. Awwww.... I want to hug your husband. And you. Hope you have a good trip and I'll see you Chips soon.

  6. I'm so glad you felt heard. My husband said he thought your piece was very powerful.

  7. Aww thanks guys! *tearing up*

  8. THANK YOU for sharing your story. It was very brave of you, and you son, husband and everyone that knows you is VERY lucky.

  9. Tracey's my sister! You did a great job and I enjoyed watching the show.

  10. I don't know how I missed this the first time around, but thank you so so much for lending your voice and your story and this phenomenal post to LTYM.

  11. "He said and now it wasn't just he who was able to see how amazing I am." That captures it. Dave and you have a beautiful partnership and a dynamic family! Each of you has brought so much joy and validation into my life and I am grateful. When I think about how to release the fear and move forward I think of you! I've been dong the cha-cha for a long time. I want to get ready for a flamenco dance. I'm going to reach out to you for coaching!


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