Saturday, May 12, 2012

Listen to Your Mother

Last Sunday was LTYM DC! Here's a show recap from the producer, my awesome friend Kate. I was honored to be part of this amazing spoken word show with a terrific group of women. I wasn't sure how my reading would go, because the day before I decided to practice with two of my mom-friends while Margaret and I were Girl Scout Camping.


I only made it through one line before starting to cry, so I figured Sunday's reading would be a crap shoot.

At the last minute I shuttled my comfy and uber-flattering dress jeans for a pair of black cotton capris. I was 8th to read, and by that time my pants were a soggy mess, having served as sweat-catchers for my dripping palms during the previous 7 readings. When my name was called, I stood up, tried to adjust my pants, and launched into reading this post.

The hardest part for me was not being able to see the people in the audience, because the stage was brightly lit and the house was dark. I stared into the blackness, knowing that college friends, prayer-group moms, blog readers, and many friends from town were there. Not being able to connect with faces was tough, and as I read I felt as if I were talking into a void, making Jim Carrey-like contortions with my face but unable to stop myself. The video should be a self-esteem crushing doozy.

This is the MOST NORMAL my face looked the whole time:

Even though it was scary...
Even though I didn't get to connect face to face with the audience as I would have liked...
And even though I read a shitty, horrible post that in no way reflects the future I thought my beautiful son would have...

The LTYM experience was wonderful and unforgettable. The remaining LTYM shows will take place tomorrow, and shortly thereafter all of the stories will be available to watch on YouTube.

The experience reminds me, once again, that we all have a story, or rather STORIES to tell. And in the sharing, through the belly laughter and the pain, we are able to connect with each other.

Speaking of stories, you MUST read this hilarious post written by a local blogger and reader of An Inch of Gray. She and her mom made the trek to see LTYM DC and you will not believe the tale she has to tell--- there may even be an Elvis sighting!

42 comments:

Brianna M J said...

Another story about a rare bird ... :)

Mrs Changstein said...

You're in my prayers this weekend. You're not forgotten, or alone. xo. Cindy

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee


Sending love and hugs to you from the mountains of East Tennnessee. Praying for His presence and Jack's love for his momma to be especially sweet and precious today. You are so in my thoughts. In Christ with love.

NanaDiana said...

I am not going to wish you a Happy Mother's Day because I think the words do not need to be spoken. I am sure this is one of the very many hard Mother's Days you will go through over the years. I will send you my blessing and wish for peace through your pain.....and I will pop over and visit the blog you mentioned. God bless you today...xo Diana

Kara said...

I just adore you. I love that you spoke, I love that you're such a writer, but I really love the mother that you are. We will probably never meet face to face, but you have had a profound influence on the way I mother my four children. Thank you. Lifting you and your family up today.

Scary Mommy said...

I wish I could have been there -- was thinking of you all.

And, especially thinking of you, today. XOXO

LauraBeth said...

Anna... The coolest thing happened last night as we were driving down Maple. A car beside me tooted its horn to get my attention. The driver had seen my Jack magnet and blue ribbon bow on my car. She waved a handful of blue ribbon at me - she was on her way to put out more blue ribbon for you along the road you drive so you would feel even more surrounded with love this day. She doesn't know you personally but wanted you to feel our love this morning.

Know that you ARE surrounded with love and prayers and hugs and wishes and LOVE this day - you, and Tim and Margaret, too - THIS day and EVERY day. May the day be gentle to you today, and may you feel our love...

Love, hugs, and prayers from the other side of town...

Anne said...

Anna,
You are so brave to get up there and speak.I don't think I could have done it.You are all in our hearts and prayers.
Anne

Princess Kate said...

This morning, the first thing I did was enjoy my coffee sitting on the front porch looking at my beautiful blue ribbon tied to our tree. I hope your day is beautiful Anna with peace and love peppered in. Thinking of you and giving you a virtual hug from one mom to another. Love and prayers always.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and praying a little harder today.

theresa

Stimey said...

You did beautifully at LTYM. I kept thinking of how hard it must have been for you to hear those stories, to have to read yours. You have so much courage, Anna. It was an honor to share that stage with you.

Thinking of you on this difficult day, as always. Love you.

Heidi said...

I went to sleep last night with you on my mind and heart. Thinking of you today, Anna, and sending strength and love to you.

I wish I could have heard you speak.

Love you.

Laura said...

Thought of you at early mass this morning ~
still thinking of you now . . .
Offering extra prayers today ~ and a hope that you feel him near.
xo

Mama Mary said...

I am thinking of you today, as always. Wish I could have heard your LTYM reading live, but look forward to seeing the video. xo

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You are in my heart today. Praying for your comfort and strength.
((HUGS)) xoxo

Sophia1 said...

Thinking of you and praying extra hard for you today.

IrishRN07 said...

Thinking of you today Anna.

ella said...

Just wanted to drop a line to say I'm thinking of you a whole bunch today. xoxo

Recovering Church Lady said...

Came to see you here today, Mother's Day because as I am in the middle of my first Mother's Day without a mother, I know that you too are in the middle of a totally different holiday than you expected.
I pray for you often and add mine to so many others!
Blessings,
Susie

AmyMcC said...

I started my day today with my coffee and reading your blog. As the day has gone on, I've gotten several messages from friends (old, new, "email only")with Mother's Day wishes. They have all been touching. But, what I really appreciate is that they took a moment to do something so little yet SO meaningful. So, here I am back at your blog to let you know that you (and your famiy) are being thought of even more today by yet another stranger. Prayers for you all!

OSMA said...

Anna, I could not produce a pic of Elvis for you but I can let you know how profoundly you, Tim, Margaret and Jack have impacted my life. I came in to check on you this Mother's Day but instead found a link to my own post. Thank you for making me feel like a legit blogger. Mostly I want to thank you for sharing your experience in such a way you now have more friends than you know what to do with. May each of us bring you a piece of what you need when you need it. So much love to you and your family on this day that might feel especially impossible.

xoxox
Erin

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love you Anna. It meant the world to me to have you there

Holly said...

What a beautiful story - you must have been amazing.

Lis said...

You read with such composure and confidence. I marveled at how composed you seemed, in fact. Your reading, and your piece, really touched me. So well written and so expressive of who you are and what you're going through. You are extraordinary!

Lynn said...

Way. To. Go.You are one brave woman. I, along with the many other readers you have following you, applaud your just putting one foot in front of the other moving down life's road. Even though it is all ripped up.
You and Margaret are both pretty.

Kate said...

You were amazing and brave and confident. It was such an honor to hear you.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you--always and especially today. I have never met you but feel I know you from your amazingly inspiration and poignant posts. I hope that you find some comfort in knowing how many lives you and Jack have touched over the past few months, mine included. God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I've visited a few times throughout the day, and not commented, because I just didn't feel like there was anything that I could say on Mother's Day that would mean anything to you, or that wouldn't repeat what others have said so well already. Simply, I am very proud of you, and you are in my prayers today.

Deb said...

you did beautifully at ltym. what is the "normal" face that a mother should wear as she shares her grief for her son? of course, there is no such thing. the more important thing is that your story was spoken and counted among all those other stories of motherhood. thank you for having the courage to make that happen!

Suburban Correspondent said...

You did great at LTYM. I was amazed you didn't break down, because every single person around me in the audience was sniffling and weeping and blowing their noses as you read. But you looked strong and steady from where we sat.

This must have been such a hard day for you. I'm sorry. No way out but through...

New Mom said...

I'm so impressed by your bravery to speak at LTYM. Like so many others have expressed, I was thinking of you and praying for you today. So many mothers around the nation had a Mother's Day with so much more meaning, considering all of the lessons you've taught us. Jack has influenced and blessed so many mothers, and I know that is only a tiny fraction of how much he means to you.

Geri said...

I'm guessing most, if not all of the other moms speaking didn't talk about their child who died. You, Anna, are some kind of wonderful for telling Jack and your family story. Please let us know when it is out on youtube, I would love love love to hear you speak. The post you read was so eloquent, so true, so your reality, and many many others, we need to see one of us up there sharing the story that may be painful and scary, but still true. thank you, thank you, thank you.

DawnGes said...

Dear Anna,
I so badly wanted to hear you at LTYM, but the Sacraments' lunch and clean-up took too long. I'm sorry.

Thank you for your post. I've been praying for you and thinking of you all weekend long.

You are courageous even when you're afraid, and your capacity to love is amazing.

Love, prayers, hugs.

Lady Jennie said...

I get choked up just thinking about you reading this. I'm sure my face would have looked like Jim Carrey too but I could have been hidden.

Off to read the link you posted.

Domestic Diva said...

Okay that story about "Elvis" - can we say RARE BIRD?!?!?!? That is amazing! What a beautiful sign. I love that Jack is everywhere and shining down on so many people. Happy Mother's Day!

Lisa said...

I love that the peacock in her story was blue...and called Elvis. How perfect. It's amazing how the signs are everywhere. Thinking of you...as always.

Ann Imig said...

Can't thank you enough for sharing a piece of Jack and your family's journey with LTYM.

I picture him listening to you read and beaming with pride.

Thinking of you, grateful for you, and sending peace.

Ann

Fairy Godmother said...

You were amazing to listen to and your words and story stayed with me during the rest of the speakers and for the last few weeks...thanks for being so brave and your face was beautiful throughout.

Jen said...

Were you at the GSC at the PW campground? My daughter was there all weekend with her troop. I planned to go as her co-leader, but was still recovering from surgery. I heard it was a great time despite bird eating snakes, mice and lots of scary noises...and sad that I couldn't make LTYM. Thinking of you....

PeachPrenni said...

I like the Post you chose to read..one of my favorites. Wish I had been there to hear you speak. I will have to look for the video on YouTube. I'm proud of you; I know that took a lot of courage and strength!!
Annie

Sharon said...

I couldn't help but notice that when your friend was looking for " Elvis the Peacock" she used the term " rare bird" more than once. I don't know if it's me being weird or possibly you also realized it already.

Prayers for you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I heard you speak at LTYM and you were brave, confident and composed. It was an honor to hear you speak. You are an amazing, courageous woman. Thank you for sharing your story.