On Writing

My daughter asked me to write about my mother because she was writing about me. I’m 84 and my mother died more than 50 years ago; I hadn’t thought of her in years. But gradually more and more things came back and now I think about her often. That’s been a real gift.

It was painful writing down all the details of my mother’s life – my father’s drinking, the violence, my inability to do anything about it or get her out of there. It made me so sad I couldn’t read my story at the workshop. But then I read it to a couple of friends and one pointed out that as sad as I was, my mother didn’t seem sad in the story I’d written. By having to write her whole story I had to include how loving and fun she was and I had to remember that. She had a hard life but she wasn’t sad. That was a revelation.

I wanted to write my mother’s story to remind her of how courageous she’d been when she was young. Recently she and my father had moved here and she was anxious about living in a new country. But she’d been so fearless at home.

Thank you again for offering me an opportunity to give my mother the respect and appreciation I did not show during her life.

On the Shows

I attended My Mother’s Story yesterday at the Revue Stage at Granville Island and was so overwhelmed by it in the most positive way and of course I have told absolutely everyone I know about the experience. I say experience because it was just that and not just another play. My 7 year old son asked me about my Mother’s Day and the play and as I went on and on about it he actually listened and then asked me about my mother (it was quite cute). Anyways, everyone that I tell about My Mother’s Story also asks where they can go to see it……………..any possibilities of further performances? Thanks for the laughs, the insight and the tears, it was an amazing experience.

Thank you for your wonderful show about the extraordinary lives of ordinary moms- you have inspired me to write about my own funny and inspirational mum. You also sparked a wonderful conversation between my daughter and myself about her two grandmothers and our own relationship- what a great thing !! Gill
The nature of the material touches all – even the man beside me had a kleenex out and was dabbing tears! This is the motherhood-ness” of it all. It gave 100 year of history about our country, and it gave a history of the role of women over that time. More than that, it gave a look at our humanity that builds an understanding of our oneness and sameness, and more than anything it looked at the human condition into which we are born, and from which we assuredly depart. All in all, kudos to you all. Next??????????

Wow!!! I was so stunned at the end of the performance that I was speechless. The whole thing was like a symphony with different notes, chords, tempos, values and instruments all coming together to produce an extraordinary result. I laughed, I cried and I was riveted to all those amazing bits whose sum was far greater than the whole!!! It has to be experienced by a greater audience and I am sure you will find a way. The whole afternoon was so beautifully put together with the actors serving food so you were familiar with them when they were on stage, the food and drink you procured, the prizes and everything else. There was such a buzz and I am so glad I was able to get a ticket. Then I walked home in a daze of emotion inspired by an afternoon of pure truth. Thanks so much.

On Reading the Stories

Hi – I’ve just experienced the stories for the first time, since we live in the east now, but they were well worth waiting for. I love seeing, particularly, where the strength of so many of the familiar strong actresses has come from. But I also like reading the ones where perhaps the mother did not triumph. That’s the story I’ll have to write, but it’s hard. They tried so hard… Thank you.

I’m loving the book, even more than I expected. The photo on the front cover is such an excellent choice – the mother’s swollen feet in her high heels tell an epic story all on their own. I’m about a third of the way through, and each of the stories are gripping in their own way. I think you made a very good decisions to let each daughter’s voice be as authentic as possible. The various voices makes the experience much more like watching My Mother’s Story, the stage play, but in long form. Beautifully done, you.

Mother’s Responses

Marilyn, It makes a good story, but it seems to be from the point of view of somebody in Vancouver seeing it through the small end of a telescope. It’s as though I became “folk art”. It sounds like it was a crazy life, and in many ways it was, but really not that disorganized. I finally made a copy and I think I’ll write some changes you can use and then mail it back to you. There are still a few misconceptions about my relatives. MOM

Tell Your Story – What did you see? What did you do? What happened next?