We can't take them back.
The house lights go up, but there is a strange combination of stage lights still shining that leave much of the crowd in the dark--at least from my view point. Applause fades to giddy conversations as cast members reunite with their people.
I stand alone onstage, peering into the gloomy abyss.
Where are my people?
A silhouette waves, and I think it's one of my tribe. The cast member in front of me waves back.
Where are my people? They were coming... right?
Loneliness sweeps over me as the waves of emotions the show tossed about go out to sea and come back for me--pulling me into a place that churns like a sea monster.
Then I take a deep breath. I'm being silly. A saying drifts across my psyche: "If your ship doesn't come in, go out to meet it."
Right. Even if my people aren't here, I have a whole new sisterhood in the inaugural cast of Oklahoma City's Listen to Your Mother show. And these amazing women and man deserve to be congratulated.
I step off the stage and into this new world where everyone knows my story.
My eyes adjust to the light. I see them. I hear others call my name.
I am not alone. I never was.
That's the thing with sisterhoods.
Some you grow up with.
|childhood friends Tina and Ange--and our mommas--at the show|
|my Inklings at Christmas--didn't get a pic after show!|
|Tina, moi, Shannon, Kellie, Ange|
|Ashley and Jennifer at Kentucky Derby party. (They didn't wear the hats to the show.)|
|2013 cast of Oklahoma City's Listen to Your Mother show (photo by Macy Fitzgerald)|
|my hubby and kids at after-party|
|my mother-in-law, mom, and dad at after-party|
Even if I can't see them doing it.
Our cast was warned about the "me too" moments when strangers approach post-show and connect to your story. I really didn't experience that. However, I did catch people watching me, and when I looked their ways, they avoided me. Now I know why. Since that day, I've heard from two people who told me my story helped women who were still so raw that they couldn't tell me personally.
I didn't share my secrets in vain. My story is a letter in a bottle tossed into the sea meant to be found by someone I may never meet.
That's why I did Listen to Your Mother.
Because, sometimes, it's not about me having a buoy. It's about me being the buoy.