My Mother's Yard: One Woman's Journey of Healing and Forgiveness

The most strenuous relationship to human kind is between a daughter and her mother. The connection is fragile, chaotic and always painful. As little girls, mothers are worshipped and idolized. They can do no wrong. However when the dreaded adolescence approaches the problems begin and unless dealt with early on will persist through adulthood. I like these types of stories.

Actress Lisa Temple questioning her sanity with her dysfunctional family.

For one, it re-instates the fact that I am not alone in having these feelings about mom. The aphorism rings true: Mothers raise their daughters but love their sons. Meaning the daughters will always catch hell while the son’s slide on by as the perfect child, no matter how many times he messes up. Actress Lisa Temple gives new meaning to the mother/daughter relationship in her hilarious one-woman show.

As any daughter knows too well, the relationship with mom can be turbulent. Unless Clair Huxtable was your mama, you’re pretty much screwed. The Kansas City native takes the audience on a funny and emotive journey to the fictional Jensen’s Sporting Goods Store. The huge state-of-the-art tent is reminiscent of when Temple and her husband returned to Kansas to handle her late mother’s affairs. The house was so junky the couple had to sleep in a tent outside. They didn’t lack for company with over 20 cars broken down cars parked with no purpose or life.

These boots were made for walking out the crowded back yard.

The slender red-haired beauty reaches into the most painful memories of her mother’s emotional and mental abuse. It’s amazing she didn’t turn into Nicole Richie and rack up DUIs like charms on a Cartier bracelet. When she was girl, Temple shined in piano, sports and riding thoroughbreds. Somehow this wasn’t a big deal to Mama Temple who showered her maternal affections unto her useless sons Chet and Skip. Those boys could do no wrong no matter how much money her mother gave her brothers for businesses, (which failed), to live on, (typical freeloaders) and made them understood they were loved no matter what.

Well apparently, Mama Temple forgot about her talented daughter who graduated with a Master of Music degree at Kansas State University and worked her grind in becoming a professional actress. There is something in her story that daughters will nod their head in accordance while the sons are thinking, “what’s all this about?”


Temple's attempt to shoo the bugs away isn't going to plan.

It’s the emotional connection that links the women with their mothers and their own daughters. The dynamic of the relationship hasn’t changed. Somewhere in our minds there will always be some type of annoying tingle that reminds us of mom. And Temple turned out normal. No arrests, convictions, no stints at Malibu Promises rehab or mental institutions recovering from “exhaustion”. Temple turned out to be a compassionate and sane woman with a loving heart.

I admire how she was able to forgive her mother during her final years. Her disappointment festered for so long it’s nearly impossible to determine a healthier lifestyle. But she did it. She didn’t make her mother seem like an evil Gorgon with a grudge. She doesn’t curse her out or wish her ill or any of the normal reactions. Temple shows empathy toward Mama Temple than she deserves. Lisa is a good girl. Not to mention a good-looking chick.

Looks like Lisa is re-thinking her plan to step outside.

“My Mother’s Yard” plays at the Actors Group Theatre, 4378 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. until Saturday, August 25.  For tickets call (323) 960-7862 or visit

Photos by Rich Brunner

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