Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Take the Good with the Bad: The Listen To Your Mother Show NYC

You've got to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, love what you've got, and remember what you had. Always forgive, but never forget. Learn from mistakes, but never regret.

I have been living this quote this past week...taking the good with the bad...or perhaps I should say EXPERIENCING the good and the bad. The GOOD: a trip to Manhattan last Tuesday where I stepped inside the beautiful Symphony Space, the site of 2014's Listen To Your Mother Show, which will be taking place just a few days away on May 4th.  (You can buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/ltymnyc2014) Again the GOOD: being surrounded by the warmth and kindness of the immensely talented cast, having their support, making new friends, being appreciated for who I am and the experiences I bring to the table.  Leaving Manhattan, that night, the stories of the cast members and their strong voices swirled around me and resonated in my soul. (I am telling you...come...come and listen to these stories.  They will change you!) Driving the three hours home, I felt light and airy, content and successful...hopeful and so very very grateful.

But then, as life sometimes does, after living the very best of life--taking the good--I was handed the bad, on a silver platter...no, no..silver is too good for the bad I received.  The bad came on a shattered platter where the shards of glass pricked and scratched my skin and impaled my heart.  And while I am not ready to write about the details of the bad, what I was struck with was how quickly all the good disappeared. The good that had filled me to the brim just 24 hours before was gone in an instant. I was enveloped in a shroud of dark as if there was no light, as if someone had extinguished it all, licking his thumb and first finger to snuff out each brightly burning candle.  

This "BAD" has shaken me to my core, uprooted all my beliefs and pulled the rug of safety, security and sanity right out from under me.  I'll admit that it has been hard to lift my body from my bed each morning, to put a foot down on the floor, to walk the three steps to the bathroom.  There have been moments throughout the day that tears come unannounced and I choke and sputter and feel like the grip of "BAD" will hold me tight and never leave me.  And perhaps...it won't.  Perhaps, it won't.  

So what does that mean?  What does that mean for me?  If this "BAD" is permanent, if he won't go away, if he won't let "RESOLUTION" come to rescue me, then what am I to do?  Ah...that IS the million dollar question isn't it?  And just today, while I was forcibly fighting the bad to leave my space, my head, my home it occurred to me that the "GOOD" that I had experienced just 24 hours before "BAD" came to visit held the answer to the question, "What do I do now?"

When I think about the Listen To Your Mother cast, when I recite their stories in my head, I realize that they hold the keys...or the weapons...against the BAD.  Each story has a lesson to teach me about life and how to tackle it head on...both the GOOD and the BAD.  Laura's story reminds me to be kind to myself, to remember that just because there's good doesn't mean that the bad won't happen and that at some point, it is fine to accept that both will be here for awhile.  Neil's story of his mother helps me to try and find some GOOD wrapped up in the BAD.  Elise's story prods me to remember that as women we do what we can do with the circumstances that we have chosen, sure in our convictions even if we aren't sure of the outcome.  Thanks to Kizz's sweet story, a snuggle with my big goof of a dog last night brought me comfort and peace while I thought of the wisdom that Nadine's piece offered.  It's entitled,  "A Swift Kick in the Ass"  and perhaps I don't  need to even explain the lesson that her story teaches me.  Doreen's story emphasizes that the unexpected may happen, but after the wounds heal and the hair grows back we are much wiser and no worse for wear.  

These are just some of the beautiful, heart-warming, and hilariously funny stories about motherhood that will be shared on Sunday night.  And although, last Tuesday, I was feeling lucky to be part of such a cast, today...THIS Tuesday, I know that I will be forever grateful for the gifts that each storyteller has given me during a time where life proved that "You must take the good with the bad."

I hope to see some of you at the show!  Believe me EVERY story is...well... better than GOOD!