Last Showing of Fierce Love

“Fierce Love” had it’s last run on Saturday. It was sold out, as were the two shows before it. It was an enthralling performance and my favorite of the five shows, but just by a little because I enjoyed them all so much. What an experience it was to participate in writing a play! Seems like a dream.

Something wonderful happened to me because of this project. Well Arts was like an intensive mentoring workshop and I got through a time that was dark and terrifying – the first two years of Lydia’s diagnosis. The play seemed to help Mark too (well, that and his trip to England to see his brothers and family). I know we will still struggle, but I am grateful we have a script to re-read and a few new friends to call on. I will genuinely miss seeing the other moms and hearing their stories. I feel like they are just a part of my life now.

Here are some media links associated with the play, followed by my letter to Well Arts. At the time I wrote the letter, Well Arts was on the verge of closing their doors. Our play was to be the last one. Luckily a few generous souls donated enough to sustain another season. If you are interested in helping to support Well Arts’ next play here is their website: http://wellarts.org/

Written by Kristopher Haines, son of one of the writer-moms, this blog is just one of his many projects where he reviews plays and movies from the wheelchair seat. He is an incredible writer. It is well worth clicking on his profile to explore his other blogs. Since some of the stories in “Fierce Love” were about him AND he’s a theater critic, there was no one else I was more nervous about seeing at the performances! Read his review of the play here: http://www.crippledcritic.com/2015/03/fierce-love-milagro-theatre.html

Also the local newspaper: http://portlandtribune.com/pt/11-features/253853-123252-moms-tell-stories-of-fierce-love

And the local radio station: https://kboo.fm/wellartsshenyun

Here is my letter. Then we will get back to regular programming (and cute photos of the kids!).

Dear Well Arts,

Signing up for the “Fierce Love” project, I had no expectations beyond having an interesting and possibly cathartic experience. I was in a dark place over my young daughter’s diagnosis and was unsure if our family could recover from the perceived tragedy of her disabilities. My experience with Well Arts was truly transformative. In fact, I’m not sure I would have come to so openly accept or embrace her disabilities had it not been for what became the ‘intensive mentoring’ sessions of the writing workshops.

Heath brought an atmosphere of compassion and non-judgment that provided a safe forum for our most vulnerable truths. Getting to know the other mothers, hearing their perspectives so different from my own, and growing to deeply respect and care for each other, gave me a new perspective – a joyful one. One that found exceptionality instead of tragedy in my daughter’s life. How can I possibly thank Well Arts enough for a gift like that?

It was lucky that our particular writing group came together, although some of that chance was steered by the thoughtful outreach of Susan, and we were so fortunate to have Erica’s uncanny genius in the project as well as the talented actors and meticulous stage manager Lyle, and I know that there is the possibility of this being the last show… but whatever happens with Well Arts, you will always be in the kind thoughts of this family as you have made a very significant change in our world. Thank you so very much.

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