Today My Life Begins

Originally posted here

By: Colleen Parise


There is one day every woman plans for. The day every little girl dreams of, a day full of white lace, sparkles, hope, and love. Like most women, from the time I was a  young girl, I knew every detail of my wedding day. Or so I thought I did. I envisioned my Mom helping me get ready for the biggest day of my life, helping me button and bustle my dress, pulling back my hair, and telling me numerous times how absolutely beautiful I am and what a gorgeous bride I was. I pictured my Dad wiping his tears as he escorted me down the aisle to the love of my life, the man that would replace him as the man in my life.

On April 12, 2014 this day I had dreamed of became a reality. My reality was a bit different than what I had dreamed of. While the day may not have gone exactly as I had previously envisioned, I can say with complete honesty it went even better. This day, more than others reminded me how fortunate I am to be blessed with an amazing support system. For months, as the wedding day got closer, I had been able to push through. To forget the pit in my stomach, to ignore the throbbing pain in my heart, the small twinge of pain I felt every time I was reminded my Mom wouldn’t be at my wedding, or my father. I have grown up for a large portion of my life without my mother, and most days it is tolerable, but planning a wedding without your parents is rough. Bracing yourself for the questions that are unavoidable while holding back the tears that want so desperately to fall. “No flowers for the mother of the bride?”,   “What color dress is the mother of the bride wearing?”, “Which song will you be dancing to for the father daughter dance?”.  On my wedding day, the tears I had held back for so long were unable to do so anymore. I cried as I pinned my mothers picture to my bouquet for her to be with me for the walk down the aisle, I cried as I looked at myself in the mirror in my wedding dress and realized how very much I looked like my mother. Tears fell even harder as every guest reminded me of that fact. I cried as I grabbed my mom’s brothers arm to escort down the aisle to get married. Grateful for someone who loves me to be walking with me, but sad as I was bitterly reminded my father wasn’t the one beside me. And boy oh boy did I cry, in fact I sobbed as I saw Lou waiting at the altar for me. Each step closer to Lou, and each tear that fell down my face represented the pain I had held in for so many years. I cried for my past, and who wasn’t there; my mother and father, but I also cried tears of joy as I walked to my future. This walk down the aisle symbolized a new beginning, an official start to a new life, and a time to leave the old life behind. On my wedding day, I was able to literally and figuratively leave the past behind.  I have no doubts that my Mom was there with me, from the moment I woke up and saw the sun shining, on the most beautiful day of the year so far, I knew she was there. I know she was probably telling me to stop crying because I was ruining my makeup, reminding me to smile and show off all those years of orthodontic torture. I know she was there as each tear that fell from my eyes, telling me to savor every moment of today and every day. To take it all in and appreciate every second. To enjoy my future with the man who has helped to remind me of what love is and how to be loved.  I know she was there, thanking Lou for loving her daughter and for being there for me in the ways she no longer can. She was there, and she will always be; “I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.”

Colleen Parise

Colleen Parise

As one door closes, another opens. And this door is gleaming full of new opportunities and experiences. My wedding day ended up being everything I had hoped for and more. I am blessed to have married my bestfriend, and I gained not only a husband, but an amazing set of parents, and a brother. Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want, but it gives you what you need. I am lucky enough to finally have both.

It is great to dream, but every so often reality ends up being even better than what you dreamed of. Most fairytales have one major similarity, they all have a happy ending. This fairytale, my fairytale, is instead focusing only on its happy beginning. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Today my life begins.