Thursday, May 9, 2013

Listen to Your Mother Show: These are my people

We send our stories into a theater packed with 400 bodies. That's 800 ears.  We send our stories into a social media project that will spread our stories to more bodies, more ears.

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
Some you help create.

my Inklings at Christmas--didn't get a pic after show!
Some you find through other people.
Tina, moi, Shannon, Kellie, Ange
Ashley and Jennifer at Kentucky Derby party. (They didn't wear the hats to the show.)
And some you share your soul onstage with.
2013 cast of Oklahoma City's Listen to Your Mother show (photo by Macy Fitzgerald)
Just when I feel lost at sea, my family--the ones I'm related to and the ones I've adopted--buoy me.
my hubby and kids at after-party
my mother-in-law, mom, and dad at after-party
They always do.

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.


  1. Stop making me cry!

    You were awesome, and continue to be awesome, my friend.


    1. No more crying! I will give away a book tomorrow and then write something funny. Maybe. We'll see.:)

  2. This people was there for you! Just didn't find you after the show. It was so crowded. Saw Lisa and called out to her, but she didn't hear me.
    You were fabulwondermus. Made me sob. No just little tear running from my eye, but gut clinching sob. Thanks for sharing.

    1. "Fabulwondermus" needs to be embroidered on a pillow. I love that. Thanks for being one of my people!

  3. So proud to be a part of your "created" sisterhood!

  4. Brandi, you used to be a diamond in the rough. Now, you ARE the diamond!! And my how you shine! I'm so very proud of you!! Wish I could have been there.

    1. Thank you. Even though you missed the live show, it will eventually air on the Listen to Your Mother Show website. You don't have to miss a thing!

  5. Wish I could have been there in person for this--but lifting you up and sooo pleased and proud for you and all the sistahs. Yay, YOU!

    1. Thanks, Amy. Hopefully you can make it next year. It's a great show--and a reason to extend your stay in OKC after OWFI.:)

  6. I wish I could have been there. I was there in spirit for you. You are a person that any woman would want to call a sister. Congratulations on the event.

  7. You are my people, too, Brandi. So glad I got to share this with you.

    1. I'm looking forward to our reunion already!

  8. Loved getting to be one of your people. :) You were magnificent...only wish I could have stayed long enough to hug your neck afterward. :(

    1. Thank you. I wish I would have had my phone on so that I could have seen you before the show. Thanks so much for being there.