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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Rolling Stones performing live

What if the Rolling Stones were right?

Have you ever wanted something so intensely and dreamed of it to the point of not seeing how lucky you already were? While you’re thinking about it, here’s a great example.

My father was an entrepreneur, a lumber merchant.

Grandfather playing with grandson

My father with his grandson

He was born on November 26, 1918 – I know, it’s been a while! It was a time when men dreamed of having a son to perpetuate their family name, their company…

My father was no different, he dreamed of having a son so that one day he could take over the family company: Bois Péladeau.

One day, my mother was visiting her doctor.  She was gaining weight, and it seemed that her hormones were playing tricks on her.  There were no little ‘blue-line tests’ at the time, so she went to the doctor who saw her right away and told her she was ‘pregnant’!

Everyone was very excited and my father worked twice as hard at the office, ecstatic about the possibility of finally having a son. He bought a new house, big enough for the growing family.

Months passed and eventually my mother went back to the doctor for a second pre-natal appointment. He told her the most shocking thing possible: she was not actually pregnant. He had made a mistake – instead she had a fibroid, dangerously big, and he had to operate immediately! He also told her that she would never be able to have any more children. All this in a cold and arrogant tone, devoid of empathy.

My mother was devastated. My father, furious.

My father had to grieve while also worrying about his wife (my mother’s) health, with the added stressor of having purchased a new house. It was inconceivable to him that a doctor would make such a mistake. He found the doctor to be carefree and inhumane.  My father had never met him, but he said that if he ever did…

Well, life is full of surprises! One day, my parents were invited to a cocktail party at a friend’s house. You already know the routine – have a bite to eat, shake people’s hands, introduce yourselves and chat. Strangely enough, the infamous doctor was there and introduced himself to my father, mentioning his title long before his name. Needless to say, when Dad heard his name as he was shaking his hand, the poor doctor was afraid for his life when he looked up. My mother had to take my father out of the cocktail very quickly, because she too was scared for the doctor’s life!

Finally, my mother calmed my father down and they comforted themselves by thinking about how lucky they were to already have two beautiful, healthy daughters!

As always, life goes on. Mum organized a garage sale to help her through her grief, and she sold everything & anything that could remind her of the arrival of a baby.

Since life is full of twists and turns, weeks went by and eventually my mother learned that despite the fact that she had been told that she would never have another child, she was pregnant and that this beautiful baby (me  😊) was going to show up in the spring!

You could say my parents had me late in life. I was an accident – I like to think I was a ‘happy’ accident. It’s possible that my older sisters didn’t always feel the same way though!

Poor dad, like the Rolling Stones famously sang: “You can’t always get what you want – you get what you need”. Maybe my father didn’t need a boy, but three girls!

Family wedding photo

My wedding

Why am I telling you all this?

Maybe because with everything we’re going through right now, I realize that I too have everything I need.  I would like to do more business, travel, have my friends and family over, but maybe right now, I need to realize how lucky I am with what I already have.

However, a good part of my life, I was always looking forward to something in the future: studying in Boston (because it would be more exciting than Montreal – never happened), my second child (who never came), the big party on December 31 (which is often more boring than expected) …

I’ve heard so many people say, “I’m sooo looking forward to my vacation, so I can finally have fun!” “I can’t wait for my retirement to finally do what I want!”. It’s like we’re living in the future. It might be possible that this whole crisis is to teach us to be more connected, more conscious, to live in the present moment, because we never know what awaits us.

I am a dreamer and an idealist, often wanting more, but I realize that my happiest, most precious moments are not always accompanied by grand music and fireworks.

When I think of my happiest times, strangely enough… they happen to be in very simple moments.

The time my 4-year-old son brought me a gift first thing in the morning, For mother’s day, a beautiful plastic bracelet he had made at the daycare (which I still have).

Plastic beaded bracelet

My son’s bracelet

Every May 28th, when I’m celebrating my birthday surrounded by my childhood friends, good food, good music & great stories. That moment when I stop to observe each one of them, and I tell myself how much I love them & how lucky I am.

When I’m with my family, my sisters, my nephews, my husband, and my son and we’re playing Queen of Spades and my sister Carole is trying to score points and we’re all laughing!

When Friday night comes, it’s ‘pizza night’ and I sit on the sofa by the fire with my hubby to watch a good movie and drink our gin & tonics that he prepares with his treasured recipe & with lots of love. The moment when we’re all cozy & he plays with my hair like he always has!

When my son, 6 feet tall and eighteen years old, says to me, “Good night, I love you” in the evening before going to bed.

When I walk with my dog every morning and she turns to me as if to say, “Did you see how beautiful it is around us?”

Time goes by and you realize that what you wanted intensely, might not have been what you needed.

My father had always dreamed of a son but life turned out differently and instead gave him three daughters that he adored. Later, he ended up with 3 grandsons of whom he was so very proud… better late than never!

Grandfather with two grandsons in tuxedos

My father with his two grandsons

I believe the happiest times are not found in the future but in everyday life.  Every day, if you are conscious enough and you open your eyes wide enough, you can find little jewels!

So, it seems the Rolling Stones were right… “you can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need”. Thank you, Mick!

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Please give it some love & comment below, I’d love to know what you think!

Stay Safe!

LiZ

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