All memories, even the strongest and most cherished, inevitably end by losing their color and clarity. I have gone through extraordinary live experiences. I have traveled the world; I have met people I will never forget. I have been pam-pered, loved, and acclaimed. But there was always stage fright, pressure, bigger and bigger crowds every day, larger and larger stadiums. And it's been good, really good. I had become a real "stress junkie. Every time I stopped, I went into withdrawal, and didn't feel right about myself.
Marathoners who are kept from running because of an injury apparently experience nausea, dizzy spells. And they say that no one is more depressed than a cyclist who just finished the Tour de Prance, even if he won. Therefore, the prospect of living a stress-free, quiet, cozy life seemed stressful to me. I thought I'd have to struggle to decompress from stress and discipline, to forget my voice, to get free of it. What would happen in my head and heart when I was deprived of this sweet slavery, this tension, this tremendous sense of exaltation you feel when the crowd goes wild?
To reassure myself, of course, I prepared a very detailed schedule for living. I planned out my sabbatical. I visualized how it would all go, as I had done for my shows. But I couldn't, especially during the first months, come to a final agreement with myself on the scenario. One day I would swear to myself that I would not sing a note as long as this sabbatical lasted. Then the next day I would tell myself that I would never be able to resist if somebody offered me a great part in a movie or a beautiful song to record or an appearance in a huge show featuring artists that I admired.
In the end, all my speculations turned out to be wrong. I had told myself: It's not needed anymore. Off with discipline, off with training. You're gonna play golf every day.
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And, to keep your mind busy, you'll take Spanish and drawing lessons. I even bought colored pencils, pastels, charcoals, watercolors, and fancy drawing paper. And you'll listen to every-thing that comes out in the musical world, good or not, to remain plugged in to show business. I began to make a list of albums I wanted to listen to. I had only begun my sabbatical, and I already knew that things were going to be different. And that they would have nothing to do with what I had imagined. Contrary to what I'd expected, everything went smoothly, without misery or pain.
I slipped into that sabbatical as if into a nice warm. And I knew right away that nothing would lure me out, even if I was offered the chance to sing on the moon or on Venus, in front of a crowd of extraterrestrials. To my great astonishment and to Rene's great pleasure, I started getting up early. In the past, it had taken sev-eral hours for me to wake up completely. When I got up I wouldn't speak to anyone, and I didn't want anyone to speak to me. I really hated mornings. Whenever possible, I spent them asleep. I always ate breakfast alone. And now here I am, on leave, with absolutely nothing to do, on my feet at dawn, listening to birds singing or watching my flowers opening or preparing orange juice or coffee for the whole household.
Three months after the beginning of my sabbatical, I was not lis-tening to any music at all - neither mine nor anyone else's - and I would only glance at fashion magazines once in a while. I had believed I was never going to be able to remain silent anymore, and I was now spending long hours, sometimes even days, without saying a word, just for the pleasure of it, for its peace, its sweetness. And I especially didn't miss stress or stage fright. I had already postponed my Spanish lessons until the spring, then summer, then autumn, then next winter.
I never unwrapped my col-ored pencils and my pastels. After two or three weeks of total inac-tivity, I started singing again, constantly, everywhere, in the shower, on the golf course, while driving, in the kitchen. And it gave me a fantastic feeling of happiness, a new, unexpected joy. I even started training my voice again and doing my singing exer-cises regularly.
I did this so that I wouldn't lose what I'd acquired, but I also did it for the simple pleasure that comes from training. And I spent whole evenings watching television, something I'd never done in my life. And I loved it. I am good at being happy. Happiness comes to me in waves,. I'm not talking about the sweet and shallow feeling that comes with a platinum album or a good review, but about real happiness, the kind that comes and goes without warning. I have never felt this happiness so close at hand, so overwhelming, as I did that winter of , during the first months of my sabbatical.
I had just lived through the worst moments of my life. And yet, I saw something good, something beautiful and meaningful every-where, even in the hard times we had gone through. At the beginning, such an idea would have been unthinkable, almost monstrous. But little by little, I began to accept it. Today I know that there is good in all misfortune. And I thank heaven for the misfortune that befell us, because it transformed us. Rene, the man of my life, my entire life, was seriously ill.
Together we went through a very difficult ordeal and emerged stronger, more united, more in love than ever. However, I know that from now on, anxiety will be a part of our life. A kind of carefreeness has, without a doubt, disappeared forever from our lives. But at the same time, I know that it's possible to experience - even during the worst ordeal, even in pain and fear - great moments of happiness. Because we love each other. Our ordeal changed me more than all my professional experi-ences.
Thanks to it, I've learned a lot about myself, about the man I love, about love, even about life. I also learned of his need for me. For the first time, he left himself go and truly confided in me, and cried on my shoulder. And he told me he couldn't live without me. I've also had the extraordinary chance to discover that there is a life outside of show business. Of course I knew it - in theory - but I've learned it for real, in my heart, through my tears, through hope and waiting.
Actually, when I took my leave from public life, I already saw. And all my other projects, including having a child, had taken a new twist. Rene's health had become what counted the most for me. Despite all that we have lived, or maybe because of it - I'll never know which - we've rediscovered a kind of confidence in life, an appetite for living what's offered us, whether we wanted it, decided it, or not. We had not given up the idea of having a child. The year before, a few days before Rene had his first chemotherapy treatments, we had gone to a sperm bank.
It was obviously not the most romantic expe-rience a couple could dream of. But it gave us the confidence that, whatever happenes, our dearest dream was possible. But I had ceased to believe that our happiness depended only on this child. Of course, I promised myself that I would start taking all the nec-essary measures as soon as possible. Ronald Ackerman, had explained to us at length the procedures of in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination. And I had decided to go through the first steps after a few months of rest. If, afterward, this child became a part of my life, so much the better.
If not, I was gonna live without him or her. That's what I told myself. I especially did not want to lay a guilt trip on this child by putting my happiness in its hands, even before it was born. I didn't want to dream, to write any particular scenario. I wanted to take life as it came, and not as I had dreamed it.
Last winter, we learned to enjoy life as never before. I saw Rene change a lot as well. He began to take his time watching the sun set, dolphins swimming, or a cloud floating by. He also started getting the most out of the moments he spent with me, with his friends, or alone. Even his laugh changed, his expression. He's more aware of Others than he ever was, aware of happiness, especially. And he himself is amazed. At the beginning, I would do nothing for days; I'd live without a plan, without makeup, with nothing but shorts and a T-shirt, bare-foot.
I didn't have to care about my looks or spend energy trying to find something smart to say in order to please the media. And through all that, I've discovered small pleasures I could never have thought I'd have before. They're a sign, I believe, of a deep change that I don't altogether understand yet, and one that I'm not really trying to understand. For example, when people gave me flowers, I never knew what to do with them or where to put them. I smelled them quickly, hardly looked at them.
Today, I can spend hours making and remaking bou-quets, arrangements. I'm learning their names, their odors. I watch them push up from my flower beds, wither, and then bloom again. I read books about them. I ask gardeners and florists questions. What is more, every day, at suppertime, I fiddle for a long time with the candlelight in each room of the house and the patio and the terraces. I'm learning how to create atmosphere, how to set a table, receive guests. And in doing all that, I discover in myself quirks and traits of character that I never noticed or never took the time to see.
Some make me happy, others don't. For example, I've learned that I'm excessively concerned about details that are often very insignificant. Even to the point of getting on my own nerves. Everything has to be perfect all the time. If I notice something wrong - a water stain on a wall, the wrong crease in the draperies, a candle that isn't standing straight up - I don't stop thinking about it, I get obsessed, I get up to wipe the stain, smooth out the crease, straighten the candle. Other days, I try to free myself of my tendency to correct things. I'm getting there, slowly but surely.
I'll never be careless, and I'll never like disorder, but I believe that I could become more relaxed, let a few dead leaves drop onto the patio or in the pool without rush-ing to pick them up. All the rigor and meticulousness with which I practiced my singing for nearly twenty years have remained in me.
And I've trans-ferred them to what now concerns me the most - Rene's health, first and before all - but also the thousand and one details of daily life - the upkeep of this house in Jupiter that I so love, the knickknacks, the paintings, the furniture that I've filled it with.
I also focus on the house that we're having built in Quebec. I want to see everything, understand everything, participate in every decision, see the plans, the construction site, and the design. I'll admit that I'm a stickler for detail. I've always been one, even as a little girl. If I had the smallest stain or the least tear in my dress or my pajamas, I wanted my mother or my sisters to change me.
I like order and cleanliness. In my house, just as in my thoughts, I want everything to be impeccable, clear, precise. That's doubtlessly why our reconciliations last longer than our lovers' quarrels. When we argue, I tend to sulk a little, but afterward I want Rene to describe in detail what he was feeling. I want to know if he was feeling anger or sorrow, how much, and for how long. And I don't let up as long as the least cloud persists between us, as long as there is the least confusion or friction in our emotions.
I'm the same way with everyone I love and everyone I work with. I like to be proud of myself. And I regularly take stock, examine my conscience, whereas in the past I really wasn't that interested in it. Looking back has never been my forte. I try to take life as it comes. But I don't restrain myself from mak-ing plans. There are so many things, things that might seem simple and easy to most people but that I had never known or done because I was in show business. A walk on a busy street; a warm spring evening with old girlfriends; mingling with the crowd without being recognized; or a dinner at home, alone with the man I love; going shopping by myself; having a purse filled with personal belong-ings, a credit card, keys.
And not knowing what tomorrow will bring, what I will do or where I will be in three weeks, in six months. Likewise, I'm planning in detail the pleasure trip I want to take with Rene to Europe , to visit the cities that we passed through too quickly, that we didn't take the time to know and love! I want to visit the world's most beautiful museums and its most famous castles, with guides who will teach me everything about the world's treasures. I'm making plans, itineraries. I think of the dress I'll wear and what I'll have Rene wear when we take a walk, some wonderfully mild evening, perhaps in Venice , hand in hand, alone, without a body-guard or a photographer, incognito.
We will travel very slowly, enjoy-ing each other, enjoying life, without demanding anything from it. We will simply be satisfied and happy with whatever it brings us. Yet once again, life brought us even more than we had imagined. Something incredible happened, something that could very well be the most important event of our life together. Zev Rosenwaks, a renowned fertility specialist. He suggested that we try a new fertility method. The idea is to isolate one spermatozoon, and to inject it in an egg with an extremely small needle.
The doctor then proceeds to place the embryo in the uterus. We already had millions of spermatozoa in a freezer. So now our main concern was for me to produce as many eggs as possible. I immediately stopped him. I don't pretend to have more courage than other women, but I was in great shape and I had all the time I needed. And what's more, I could give this experiment a try knowing I fulfilled all the require-ments.
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I had everything I needed, mentally and physically. To begin this process, I had to prepare my body by injecting myself every day with an "antiescrogen" that would regulate and con-trol my ovulation. I returned to New York , where I began to receive massive injec-tions of hormones that would create a "superovulation. Because of these hormones, my belly swelled up like a little balloon. It was certainly not comfortable, but it really made Rene and me laugh and dream. Luckily, I didn't have any of the dizzi-ness and hot flashes that many women have during this treatment. When my ova reached maturity, the doctors took them out of me and placed them in a test tube.
Then they were put in contact with the spermatozoa. This happened on May Three days later, three little eggs were back inside me. By this method, I could possibly have. But that would also be problematic. For more than a month, up to mid-July, I injected myself daily with proges-terone, a hormone that insures the continuation of the pregnancy. All of these procedures had nothing to do with poetry. It was all very technical and cold. Nothing to do with the beautiful act we call love.
But Rene was always by my side, fascinated, caring, and very ten-der. We went through all the steps together. It had become our dear-est dream. We would talk all the time to each other and to our friend. To the public too. We had never hidden our fertility problems. And we were not going to keep this experiment secret. Nor the results - whatever they would be. I had to spend a few days without moving so that the small eggs would stay attached.
I decided to follow all the rules very carefully. I had told the doctors: Even if it's difficult, even if it's painful. If you want, I can stop moving alto-gether for nine months. They were not asking for so much. But they did warn me more than once that I had to be very careful, especially during the first month. On the morning of June 8, Dr. Ronald Ackerman dropped by my house in Jupiter. He had been coming very often for the past months. But that day I was not expecting him.
He had come by the day before, had examined me, and taken a blood sample. He had left say-ing it would still take two or three days before he knew if I was preg-nant or not.
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He had just arrived when Alain, my sister Linda's husband, came to tell me that Dr. Rosenwaks was on the phone. I was also talking to him every day. This morning, strangely, he did not ask about my health, nor did he ask to speak to Dr. Ackerman as he always did. He simply asked what I was doing.
He was about to come to Florida and I thought he probably wanted to organize a golf game with Rene or something like that. But he hesitated a few seconds and then he said: I want you to be in the same room. I called Rene on the intercom. I had a really hard time trying not to sound nervous and excited. I had finally understood what was hap-pening. I knew that the doctor had really, really big news for us.
Ackerman could see that I knew. I could see him trying to avoid my eyes. It was obvious that he wanted to laugh. When Rene arrived in the kitchen, I was also trying to look very calm.
He did not have a clue either. He didn't even know who was on the phone. Linda had set the phone so everybody could hear Dr. And when we were all together, Zev and Ronald told us: I immediately saw my love's eyes fill with tears. He came close to me and took me in his arms.
E ven this dream, which I'd practically forbidden myself from having because it seemed so fragile, was now going to be realized. I was going to have a baby with the man I love. I was in Rene's arms, and he was laughing through his tears. For quite a while we stood holding each other in the middle of the kitchen. Both of us knew that we couldn't hide our great joy for very long. The secret was too big and too beautiful to keep just to ourselves.
We spent the rest of the day on the telephone. We called my par-ents, all my brothers and sisters, Rene's children, and our friends in Montreal , New York , Paris , Los Angeles , to tell them the good news. But they couldn't keep the secret either. By evening the offices of our publicists in Montreal and Los Angeles were swamped with reporters, and by the next morning there had to be a press release announcing my pregnancy. In any case, our happiness had to be known. For twenty years we'd shared a kind of intimacy with the public at large.
I wanted them to share our joy just as they'd shared our suffering. I believe you should never hide your happiness. It lights up and cheers up the world. To keep it only for yourself is to lose it. That day I felt a great strength and peace coming over us. Defi-nitely, it came from somewhere else.
But I knew that Rene was the one who had summoned that strength and peace to us. When he fell ill, he had to fight it. He couldn't just give up and let our happiness die. Instead of giving up, he chose to fight with all his strength. He had to because of his love for life, because of his love for me and for his children and his friends.
And now that life that he had so valiantly defended was struggling and growing in me. It would be the proof that you have to believe in. Two weeks later, we saw the heart of our child beating, a small and rapid sound. That's very good," said one of the doctors. Then he made a quick count and announced that I was going to give birth on February 14, Later, in August, after three months of pregnancy, we heard its little heart beat. At beats a minute, a strong pulse. We recorded it, and since then have been listening to it every night before going to sleep.
We knew that all of it was still tenuous, that we needed patience, passion, joy, strength, and a lot of luck as well. But we also knew that whatever happened, life had already triumphed. I'11 never forget the day I sang in public for the first time. It was at the wedding of my brother Michel, who is also my godfather. I was five years old. I wore a long dress, blue with small white flowers, and white gloves. It must have been during the summer because Michel was married on his birthday, which is August My brothers and sisters had put together a real show for the new-lyweds.
They set up an entire stage, complete with lighting and amplifiers. They even did sound checks. We began by singing folk songs together, then each of us did his or her own little number. Dur-ing the few days before, Maman had me practice several tunes, including "Mamy Blue" Granny Blue , which I loved and which I was going to sing accompanied by my brother Daniel at the piano. Until that moment, I'd only sung at our place, with the family. Almost every evening after supper, we formed a chorus and sang songs from the old days, in rounds.
Daniel and my sister Ghislaine could play any instrument. And if there were no drum sets in the house, they tapped on tables, walls, pots, the refrigerator. While the family did the dishes, somebody stood me up on the kitchen table - my first stage, a kind of theater in the round like the ones I prefer today, with the audience on every side. I sang with all my might, using a fork, spoon, or dishmop as a mike. And I made them all laugh. I wasn't afraid of anything or anyone. The only prob-lem was that I never wanted to stop singing.
Once I got started, it was difficult to get me off the table. One evening, as a joke, or just because they'd had enough, as soon as the dishes were done, my family signaled to each other to slip into the living room, after turning off the light, leaving me all alone on the table with my dishmop in my hands. It didn't really bother me. In the first place, I knew they didn't intend anything mean by it. None of my brothers or sisters has ever wanted to hurt me; of this I'm sure. What is more, never in my life, in the past or present, have I doubted for a fraction of a second my family's love for me, or the love my brothers and sisters feel for each other and for my parents.
When they walked out on my "kitchen concert," I knew it was a game, a trick they were playing on me. They wanted to make us all laugh. So I calmly got off the table and joined them in the living room, where they made sure I had a really good time. We've always loved playing tricks in my family. I think we get it from my father. When people visited - my brothers' friends or girlfriends or pals of my sisters - the atmosphere was completely different.
I would never have climbed on the table or even sung alone. Unless these outsiders were themselves musicians or singers, which often happened to be the case. In fact, our house attracted all the young. And we often had "guest stars" appear with our band. Those times, I stayed quiet. And when I felt confident enough, I added my voice to the others'. But for a long time, my singing was private, purely a family affair. As a result, I'd never sung for an audience as important or as unfa-miliar as the one that was gathered at Michel's wedding.
When it was my turn to go onstage, I became paralyzed by stage fright. Everyone was watching me and waiting for me to begin. These peo-ple intimidated me: Pierre winked at me and began his intro again. But 1 stood there frozen. Then I felt my mother's hand on my back, pushing me gently and firmly. And her voice was saying to me: So I stepped forward and sang. I don't remember exactly what happened after this, but I do remember not wanting to stop and begging Michel to let me sing other songs.
I also sang in all the groups formed by my brothers and sisters. That day gave me great pleasure, a feeling of having conquered my fear, my stage fright. And I definitely knew for the first time in my life that unforgettable sensation felt by a singer when she realizes that she's captivated a listener, that she's being heard, applauded. That day I knew I would be singing my whole life. And that I'd discover my happiness in doing so. I was a mistake, an accident, and the cause of a serious quandary for my mother. The day she learned she was pregnant, she had to relinquish plans she'd been cherishing a long time.
I was in no way a part of these plans.
My birth was unwanted and unexpected. By coming into the world, I crushed her dreams. I've always loved her so much that if I had known this, I think I would not have been able to let myself be born. My mother had already brought up thirteen children. For more than twenty years she'd kept house. She did the washing and the housework, the cleaning, the ironing, the meals.
And she did it all over and over again, during good times and bad times, days a year. By the time she became pregnant with me, she thought, and she had a right to think, that she had finished her work. My mother believed that at long last she would be able to do something else. Her two youngest children at that time, Paul and Pauline, who were twins, were entering school the following fall. My mother would have some free time. She could leave the house and see the world. She wanted to get a job and make a little money.
Maybe she'd travel with my father to see the sea and the part of Quebec called the Gasp e peninsula again. They had both spent their childhoods there, and they hadn't been back since their marriage. My mother had gone so far as to see the parish priest to ask him if she could "stop having children," as they said at the time, which meant using contraceptives.
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At the time the priests of Quebec had a lot of authority. This one began preaching to her. He told her she didn't have the right to defy nature. My mother was furious. So was I when she told me the story. But at the same time, I have to admit that, in a way, I owe my life to that priest. The twins were celebrating their sixth birthday on the day my mother and I came home from Le Gardeur Hospital, where I had been born four days earlier. Maman left me in the arms of my sisters and brothers and made a chocolate cake for the twins.
Asianet News in Malayalam. Archived from the original on 10 June Retrieved 10 June Retrieved 13 January Retrieved 30 January The New Indian Express. Retrieved 31 May An old-fashioned romance saved by its two leads". Retrieved 8 July A love story held together by performances". Parvathy works her magic again". My Story lacks fizz".
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Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. Languages Bahasa Indonesia Edit links. This page was last edited on 1 December , at Current users will continue to have Dropbox syncing enabled for a few more months, but we are disabling new users from signing up with Dropbox sync. Please send us feedback at support mystoryapp. Fixed a bug that truncated stories upon share.
Zoo animals and Aliens All new version 3. We have a lot of great updates in this version: Fully iPhone and iPad compatible, so take your stories on the road with your iPhone, and sync with It's wicked fast and reliable. Syncing of books and authors happen almost instantly. Use your Dropbox account across multiple devices at home or the classroom.
Candies and desserts, themed characters pirates, fantasy, school, and costumes , faces, clothes, and astronomy! You've been asking for some great features, and we're delivering! Here's what's in store for this release: Tap on any sticker, image, or text object and you will see alongside the delete icon the new duplicate and mirror buttons. We also made the buttons larger and easier to use for the kids. You can sign up for accounts and sign in again!
We also tweaked syncing a little bit to improve the performance. Look forward to Dropbox as your primary syncing platform, soon! These cute, furry, scaly little monster guys and monster gals will delight more than scare in your kids' stories. We love My Story and all of our great little story tellers.
So we listened to your biggest bit of feedback: So here it is, in its full glory! Updates in this version: When you create a new text object, it can now be multiple lines, but you can also edit it after you've added it by pressing the green pencil icon on the text object on canvas. We made page managment a lot less annoying. In the page list view you now see the page you're on instead of being at the top by default every time.
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