Posted in Listen to Your Mother

In the quiet moments…

In twenty-four hours, we will gather at the Crest Theatre, where we will get lost in the tech rehearsal, pace nervously as we wait for the show to begin and the night will fly by in the blink of an eye. I know this first hand.

And in the craziness, the last-minute makeup application and dressing and fussing, I worry that I won’t have a moment with each of you to tell you just how much you mean to me and why. So I’m doing that now, in the quiet moments on the eve of our show.

Stephanie

You are like the sunshine, my dear. You have a uncontainable light inside that casts a golden glow on everyone you come in contact with. I adore you for your optimism and your boundless love for your family. My life is better for having you in it. Thank you, Stephanie.

Lisa

There are simply no words for how much I admire you. Inside you lies such a quiet strength that I see more with each passing day. Your ability to seek out and capture the beauty in others speaks volumes about your kind and generous soul. I am so grateful for our friendship.

Roxanne

You, my dear, surprise me more every day. Though your  wit and charm are readily apparent and put everyone around you at immediate ease, your inner beauty is exemplified in all that you do for those around you. You are such a tremendous gift to all who are lucky enough to know you.

Laura

In those early minutes of your audition, I knew I would come to love you. You wear your sense of humor, kindness and generosity on the outside, my friend. What a joy it has been to get to know you over these past several months. Thank you for being a part of this cast.

Jill

Oh Jill, my sweet ray of sunshine. From the moment I met you, I knew that you would bring joy to my life. To say that I admire you doesn’t even begin to express what I feel. When I’m with you, I’m enveloped in love and a wonderful sense of calm. And for that, I am ever grateful.

Tonya

My beautiful Tonya. How can I even convey how much I love you? You entered my life three years ago now and ever since, you have graced me with your joy, optimism, hope and tenacity. When I count my blessings, my friend, I count you. Thank you for speaking the words that I wish I could. Thank you for me and thank you for all of the other women who need to hear them. I positively adore you.

Bridgette

Sweet Bridgette. I am so incredibly proud of you for taking the leap of faith and putting your story into words. Watching you evolve and grow more confident over the past few months has been such a gift. Thank you for pushing yourself… for believing in all that you can accomplish. You’re an amazing woman, my friend and I am so very lucky to know you.

Kim

The more I learn about you, Kim, the more I realize I have yet to learn. Your generosity and kindness greeted me from our first meeting, but your strength and vulnerability in your audition left me speechless. Having you as a part of this cast… as a part of my life… brings me so much joy. My gratitude for you knows no bounds.

Emma

I can still remember how, when you came in for auditions and spoke the first words of your piece, I wanted to close my eyes and get swept away in your story. Your voice, your words, your kindness have truly touched my life. Thank you so very much for that.

Deirdre

From the first time I read your story, I was certain this show needed you. With wit and tenderness, you tell a story that speaks to a piece of my soul. Thank you for going on this LTYM journey with us.. thank you for believing in this project, Deirdre.

Tresa

Oh, my feisty friend. What a joy it is to know you. Your energy and zest for life are infectious. Your smile, radiant. Thank you for sharing your story, a story that has wedged itself into my heart and changed how I see the world. You are a true delight, Tresa.

Penny

You, my dear, are grace personified. You glided into auditions and right into my heart. Thank you for trusting us with your story and for speaking the words that so many of us need to hear. My heart bursts with love and admiration for you, Penny.

Janelle

Where do I begin to tell you how much I adore you? I can still remember hearing you read for the first time. You gave me goosebumps then and you give them to me now. Every time you read. For your story… for your words… for your friendship, I thank you.

Margaret

There is no one I would have wanted to embark on this journey with more than you. Your laugh, silliness and fierce work ethic have carried me through some of the craziest times. Thank you for standing by me and making me laugh on the fun days and being my buoy on the tough ones. I can’t imagine a day of my life without you in it, my friend.

Tethered

Around tables that formed a rectangle, we sat, fidgeting with our papers, our anticipation and trepidation palpable.

We knew so very little about one another then.

One by one, we read our words, each exposing one small, yet telling piece of who we are.

One beautiful, vulnerable piece of who we are.

Each piece stood on it’s own, but merged together to tell a larger story… the 2012 Listen to Your Mother, San Francisco story.

Being a part of that cast is one of the greatest joys of my life… a treasure that I hold most dear.

And tomorrow, I will walk into a room, not unlike that room in San Francisco, and greet a new LTYM cast. The Sacramento cast.

Over the past week, my mind has wandered back to last year. I’ve been swept up in memories of an experience that I’ve always struggled to find words to adequately explain.

Magic. Pure and simple magic.

But now I feel the tremendous weight of that magic. Can we recreate that here in Sacramento? Will the cast walk away from tomorrow’s table read with a sense of awe the way I did last year at this time? Will they feel alive in a way they’ve never felt before?

Will they walk away knowing that they will be tethered to their cast mates for always?

When I am still, I know they will. I know that the joy of LTYM will climb into their souls and change them in a way that they’ll one day struggle to explain, just as I do. Because that is what LTYM does.

So tonight, I’m taking deep breaths.

I’m trusting the process.

Because I know that the stories they will share tomorrow will be tucked away in their hearts and they will carry those words with them for always.

And for that, I am so incredibly grateful.

Gifts along the way

Before I applied to bring Listen to Your Mother to Sacramento, my thoughts were consumed by the end of the journey… the night when everything would come together on stage and the audience would be swept away in the stories I knew were just waiting to be told.

Having been a part of the LTYM San Francisco cast, I remember the audience’s response… I remember the tears and the laughter. I remember the joy on their faces after the show.

As time passed, my focus shifted to the submissions that filled our inboxes…the funny, the heartbreaking and the uplifting.

This past weekend, those stories came to life in our audition room at ThinkHouse Collective, each one a gift laid before us.

I knew that the weekend would be overwhelming. I knew that gratitude would buoy me and I knew that the stories would climb inside me and become a part of who I am.

What I didn’t realize would be so powerful and what I held onto last night as I struggled with the weight of choosing our cast, was the tremendous gratitude I would feel for Margaret, my beautiful co-producer and co-director.

We spent eighteen hours there in that room, side by side at the long table. She made me laugh, passed me the tissues before I had to reach for them and hugged me when she knew that I needed one so desperately.

Though our friendship formed long before our Listen to Your Mother, Sacramento journey began, this shared experience is one of my life’s greatest joys.

As the sunlight faded and we began to make what still feel like nearly impossible choices, I was so incredibly grateful to have her there with me.

I can’t imagine a moment of this without you, Margaret. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Whole again

Creative Alliance '12

Photo courtesy of Suebob Davis

I’ve written about my father here before.

I’ve shared my grief and my efforts to work through my sadness.

And I worried that you might be growing weary of hearing about it.

So, I stopped writing about him.

I stopped sharing the waves of my sadness and I bottled it up inside, where it became trapped, until two weeks ago, when I stood in front of my peers at Creative Alliance ’12 and read the first substantial piece that I ever wrote about my father.

And I felt freed of a piece of my sadness.

Standing there, giving voice to my grief was cathartic.

Not long ago, I read a quote from On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss that gave me permission to grieve both privately and publicly.

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.

It was that quote that pushed me to submit my piece the the Listen to Your Mother “Say It” Salon at Creative Alliance ’12.

It helped me to recognize that it’s okay to feel what I’m feeling.

Thank you, Ann Imig, Leane Vandeman and Andrea Fellman for providing a warm and supportive environment for my words.

Thank you to all of the amazing women who sat and listened and smiled and cried with me.

And if I become fearful or trapped or lonely, I will sit quietly and watch this video from Suebob Davis that captures the magic of Creative Alliance ’12.

And I will be grateful.

 

Words of Motherhood: Listen to Your Mother

Listen to your mother, LTYM, Listen to your mother San FranciscoWe each woke up that crisp, sunny morning, quite likely with our first thoughts of our Listen to Your Mother audition that day.

We each carefully chose our clothes, applied our makeup, and mentally ran through our chosen piece time and again.

We drove to the Fort Mason Center to share our words with two women who were truly eager to hear them.

Words of motherhood.

We waited for our turn and we worried.

All of us.

And, one after another, we read.

Each story beautiful in its own unique way, but also much the same.

Words of motherhood.

We all went home and waited.

Many of us spoke with one another about the amazing experience.

We took turns expressing how grateful we were to have had the opportunity to read our words.

We spoke of being honored to attend the LTYM show in May, whether in the audience or as a part of the cast.

And we truly meant it.

I am elated to be one of the lucky ones who were cast for the show.

I am so incredibly honored to be one of those who will stand and read her story.

I will stand and read my words and share my story and I will never forget this feeling of overwhelming joy.

I am so incredibly grateful and excited for this experience and I am sending so much love to those who weren’t cast this time.

I am confident that each of us, those who were cast and those who were not, are grateful for the experience.

For having a welcoming environment in which to share our words.

Words of motherhood.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
More about Nichole
  • @NicholeBeaudryon Twitter
  • Nichole on Pinterest
  • Nichole on Instagram
  • Nichole on Facebook
  • Nichole on LinkedIn
  • Subscribe to this site's RSS
  • Contact this author

I also write at

all Parenting
She Knows Parenting

Instagram photos