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Celine Dion. Nothing short of brilliant.

Celine Dion. Nothing short of brilliant.

By CLARE SULTMANN

Celine Dion. Nothing short of brilliant.

The other night, I made the trek with an aggrieved husband in tow, to see her concert. It took us close to 2 hours to get there, but once inside it was worth the effort.

The crowd were mostly women, a few more aggrieved husbands and lots of gay men.

The night didn't start well. We were stopped at the entrance to the venue after lining up and told we couldn't' enter unless I got rid of my handbag. Apparently, anyone carrying anything bigger than the size of A4 paper was not allowed in. I did recall reading this on one of the copious emails I had received leading up to the concert, but somehow I forgot about it when I was running out the door. My husband, who hates queuing up for anything, and was already there under some duress, was silently muttering expletives under his breath as he took my bag back to the car and re-joined the queue.

Lining up yet again, this time for some drinks, I ordered water. ‘Sorry, you can't have bottled water, it will have to be poured into a plastic cup?' What the?? The lady serving was very apologetic and then proceeded to tell me:‘ When Justin Bieber was here, he had a bottle of water thrown at him on stage and so the artists now often request that no water bottles are allowed into the venue'. Trying not to smirk at the thought of poor bratty Biebs getting a water bottle thrown at him, I took my large plastic cup and walked into the concert.

It wasn't lost on me that over 8 years ago I was pretty much sitting in a similar spot watching Whitney Houston perform. Unbeknown to us at the time, it would be the last concert she ever performed in Brisbane, dying a few years later.

As I thought about Whitney and the broken down voice and sad performance she gave some 8 years ago, I couldn't help but compare it to the voice we were listening to tonight. Celine Dion's voice was as powerful as ever and her energy and excitement palpable. Here was an artist, at the age of 50 still at the top of her game. When we saw Whitney she was 46 years old, younger than Celine was tonight by 4 years. The difference between to the two stars was night and day. One had cared for her body, looked after herself, preserved her voice. Cherished the incredible gift she had been given. The other had made wrong choices, been influenced by the wrong man, and had destroyed the incredible gift she had through bad decisions that would bring her to her demise and ultimately turn out to be fatal.

As I watched Celine perform, I couldn't help but think of Whitney. ‘If only' were the words which came to mind. As the concert finished and my husband who turned out to love it (who wouldn't) and I walked to the car my thoughts turned to Celine. It was no coincidence that she sounded and looked as good as she did at 50. Clearly, she had worked hard at maintaining her health and her voice. It wouldn't have been easy; yet seeing her tonight reminded me that in life, it is our choices which make all the difference. How hard we choose to work, whom we choose to associate with, what we choose to do with the gifts we have been given determine much. And as Whitney so poignantly sang: ‘The answers are all up to me'.

CLARE SULTMANN

Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly.
As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at law, published author, and nationally accredited mediator Clare has returned to work in a different capacity. Relocating to Noosa shortly after the birth of her first child, Clare found it difficult to make meaningful and real connections with other like-minded women away from her own network of friends. With this in mind, Clare’s idea was born. Dear Molly aims to provide connections for like-minded women in a real, meaningful and positive manner. It a platform to share, communicate and inspire other women about their ‘real’ life.

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