Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emotions...Celebrations...New Beginnings...and Goodbyes

This past week, after much anticipation, stress and planning, my daughter said "I do" to her soul mate. She was as calm as a cucumber. I on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. She kept reminding me to calm down (that's my line!) and not to cry (which is an unreasonable request of the mother of the bride). My buddy (Andy) kept reminding me to smile and that it would all be over soon. He has been my rock throughout this whole wedding planning experience, but it wasn't until Saturday that I could finally relax and breathe a sigh of relief. For the most part, everything went off without a hitch. There were no explosions, fights or major areas of conflict. Everyone's clothing remained in tact. The guests found the wedding venue without much difficulty. All the plans fell into place just as we had imagined; and the photos that everyone took are proof that it was an absolutely perfect wedding.

Why was I such a wreck? I wanted everything to be perfect for my daughter's special day. I wanted to make her happy. I wanted her to step back, after it was all over, and know how much I love her. I wanted her to be able to start her life with Daniel with those magical memories. And at the same time, I kept thinking about my parents. I kept wishing they were sitting next to me and posing for the photographer. I kept feeling that our family was not complete without them there. But my daughter thought of everything and they were there, along with her other grandparents. Something as simple as a locket, attached to her flowers, reminded her that they were still so much a part of her life. My mother's diamond in her engagement ring; my mother's emerald ring on her right finger; her other grandmother's diamond in the wedding ring; and reminders in the ceremony of how the four of them are so much a part of who she is. It's those special things that went unnoticed by most, that reminded me of the importance of family and how they shape who we are and what we become.

And it wasn't just about family, but it was also about friends. Friends who took the time out of their lives to travel to Vegas and be there to celebrate with us. Those friends have also become a part of our lives and have added dimension and meaning to everything we do. Words can't express the love that you feel when someone shares those special moments with you; moments that mean so much and moments where memories are made. There were also those friends who could not be there, but celebrated with us in spirit and followed the journey, sharing every moment and participating in the celebration as well.

That's what life is all about. Sharing memories with those you love. Making memories and investing your life in the lives of others. Without those connections, there truly is no purpose in living. And without opening your heart to that love, you can't be complete or feel fulfilled. When it's all said and done, those memories and those relationships are the reason we all keep on keeping on.

The wedding was a rollercoaster of emotions. But there was also an added dimension to the emotions: saying goodbye to some friends that we have come to care about and love at the Las Vegas Hilton. Because of one of those special friends, I was able to attend Saturday night's Manilow show with my husband. It was his first, and honestly, I've lost count on how many it was for me. It was one of those rare nights that you just knew you would never experience again. Barry was nostalgic and reminiscent about the past 5 years of shows and sad that it would be coming to an end. And while I honestly feel it's time for him to move on, it was sad to have to say goodbye to so many people at the Hilton that we have come to appreciate and care about. The Hilton has become our home away from home and the people there have become our family. You could feel that Barry felt the same way and it was expressed in the tone of the show and in the songs he chose: Best of Me, I've Never Been So Low on Love, Ships and finally in the finale, One Voice.

Hearing a song from Paradise CafĂ© was a unique treat. It's those rare moments that make Barry's shows so special. You never know what gem he will throw in that will make a lasting memory. The song he chose just underscored that melancholy feeling that seemed to permeate the Hilton and the theater that night. When he sat on a stool and sang Best of Me it tore my heart open. I’ve never heard that song performed live and that night was one of those rare emotional moments between Barry and his fans that only happen during the shows. Again, I wanted to cry, but having my husband there made it difficult to release those emotions. He wouldn’t understand. He couldn’t feel what I felt. He could not relate to all the emotions I was experiencing that night.

Leaving the Hilton can be much more than closing a door. It's time for Barry to spend some time on himself; focus on what matters most in life; fulfill some dreams that might seem beyond his grasp; and take some time to recharge and renew. It’s time for Mr. Manilow to focus on Mr. Manilow: search for the meaning of life; spend some time in thought; and get some of those emotions out that seem to be bubbling on the surface. As my good friend YBA always tells me: it’s time to spend some time on “me”; and Barry is no exception.

Have I finally been able to cry? Yes. As I wrote this post the tears started falling and I’m sure they will continue for the next several days. Not all my tears are sad; some of them are tears of release, happiness, and reliving some wonderful memories. Some of them are tears related to friendship and others are for my family and the joy that they bring me.

My journey with Barry began in March of 2006 and it’s produced some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. But I wouldn’t trade a single moment of any of those memories. It seems only fitting that the happiest day of my life would be followed by the last concert at the Hilton. A beginning…followed by an ending. There’s some symmetry in it all.

Feeling nostalgic,
Texas Fan


you begin again.... said...

I can already feel you feeling better after reading that post. Just like I did when I wrote mine this week. After a big emotional peak - good or bad - you have to rest between the ears. Take care of yourself and you'll then be able to take care of others.

Sounds like that's where you're at. I understand about being sad about the Hilton shows ending. I felt the same way when the announcement was confirmed.

EVERYONE needs to take a breather. It's OK - life goes on and it will be good.


Jill said...

I'm gladd the wedding went off so well. I agree with you about the era at the Hilton ending. I never got to go. But I think you are right about Barry. From what I've seen in clips and pictures of him (maybe it's just me) I think he needs to take some "me" time. That is what I am trying to do for myself. Now if my me could just get a car, a job and a place to live "Me, Myself and I" could learn to enjoy life again.

Dawn Bushman said...

Take some time out for yourself, unwind and reconnect with that hubby of yours. You can never have too much time reconnecting with loved ones. Don't be afraid to cry in front of him, who knows, he may be wanting to cry as well but doesn't want to feel like he's the only one in the room! LOL!


Survivor said...

You have written your feelings and emotions so beautifully. It is certainly irony that as your daughter starts her new life a chapter in someone elses has ended and you were there to experience both!

Thank you for this post..

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