I’m back!!! There has been so much happening, so much to ruminate and blog about, so, why the absence…it’s a little thing I call ANAYLYSIS PARAYLYSIS…self diagnosed, of course. Risk factors include buying a house (the one house we looked at), trying to pack to prepare for said move, interviewing for a job, preparing Johnny for his First Holy Communion, attempting to train for a half-marathon, all while preparing to bare my soul on stage in front of friends and strangers.
Let me stop, right here, Dear Reader, and confess, I did not run the half-marathon. Yes, my Dad is rolling over in his grave. I am officially a QUITTER!
In my defense, it was the same morning as Listen to Your Mother, and I was advised by Dear Friends that I had perhaps lost my mind and in fact, it was a “terrible” idea and to really put the fear of God in me, I would go on stage and “look like crap, cause who looks good after running 13.1 miles??!!” I know, harsh but true words. Well, in all fairness, there are those who do look great after 13.1 miles, I…am not one of those people.
So, I did it, I quit. And with that off my plate I spent the next 2 days in a complete state of self-induced crazed chaos preparing myself for my big stage debut.
Now it is Monday, the morning after, and I find myself in a daze, trying to remember if it all really happened. Thinking myself too busy, I planned to write about this sometime after I had the chance to process the experience. Thanks to Lori at LavenderLuz and Perfect Moment Monday, that sometime is now.
Back in February, with much trepidation, I took myself to a random hotel in Northern Virginia to audition for the DC cast of Listen to Your Mother. In Perfect Moment – No Whiners or Quitters I wrote about this amazing experience and actually being cast in the show. I thought that was the hard part. Turns out auditioning was nothing compared to the feelings that threatened to stop me in my tracks and render me unable to head to the stage. Because what I discovered was that telling people I was going to read “my story” on stage was, in reality, much less intimidating than realizing…WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE?…I’M GOING TO READ MY STORY…LIVE..IN FRONT OF LIVE, REAL PEOPLE…ON A STAGE!
As I processed this fear, as irrational as it was, I chose to deal with it on a superficial level and channel all of that off the chart Anxiety into the major life decision known as, “WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?” Taking my gift for indecision to a whole new level. It was a personal best. In my quest for just the right look I purchased two dress and SIX, yes SIX pairs of shoes. I had to make a decision before I melted my credit card and/or The Captain figured out what I was up to.
The result was a game time decision in which I walked backstage with one of each shoe until I couldn’t even stand myself and knew it was time to hide my crazy.
Never mind the shoes, I was about to go out and BARE the contents of the deep recesses of my heart and soul to an audience. Standing backstage I could feel my heart racing as I contemplated the floorplan and just how possible it would be to exit stage left. Then I thought how can I be afraid? Haven’t I already been called to do the impossible, the unthinkable…I have buried my Precious Baby Girl. Everything else, in comparison, is a walk in the park. And so, I kept walking… right across the stage and into my seat… donning my red, white and blue dress, in honor of our Madeline, our 4th of July Baby Girl.
Then it was time…Our Time…time to “read” our story. The story of the unexplainable grief and pain when you become one of “The Club” and you are called to bury your child.
Despite feeling naked and exposed I began. Once concerned about my pacing and tone, after a brief moment the voice I heard didn’t even seem like mine. My heart and mind got lost in my love and longing for Madeline that I almost forgot there was an audience. Finally, I had the stage, the platform to tell all present…my Madeline is gone, she was loved and adored beyond measure, my heart is broken beyond repair and I will never be the same. But I have people, club members and dear friends who serve as a soft place to land and a shoulder to lean on when the days are unbearable.
After the show, to my hearts delight, I had a few people come up and thank me for sharing my story and Madeline. Some asked her name again and wanted to know a little more about her. Of course, I was delighted to share. Words can’t convey the emotion when some of the hugs were not accompanied by any words… just a big squeeze, a knowing look, and tears. Then it hit me…I really did tell this story for others, for others who cannot. That’s what us club members do.
The absolute, hands down best was that I SWEAR I felt Madeline with me. A surreal feeling that I could, perhaps, just reach out and kiss her sweet face, just once, but to make any move would destroy that magic place and she would go away. I felt her presence and told our story and I am so glad that I did for that one… perfect moment… when Baby Girl and I were together again.