Life, Love, and LTYM Show – San Francisco

When my son was three, he was fascinated by all things siren-related. One night in the Mission District of San Francisco, an ambulance was parked outside the restaurant where we were eating.


No emergency, just hungry paramedics waiting for their “TO GO” order. 

When we left the restaurant, my son ran to the ambulance and peered inside the open sliding door. The next thing I knew, a paramedic was asking him if he’d like to see his heartbeat.


My son was too shy to agree, but I wasn’t. So the paramedic hooked me up to the heart rate monitor, and we all watched as a paper tape began unfurling from the machine.


“This is what your mama’s heartbeat looks like when she’s loving you,” the paramedic said.

I still have the copy of that printout, but it’s stored in a box of my son’s baby memorabilia in the garage. Maybe I should frame it with the paramedic’s words and give it to my son for his 18th birthday. 

But I digress….I want to tell you about last night.

Listen To Your Mother – First Rehearsal

In a political environment bent on emphasizing our differences, I’d like to ask: What do all moms have in common, other than being female? Maybe the question should be “What do we all have in common”?

It’s that person whose food, body, and oxygen we shared for the first nine months of our lives. The heartbeat that will forever reverberate in our subconscious.











As I listened to ten women share their diverse stories of motherhood and then added my own voice to the mix, I contemplated just how wide and deep this ocean of experience is. And while each story is unique, I found myself nodding, laughing, or crying in recognition. The emotional core was all that mattered.

The joy, pain, anger, loss, fear, laughter, and—love. The love that lives and simmers below the surface of all those other emotions.

For those of you who can’t join us at the Listen To Your Mother show in San Francisco on May 6, 2016, LTYM will post the video of our performance (along with 40 other shows from around the country) on their national website.  When those videos go up, you’ll be the first to know.

Last year, the show sold out two weeks in advance. So I’ll let locals know as soon as they go on sale. But if you live in a city that’s hosting a LTYM performance, by all means GO!

I promise, it will be an amazing night, a celebration of the beating heart, otherwise known as life.





39 thoughts on “Life, Love, and LTYM Show – San Francisco

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      They told us we could post our stories online after the event, but it’s a completely different experience to hear the voice of the writer. So as tempted as I am to post it, I’m going to wait for them to post the videos. Last year, the videos went live at the end of June. So while you’re waiting, please don’t hold your breath. 😀

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      It’s funny. Until I wrote the second half of this post, I had forgotten about that experience, that piece of paper and the man’s words. I remembered it when I started looking for a visual of a heart with a heartbeat. Then I wrote the first half of this post. Interesting. What else is stored in the hidden recesses of my memory?

  1. Kara Newhouse says:

    What a great opening story, and so well written. Wish I could be at the event! Will look forward to the video.

  2. m lewis redford says:

    … if there is rebirth, and the continuum of our minds goes on to further lives, and this has been happening for incalculable time in the past, then all of our individual continuums have had all possible relationships with all other continuums (continua?), including, of course, that cornerstone relationship of mother … all beings living now – and if we go for this we will have to include animals as well – have been our mother at some time;of course, ‘we’ were not who we were now, and ‘they’ were not who they are now, and of course some of our life-relationships were not good, but equally some of them were good, and its worth relating to the good ones now because we end up having an immense cloud of gratitude and closeness to everyone … if we can maintain it;

    this is a Buddhist contemplation, especially favoured in the Tibetan traditions

  3. Vanessa-Jane Chapman says:

    Ooh, lovely! Looking forward to the video. When I was living in the states and my daughter was a baby there was a one-off TV show that sounds similar, lots of mothers from different backgrounds and with hugely different stories, just telling their stories, and it was really well done and I laughed and cried my way through it, it was so good.

      • Ste J says:

        The Education of SteJ could also be a documentary as well, I like the idea. I can see it now, T-shirts with my face on the front and the back of my head on the back.

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