Earlier this month, the videos from all of the Listen To Your Mother shows were released and are up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. I encourage you to take some time and check them out. For us, the excitement and emotions of that day came flooding back as we all watched each other again read such heart felt stories and discovered new stories from around the country.
But what only a select few know was that there was much more to my story than what I shared on stage. The essay I chose to read was a rewrite of a blog post called Please Don't Wish Me a Happy Mother's Day that I did last year about the feelings I had surrounding Mother's Day. Though it accurately portrayed the feelings at that time, I always felt the old post was a bit too negative and wanted an opportunity to make it more positive.
When the chance to submit an essay to the Listen To Your Mother Chicago producers Melisa Wells and Tracey Becker came up, I dug out the old post and took a serious look at it. I no longer felt those negative emotions about Mother's Day, but there still was a sadness attached to the day.
After reading letters from other transgender moms, I knew that the story was not unique. I hoped that it would resonate with those that heard it. Please watch the video, if you haven't already, then read on to find out the rest of the story.
Many of the stories read on that stage that day spoke of the past. Moments in time that moved and changed us. But mine spoke of a future hope. A future that I longed for.
The night before I was to step on stage and read my story, my life changed. I was sitting at my computer doing a final read through when my two wonderful kids surprised the daylights out of me.
They both approached with their hands hidden behind their backs and then presented me with gift cards and the words that came out of their mouth will be ones that I will remember the rest of my life.
They wished me a Happy Mother's Day!
I was speechless! No words could describe the elation that filled my heart at that moment. A tear rolled down my cheek and the hugs ensued. I know how far they had to come, to come to a point where they felt comfortable wishing me a happy Mother's Day.
I think the excitement from the night before was part of the driving force for me the day of the show. I knew that no matter what I was going to read, my dream had come true.
So moments before we were to take the stage, all the cast members and our photographers gathered back stage for one last encouraging word from our fabulous producers. The news of the night before was just too much for me to contain and there was no one that I would have wanted to share my news with other than 16 of the most wonderful ladies I know.
As you can tell from the photo there were smiles and cheers all around. Thank you to Brandi Lee and Elizabeth Ragu for capturing one of my most favorite moments of that day. The love and support I found in these ladies was never more evident than this moment.
As I read through my essay, looking out into the dark theater, my knees shook knowing that my daughter was somewhere out there in the audience. I got through most of the reading without getting lost to the emotions that welled up inside me. As I stepped off the stage - I lost it. The tears of joy could not be contained any longer.
Now the mom label still hasn't taken a solid foot hold in our every day conversation but I know that is just another step. My kids have already taken one of the biggest steps. I will be forever impressed with their strength and love.
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