Your Stories Are a Gift

“Your stories are a gift,” she said. “A gift for all those who don’t yet have the courage to tell their own stories. And for all those that never will.”

I heard those words just hours ago at the first read-through for the 2013 Madison Listen To Your Mother show.

And, as I listened to each person’s story – stories that made me laugh, stories that made me cry, stories that made me think “I know exactly how that feels,” and stories that made me think, “I hope I never have to know how that feels” – this idea of our stories being a gift kept coming back to me.

A gift.

The perfectionist in me wants every gift to be well-planned, personalized, the perfect thing at the perfect time. All wrapped up in the perfect paper. With a Martha Stewart bow.

The kiddo has never made a Martha Stewart bow. He’s never wrapped anything in perfect paper. His presents to me sometimes come with the worst possible timing – like every time he’s handed me a hand-picked bouquet of dandelions, sap pouring out onto my already-full hands, no water or vase in sight, with the expectation that I will love and cherish these weeds for all eternity. And, while I can’t say I haven’t surreptitiously “replanted” those dandelions, the gift was no less loved.

Maybe gifts don’t have to be perfect. Maybe the best gifts are the ones that are slightly flawed, but given with love.

And so it will be that I will offer my words as a gift on Mother’s Day this year. My messy, jumbled, heartfelt words. They will be so imperfectly perfect.

Listen To Your Mother is happening in 24 cities on or near Mother’s Day. What a gift to mothers everywhere.


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8 Responses to Your Stories Are a Gift

  1. gfeeasily says:

    What a lovely post, Deanna! Stories are a gift and powerful … life changing. Thanks so much for sharing with us. The dandelions mention took me back. 😉


    • Deanna says:

      Thanks so much, Shirley. I’m always nervous about posting anything that’s not just a recipe. But, I’m trying to face down that nervousness a bit and share a little more. 🙂

      • I’m glad you did! I like the new, less rule-bound Deanna. 🙂 I’m sure you’re heard me say that it’s personal stories that are helping people get diagnosed/go gluten free, too. Again, there’s so much power in personal stories. Even with blogging it’s often the bloggers who give of themselves and step outside that comfort zone who establish the strongest connection with their readers. Again, thank you!


  2. Ann Imig says:

    I’m so honored, Deanna, by your sharing. Here and especially in our show. Thank you,.

  3. christine says:

    what a lovely post:) any gift given with unconditional love is the best gift it’s possible to receive – every time! every story you give your child is a part of you, and becomes part of him and his history to treasure and remember – mum’s play such a vital role, we should treasure every mum all year round, not just on one day of the year:)

  4. LIndsay says:

    We just had our first read-through for the Milwaukee show yesterday too. What an inspiring experience!

    • Deanna says:

      Isn’t it, though? It makes me wish I’d gone to the show all the years it’s been held. Instead, I am just stalking the youtube channel. 🙂 Congrats on being in the Milwaukee show!

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