Sunday, September 29, 2013

Make a Wish

"Make a wish!" This week I blew out 31 candles on a cake. 31 years of memories, both happy and sad and the only thing I could think of on this birthday was that I am now only 8 years away from the age when my Mom's life ended. How on her last birthday there were only 8 more candles then on mine this year. I couldn't help but do the math quickly in my head, knowing that I have now almost out lived my mother. And that on my next birthday I will have lived the same amount of years without my mother as I did with her in my life. Why, on such a "happy" day was this all I could concentrate on? Why was I continuously glancing at my phone and secretly wishing my father or brother would call, even though I knew that phone would never ring? Why was I making a mental list of who wasn't calling ?? I instead attempted to concentrate on the people who are here and what the next year of my life will bring. That this will be my last birthday as Colleen Drenth, because by my next birthday I will be Colleen Parise. I instead thought that in two more years I will have a baby(or two) on my lap helping me blow out the candles. I reminded myself to be content and at peace with all the greatness and happiness I do have. This is my year. It is the year that not only my last name will change but I will too. This is the year I lose weight not only on a scale, but off my shoulders, shedding negativity.  
I am going to break every cardinal rule of birthdays and tell you what I wished for this year. I wished for a year full of happiness and good memories, a year where I attempt to let go fully of all the extra stress and regrets I still hold on to tightly. Like a small child holding tightly to a balloon and releasing it into the air, I am releasing these negative aspects of life. So my wish for this year is one I can make come true all on my own. First and foremost, surround myself with people who offer me as much as I offer them. Worry more and concentrate more on what I have already then what I do not have. Life is too short to be anything less than happy. 
After this birthday, a vivid memory from childhood kept playing in my mind. When I was younger my mother had a cookie jar that had been given to her by my grandmother. It was ugly and outdated and my mother had said on numerous occasions that she didn't even like it. It had been dropped and cracked in several spots. Each and every time it broke, she would quietly take out the glue and piece it all together slowly and surely, although it never got put back to perfect as hard as she tried. I watched her as she stuck each piece on, meticulously and as carefully as she could, getting frustrated that each piece was not returning to its original spot with the perfection she so desired. I wondered why someone would waste so much time attempting to fix something that they weren't even fond of. When I questioned her as to why she was fixing it, she responded with a smile that some things are just worth fixing, and putting back together. After a while I realized that this advice is more true and could be applied to much bigger scenarios in life. I am always the one to grab the "glue" and attempt to put it back together. I am always the one to attempt to fix things and situations, to avoid conflict and upset in my life as I have already endured enough. This year I have decided that I am done gluing and piecing things back together. It reminds me that you can spend time attempting to piece things back to being close to what they were or you can leave the pieces and move on. This year I am realizing not everything will have a happy ending, but that is life. My story has started and I am just simply moving on to the next chapter :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Crystal Ball


 When I picture a psychic, I picture someone dripped in jewels and scarves with a head wrap on, their hands cupping a large magic crystal ball in the center of the table, the smell of incense filling the room. Walking into my appointment with a psychic medium this past week, I was full of doubts and disbeliefs but left full of hope and a sense of calm I haven't felt in years. I want to believe so very desperately that all of it is true, that there is another place where our loved ones who are no longer with us are able to still be with us. That when I see or hear something in my weakest moments that it is then that is my Mom comforting me with the reminder she is not truly gone.  The psychic asked me to bring photographs (I knew taking all those pictures would serve a purpose! J) so I carefully selected pictures of my Mom and I, as well as my father and I, my siblings, Lou and I, and my close friends. I walked in reminding myself to be brave and keep my reactions shielded, to not “give away” too much. As I walked up to the door, my heart was beating rapidly and booming within my chest. Thoughts rushed quickly through my mind as I reached up for the doorbell.  What if my Mom didn’t come through to me? What if I wasn’t living my life the way it was planned? Will I get my wish of becoming a mother through surrogacy? As my finger pushed down on the doorbell I realized I was more scared of what I would hear that what I may not. Walking in I almost laughed to myself as it was nothing close to what I had envisioned.  There was a smell of apple pie, children in a room down the hall laughing and playing, and the woman sitting across the reading table looked like someone I would sit across the table and have coffee with. I was no longer intimidated or scared; I was intrigued and ready to hear what was in store for me. The reading took an hour and for an hour I sat quietly, jotting down notes as tears streamed down my face. She told me things that confirmed to me that my Mom is still here, things that even my closest friends wouldn’t know. She reassured me that Lou is the one I am supposed to be with, and that we are going to make excellent parents together one day soon. I didn’t need a psychic to tell me that life is exactly as it should be, that every decision has lead me to where I am today, and that I am fully capable of handling whatever else may come my way. I just needed someone to remind me that I am doing okay. That I am making strides to fulfilling my destinies. I didn’t need someone to tell me that there are good events in store for me, but I needed reassurance. I needed hope, something to hold on to.
      So, believe or don’t believe that is your choice. For numerous years of my childhood I was able to believe a flying fairy came at night to remove a tooth placed under my pillow, a giant rabbit hopped through my home while I was sleeping and left candy and hid eggs, and a large, jolly man slid down my chimney again while I am sleeping and placed gifts under a tree. Belief is a gift in itself. The possibilities are endless, and the results of your beliefs are hope. Hope and faith are good things, maybe the best of things, and once you choose hope and have faith, anything becomes possible. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Say "Cheese"

"Say cheeeeeseeee." 

Those words were heard often throughout my childhood. My mom would chase us around like paparazzi, snapping photographs of my siblings and I like it was her job. Always on the other side of the lens, when she died I was left wishing I had chased her around a bit more, taken more photographs of her so that I could remember her. Now, fourteen years later I am left flipping through the album only present in my mind. Wishing I had something to look at daily to keep her vibrantly alive. I am instead feeling my Mom and the memories I have of her fading away. Today, I have become the camera fanatic. Clicking away at every event, at every holiday, hoping to hold onto to these memories for more than the brief seconds, minutes, and hours they last for. The annoying one on the other end of the lens, soaking in each moment and finding comfort in the shots that will last a lifetime. Even guilty of the occasional "selfie," portraits of myself, so that these too can serve a purpose. To remind me of a time where I was happy and carefree and loving every moment given to me. To show my children in the future that there is always something to smile about. That no matter what life threw at me, I responded with a smile. This week I even manages to muster up the courage to face my fear and release some of the bitterness I have against Babies R Us. :) Nothing wrong with the store full of adorable baby clothing and supplies except the wave of emotions that rush over me every time I walk in. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" was my quote as I happily explored my store of doom with my friends and didn't feel the urge to cry or need to leave. "One small step for Colleen, one giant leap for infertility" ;) Another memory for the book <3

 Often I am the brunt of jokes and comments about my abundance of photographs and to that my sole response is that I am capturing life. Pictures capture moments that may be gone forever, but can now be remembered for that much longer. Pictures are moments frozen in time forever, so long after the event one can reflect on that particular time. Through photographs, I am able to share my memories, my happiest moments with my unborn children and ensure that they never have to experience the emptiness and pain of feeling me, their mother, slip away from their memory long after I have left this Earth. These memories can never fade, say cheese my friends :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The WAIT begins...

I was drawing a blank as to what to continue posting because as my last blog stated; the WEIGHT is over but now the WAIT begins. My baby building plans are on hiatus as step one is complete. I thought the hard part was over for us but it turns out waiting is just as hard. "The longer you wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when you get it. Because anything worth having is definitely worth waiting for." I appreciate having the time to focus on Lou and I now, to continue to strengthen our relationship and to enjoy each other's company without the overlying stress of IVF and baby building discussions. I appreciate being able to concentrate and enjoy wedding planning and being a bride. Through all of this, I have almost forgotten to enjoy the now. We have been so busy and excited with our plans to be parents that we almost forgot to enjoy what we are now, two people in love who will soon be husband and wife. (223 more days to be exact!) I appreciate being able to bask in the moments that surround me now and know that until I am a Mom, I  can enjoy what I am. I am a soon to be wife, a sister, a friend, and I am more than okay with all of those titles :)
 After speaking with a friend, she told me to write what's going on in my life now, although it is not "baby building" it is all part of the experience. To my future child, everything I do, I do for you. This blog is for you too, to be able to get a baby book like no other. To read and see exactly how you got here and badly you were wanted and how much you are loved. So until the wait is over and you are here, I'll write. I'll write for you <3