Life, Love, and LTYM Show – San Francisco

21 Mar

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 Responses to “Life, Love, and LTYM Show – San Francisco”

  1. Lady Fancifull March 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Brilliant post, Jilanne, made me cry

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

      Thank you, LF. You should have seen us last night, laughing and crying. Amazing, strong, thoughtful, and funny women in this cast.

  2. Meagan Schultz March 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    you should absolutely frame that for your son! what a lovely thing for that man to say in that moment – and for it to stick!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 21, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      If I didn’t have the physical piece of paper, I’d still think it was something from a dream. You’ve convinced me. I’ll get it framed. Thanks for giving me a push!

  3. FictionFan March 21, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    Definitely frame it! Good luck with the show – I shall be waiting impatiently for the video… 😀

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

      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. 😀

  4. Carrie Rubin March 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

    This sounds wonderful. Powerful and poignant.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

      Yes! And unlike Mother’s Day cards, there’s not a sentimental sentence in sight. 😀

  5. dkatiepowellart March 21, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    Oh I love that story. Love it!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

      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?

  6. Mrs. P March 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

    Hoping my best friend will go in my place but will definitely listen to the video when it comes out! 😀

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

      Yes! Please! Looking forward to seeing you on your way through. I’m still looking for a place to meet. I’ll have one by tomorrow. Promise!

      • Mrs. P March 21, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

        😀 😀

  7. Janine Kovac March 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    That is so cool that the paramedics did that!

    Great seeing you yesterday! I love that as a sound byte: “The emotional core was all that mattered.”

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 21, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

      Yes, they were really sweet. They must have been raised by kind mothers. 😀

      Last night rocked! I’m thinking of that statement as a “truth-byte,” if there is such a thing.

  8. Book Club Mom March 21, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    What a great idea – very nice!

  9. Kara Newhouse March 22, 2016 at 3:19 am #

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

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 22, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      Thanks, Kara! And congrats, again, on your big news!

      • Kara Newhouse March 27, 2016 at 11:01 am #

        Thanks 🙂

  10. m lewis redford March 22, 2016 at 4:17 am #

    … 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

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 22, 2016 at 10:57 am #

      Exactly. I tend to favor this contemplation, too. In the beginning, there was stardust. Since then, it’s all been a matter of transformation and recycling. Ashes to ashes. We are all one.

  11. heylookawriterfellow March 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    Yay! I will be there in spirit, of course. And I very much look forward to watching the video! Break a leg, my friend!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 22, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

      Thanks, Mike! I’ll try not to break anything but a leg.

      • heylookawriterfellow March 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

        On second thought, don’t break that either.

        • Jilanne Hoffmann March 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

          Spoken like a man who’s sprained his fingers more than once while making hospital corners.

        • heylookawriterfellow March 24, 2016 at 6:30 am #

          I do speak from experience, yes.

  12. Kate Johnston March 23, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    What an important, powerful opportunity. I know you’ll enjoy every second of it! Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 23, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

      Yes, it is, Kate. I am looking forward to sharing the experience with everyone! Cheers!

  13. Vanessa-Jane Chapman March 24, 2016 at 4:03 am #

    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.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 24, 2016 at 8:14 am #

      It does sound very similar. You were just describing our rehearsal the other night. Can’t wait for the actual event! Cheers!

  14. tchistorygal March 25, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Wow, congratulations on your video, Jilanne. That sounds really exciting for you. I hope you post more on the process and actual event. You’ll be famous! 🙂

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 25, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      Thanks! I don’t know about famous, but I do know that it feels sooo good to share stories. 😀

      • tchistorygal March 25, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

        It is great! BTW, I am writing a book about blogging using some of my posts as I experimented with blogging along the way. I’m including comments including some of yours if you have no objections. Just let me know. 🙂

  15. Ste J March 27, 2016 at 2:35 am #

    I look forward to listening and being educated, I like that the best.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 27, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      We’ll call the film “The Education of SteJ.” What do you think? Or maybe it should be called “The Enlightenment,” but that title is already taken. 😀

      • Ste J March 28, 2016 at 2:18 am #

        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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