“I am Going To Try to Have it All” Celine Dion
I started singing when I was 5 years old. My family was very musically inclined and my parents had a small piano bar where they performed…but my big break came when I sent a demo to the most popular music producer around then- Rene Angelil. I was 12 years old. He asked me to perform live in his office, and when he cried as I sang I knew that I had done well.
Rene believed so much in my talent, he supported me so much that when my first album was to come out, he mortgaged his house to finance it. It was unbelievable. Nobody had ever shown so much faith, so much belief in me. It made me want to go all out, to give my all. And I did. I became not just a Quebec hit, but an international star
I was 19 and he was 45 when we got engaged…and I was so in love, though we had to wait almost seven years before we could get married but our love was indestructible, it has spanned ages. It was inevitable, we were kindred souls. We wanted the same things, had the same goals and he was such a beautiful soul. My career was where I had always wanted it, I was married to the love of my life and it seemed like I was living the dream…until I tried to get pregnant.
When I think about it, I feel my first son was the easiest [to conceive], and I tried a long time for him. After him, I tried IVF 6 times before I had my twins…they were originally triplets, but one died in the womb. But I never gave up. I was going to do whatever it took and of course there was a window of doubt. I was 95 per cent positive, five per cent doubting. I didn’t want the doctor to call me and say, “I’m sorry, it’s not going to work.”
I needed to protect myself a little by thinking that I already had one child. I couldn’t make all my life, my spirituality, my strength, my happiness, dependent on the next pregnancy. I would say to René-Charles [my first son], “I hope you are going to have a brother or sister,” and each time when it didn’t work I’d tell him, “It didn’t work, we’ll try again.
We signed a contract to return to work after my world tour, and we had to postpone two or three times. If they’d said, “You want babies, but we need a singer,” I would have understood. I told René that I couldn’t stop. I had to try and try and try all the way. ‘People stop because it’s very expensive but I kept on going, I was not going to stop just because I had a contract for singing. I would have hated every song for the rest of my life. A life or a contract? I couldn’t live with that. So, my career took a break.
Then Rene got sick and my heart broke watching him fight to live. He couldn’t use his mouth, couldn’t eat. I had to feed him with a tube three times a day. My career was his masterpiece, his song, his symphony…but I put it on hold to take care of him. He was my soulmate. You can take so much strength and weight, but sometimes you cant control everything.
And today I feel more beautiful and more strong than I ever have. I don’t want to be busier than busy. I don’t want my kids to feel I’m not there for them. I’ve wanted them for too long for that. I want to make the most of them. Now the simplest things make me happy. I’ve got a feeling the sky’s the limit. I don’t feel I can’t do this any more. I feel like I want to do everything; enjoy time with my children, enjoy the growth of my twins, and I also love to sing.
“I didn’t think about children in general when I was young, but when love came into my life and I got married and I had money and success I was like, “What’s missing?” For a long time I thought, “That’s the price for me to pay for success. I’m from a big family. I now have a lot of money, I’m not going to be able to have children, you have to pay a price, you can’t have it all”. It was quite self-punishing. Then I told myself, “I’m going to try to have it all. I’m going to try very hard.” And it happened.