“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 It was ugly and outdated and my mother had said on numerous occasions that she didn’t even like it.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 🙂