Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Moms share stories of love, loss, motherhood at Listen to Your Mother

Posted April 27, 2014

Any mother can tell you life doesn't go as planned.

That's especially so for Lisa Bulls and Erin Duffy, two local moms who also are cast members of next month's Listen to Your Mother live storytelling show. The program, with locally produced shows across the country, features stories of mothers and motherhood. It's scheduled for May 6 and May 8 at William Peace University in downtown Raleigh.

They are among the 14 local women who are part of this year's cast.

Bulls, a mom of two, will weave an emotional story that starts when she became pregnant with her first daughter while still in college. Years later, that daughter would experience the same thing - pregnancy as a college student.

"Later that day, in my 'safe place,' the shower, I cry," she writes about her emotions after learning her daughter is pregnant. "I cry and cry and cry until I’m all cried out ... literally. I feel disappointed. Angry. Betrayed. Heartbroken. The timing isn’t right."

Duffy focuses on her youngest daughter, a "surprise" baby. Soon after her daughter was born four years ago, Duffy's attentions turned elsewhere as her older daughter faced her own struggle and her middle daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. She watched as her little one soaked in the love and attention of the friends and family who stepped in to care for her. (Full disclosure: My daughter is good friends and classmates with one of Duffy's daughters).

"... As I head toward 50 and feel the toll of the last few years, I wonder what kind of mother Beatrice will have," Duffy writes. "My darling baby, what will I have left for you when you’re a teenager? Will I fail you? Have I failed you already?"

Writing down their thoughts and feelings wasn't new for either Duffy, an attorney, and Bulls, a program director at Wake Technical Community College. Bulls said she finds the exercise cathartic. She wrote a lot as she struggled with the emotions after learning her daughter was pregnant.

"I had to grow from it and I have grown from it," she said. She's always looking for "what is the blessing behind the lesson," she said.

Duffy went to last year's show, the first for Raleigh, with her own mother.

"We both had a great time and were just moved by the power of people living in and sharing their truths with others," she tells me. "It was a great experience. Even at last year's show, I thought I would love to try to do that." 

She's written a lot about her two older daughters, but not as much about her little one. In the middle of one night last fall, after her youngest climbed into bed with her, she looked at her small, sleeping face and the subject of the essay she'll read next week came to her.

"She gets her own thing," Duffy said.

Listen to Your Mother is 7:30 p.m., May 6 and May 8, at Kenan Auditorium at William Peace College in downtown Raleigh. Tickets for the shows, which sold out last year, are $20. Go to the Listen to Your Mother Raleigh Durham show website for more about the show and writers and to get your tickets. Last year's show was so much fun. I look forward to this one! It's a great moms' night out outing!

Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.


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