She took a deep a breath and then nervously read her poem about motherhood. After she was done, she looked up at us and said "that's it" with a smile. Seconds later her young daughter, who was sitting next to her, wrapped her arms around her mother with pride and love.
He read his story, which was a love letter to his wife. She sat beside him wiping tears from her eyes.
She read her story with her voice shaking about loss and getting through and feeling it all.
She and her mother laughed with each other as they shared their stories of appreciation.
"I've never said this out loud," she said.
"I haven't even said that in therapy," some of them told us.
"That felt so good," she said.
"Thank you," they said.
Last week, I was honored to be a witness to brave people who shared their lives, their heartache, their humor, their humanity, their stories. I cried, laughed, hugged, related, sat in awe of and felt lifted up by story after story.
We (my co-producer Angela Amman and I) had three days of auditions for Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit show coming in April. Audition week culminated last Saturday at a hipster coffee shop in Midtown Detroit, The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. For seven hours we heard story after story, and had fancy coffee after fancy coffee.
|Lavender lattes sounded a little too fancy for me, a little too light, but I ended up loving it so much. |
And the guys put a heart in the foam, I mean, so much to love.
It just happened to be one of the busiest Saturdays at the coffee shop in the past couple months, according to Isiah, the stressed out but very cool manager on duty. The energy in the room was electric and alive.
Angela and I were set up in the corner all set with our Listen To Your Mother paperwork and box of tissues. When a person walked in looking maybe a little nervous or uncertain, Isiah or Jordan (one of our servers) would say "I think someone is here for your mom show."
This is the second year we have done the Listen To Your Mother show in Detroit, the second year we have had auditions. While I have a little more confidence in working with our venue (the ultra cool St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit) and understanding timelines, there is no complacency or oh yeah I've heard this before when it comes to the stories. This year we heard even more perspectives, experiences and different motherhood stories. This year, our second time through, I only feel more gratitude.
I kind of can't believe these beautiful people sharing their stories with us say "thank you" to us. I hope they all know that I thank them, all of them. I want to thank them for being so brave and open and truthful and funny and honest and real and gutsy and silly and raw and generous.
"You okay?," Isiah asked after a particularly emotional storyteller left.
"I think I will be," I told him dabbing my eyes with tissues and then I ordering another lavender latte. "Actually, I know I will be."
Hearing these stories inspires me to be stronger and strive to be more empathetic and compassionate and open-minded.
So thank YOU storytellers, thank YOU Isiah, thank YOU Listen To Your Mother, thank YOU people that come to hear the all the stories on the day of the show.
Later this week we will be announcing the cast of the 2015 Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit show, so stay tuned! To find out more about our show click here. To buy tickets to the show happening Sunday, April 26th at St. Andrew's Hall at 3 p.m. (doors open at 2 p.m.), click here.
To read about last year's show click here and here. To watch videos from last year's show, click here.