10/5/10 3:59 AM – Every so often we have a long drive in the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. It is during this time that I reflect on our experiences and tonight I found myself thinking about our last prison visit. We drove two hours to get there and on the way I “jokingly” said to Normand, “I hope they know we are coming.” I made a joke about it but deep down I was really hoping they knew we were coming. I had set everything up weeks earlier, but had not been able to get a hold of anyone for a final confirm. We arrived at the gates an hour and a half early and it took them some time to figure who we were and why we were there. Then a guard came to get us and did not know anything about what was going on. He then asked me if we had brought our equipment… I began to panic inside. No one knew what we were doing there, we had no equipment and did anyone even have the DVD of the film?!?!? Normand and I looked at each other, and surprisingly we both remained very calm. At this point we were inside the prison with badges that said we needed an escort to go anywhere, nothing in our pockets, and nothing we could do. I was dying to make sure everything was going to be set up right and on time, but I just had to remain patient. I decided right then and there to let go and have faith that it will all work out. I busied myself chatting with the guards as I watched the clock tick closer to the start time. Twenty minutes before our scheduled start time, the gym where we were screening was still empty. Then all of sudden, 10 mins before showtime chairs arrived, a screen, a projector, speakers and a microphone, everything was instantly set up and the film started on time. It turned out to be one of the most emotional nights with a fully engaged audience. It was amazing! This lesson I learned about having faith and patience was exactly what I needed at that point in our journey and crazy enough, I learned it in the most unexpected place… prison:)
I will always hold this story near and dear to my heart…
Yesterday Normand and I had a booth at Utah’s Recovery Day. About halfway through this wonderful day, a young woman named Claire walked up to our booth. She started the conversation telling us she had seen Lost in Woonsocket at the Newport Beach film festival about 4 years ago. She continued on saying she was still in treatment at that time and had only a few weeks sobriety when she saw the film and Normand’s Q&A. In a very sincere and genuine way she told us that seeing the film and Normand helped her tremendously during that time in her recovery. Claire now has over 4 years sobriety.
This literally brought tears to my eyes because quite honestly I remember the Newport Beach Film Festival and it was one that I did not want to attend. Our screening at the festival was in the middle of the day and I felt that it was pointless for us to be there. I had done a lot of work to get us there and only a few people showed up to see the film. Claire’s story taught me a valuable lesson that I have learned before but apparently needed to learn once again. It reminded me that in those times when you don’t want to do something or you feel that it is pointless, those are the times to push through. You never know what will come of it, or who’s life you may change by being there at that moment.
Side note: Claire found us in Utah because she was attending Recovery Day and she saw someone with our postcard, she asked that person if we were there and hunted down our booth. What a gift for all involved that she found us over 4 years later.
It has been an amazing journey so far! We started our road trip in Los Angeles on Sept 1st with a Screening at the South Pasadena United Methodist Church. It was the perfect opening night, a good crowd good questions and good energy in the air. From there we drove up to San Fransisco for a screening at the Salvation Army/Harbor Lights facility. Stephanie Hall and her staff were very helpful and we could feel the goodness of the community there. Stephanie connected us with the SF Salvation Army ARC, so we went over there and did a screening of the film. Dr. Clemens, Major Anna and Major Jack offered us a place to stay at their facility ad then connected us with two more ARC’s, one in Oakland and the other in Sacramento. We were blown away by their generosity. It was happening just as we had hoped, the word was spreading and we were filling in some of the gaps with screenings that were unexpected. After visiting with the SF and Oakland ARC, we made our way up to Sacramento where Larry, Chris, Shawn, Major Diane and Major John welcomed us into their home for the entire Labor Day! its was a ton of fun playing games and just enjoying the day. Yesterday we screened the film with Mobile Loaves, an organization that oversees a community for our brothers and sisters from the streets. The facility was amazing! We toured everywhere and got to hang in friendship park for a bit. After that we went over to the First United Methodist Church and had a wonderful screening with a very community oriented group of people. The questions were great and we knew we were in a room fulling of love! Thanks to Rev Linda and her Church for your kindness. We are now on our way to Winnemucca. Every minute of this tour is a blessing, we take nothing for granted. love and kindness… Thea & Normand
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Normand checking out Betsy the night before we left for on the LAFIA tour.
Yesterday Cheryl Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace & The Art of Extreme Self Care, had the following to say to her Facebook fans about “Lost in Woonsocket”:
“A couple of weeks ago, I received a DVD of a documentary called “Lost in Woonsocket.” It’s a story about two amazing men who decide to help two alcoholics they find hiding in the woods. I was so moved by the story, and by what happens when someone makes a commitment to help a stranger, that I immediately wan…ted to know what I could do to help spread the word.
This week, the creators of the film launch a tour across America to share this powerful film. If your life has been touched by addiction, if you’re in a twelve-step group, or if you, too, are moved by watching the best of humanity, please take a moment to view this trailer and see if it’s playing in a city near you. Then, grab a friend and go see it. You’ll be so happy you did.”
We are extremely grateful to Cheryl and her supporters for helping spread our message of hope. For more about Cheryl, please visit:
“I am in love with stories about good people. A good episode of This American Life warms my heart like nothing else. I was raised to be cautious of strangers, rightfully so, but sometimes a complete stranger, or group of strangers, can make a significant and positive change in your life.” – Emily, Nashville For Free
See the entire article at: http://nashvilleforfree.com/2010/07/26/lost-and-found-in-america/
Thanks, Emily, for helping us spread the message! Hope to see you Thursday!
Come watch Lost in Woonsocket and say hi to Normand on JULY 29TH at 8PM.
Renaissance Hotel, Nashville, TN
611 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203
WHEN: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Angelika Film Center
5231 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas TX 75206
Q&A: Session to begin right after the screening with John Chester, director, &
RSVP: Call 214.614.1114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat(s)