It was late last night when I finished singing at Border’s.
I wasn’t tired. Since the “writer inside” had gone away for a while, instead I went through my memorabilia boxes. It was time to hunt for more sentimental items for my blog.
There was nothing I could possibly write that seemed as meaningful as my song and story about “You Were There.” I couldn’t follow it up. I wondered what would motivate me to write again.
All this week, a melancholy feeling enveloped me as the melody to my song; “You Were There” kept looping in my head. Although I was in the process of recording another song, the melody to that particular song invaded my soul. I always said that my song “Farewell” was my theme song, and “You Were There” carried that melody.
However, my sadness wasn’t just about my mother’s situation. An “anniversary of the heart” was approaching. The date of Cheryl’s death was the first of February; it would be two years since she died of breast cancer.
I went through the boxes because I needed to find something reminiscent of Cheryl.
I was very close to my friend, Cheryl, while I was in college. However, there were stretches of years when we didn’t speak. My early, songwriting passion was intimately shared with Cheryl, and every time I sing I am reminded of her.
I miss her and I wish I could have shared with her my musical transformation.
The title for this post comes from my song “Just a Tune,” which I wrote for Cheryl. Below are the other posts (including songs) I wrote for her:
My melancholy had me thinking of a book I read when I was younger called “Flowers for Algernon.”
I imagined that I was starting to change back from the “happy, transformed person” I became this year. Images haunted me, as I felt myself falling back into old habits of overeating and the resulting numbness.
Coincidently, this week I spent a lot of time reminiscing. I had decided to create more images for my blog by creating stills from a DVD of old, reel-to-reel movies. I felt like I had entered a time machine.
I saw my parents so young and energetic; my youthful innocence was startlingly beautiful for me as I watched the images from years past. I was especially touched to see how affectionate my family was.
Still, there was a lot of “chatter” in my head. I decided I felt the same inside as I did when I was twenty-one. I started to think, “Where did the thirty years go since that time?”
That caused me to feel sad when I thought about how many years were stolen by grief.
Then, I decided that remembering Cheryl was an opportunity to find insight. I did.
I found appreciation that I am alive. Cheryl did not reach the age of fifty and my life is such a gift.
Every morning when I awaken, I look forward to my day because I think of those who are not as fortunate as I am.
This past week, I expended a lot of energy trying to discover the truth about Sara. Sara was across the hall from my mother’s room and she told me she had two, broken hips that were not operated on. Sara was 98-years-old and walked, however my mom was considered a “hospice candidate” because she had opted to forgo surgery.
Last week at a hospice meeting for my mother, I was told that Sara most certainly had had surgery; she had simply “forgotten.”
I called my mother’s social worker after the meeting and asked if the truth could be confirmed – I really needed to know whether Sara had surgery or not. I received a voice mail message back from the social worker saying it was confidential information, however, everything told to me at the meeting was accurate.
I wondered if it were possible that Sara had forgotten about having surgery due to dementia. She seemed so bright and alert.
When I told Sara what had happened at the meeting, Sara turned purple and became livid. I regretted upsetting her. Sara wanted to know who had told me she had dementia. It was absolutely unsettling for me to see her using expletives as she unleashed her fury.
Her roommate corroborated her story; that Sara indeed had broken her hip at the age of 95 and did not have surgery.
The next day, Sara confronted several staff members. She told me the staff told her that nothing of the sort was said about her at the meeting.
In a room filled with eleven people, including my father – I found that denial hard to believe. I used to tape record school district meetings for my children and wondered if I had to do that now.
This morning, I visited Sara before seeing my mother.
She was bright-eyed as she said to me in a straightforward voice, “Judy, this whole thing is too upsetting for me. I’m sorry but I need to let it go Let’s not talk about it anymore.”
I decided for the moment I would let it go, too.
In a few days, my mother has an appointment for a second opinion regarding her hip. I plan to ask a lot of questions.
Yesterday, I decided to share one of the “reel-to-reel,” conversion DVD’s with my mother. I had three of them and brought the one where my parents got married.
Miriam told me how much she enjoyed watching it with my mom. Miriam said, “Oh my god, now I see what a special family you have and why your mom is such an amazing woman. The love! There is so much love in those pictures!”
This morning I entered Connie’s guesthouse for our hypnotherapy session.
It felt like it had been an especially, taxing week. I spent a lot of time visiting my mother to lift my her spirits. I felt overwhelmed thinking about whether I could continue this pace over a long period of time.
After sorting through my feelings, I came back to the subject of pressure. I had been unable to motivate myself to work on my “book about grief.” Although I had written an introduction, I lost the desire to continue working on it.
There were many reasons; certainly my mother’s crisis had occupied my energy. However, there was more to it. I had a revelation, which I shared with Connie.
“I don’t want to write a book anymore about helping people overcome their grief. I would like to achieve that same result, but instead of writing about grief I want to write about my music and stories. Of course, there is an abundance of grief in many of my stories, but there are other elements, as well. That is where my passion lies!”
Connie suggested to me that following one’s passion is usually far more inspiring to people than anything else.
It was time for the hypnosis segment of our session. I quickly descended into a deep, hypnotic sleep. I felt my entire body tingling as I went to a very peaceful place. I realized there was a lot of emptiness inside due to the release of my two songs. I heard her voice, but didn’t listen to the words that traveled to my subconscious. Instead, I wondered what music I would search for to fill the emptiness. There was so much relief around where I was heading.
I felt free. None of my writing included my living children, and that was also liberating for me. When I first began the blog, so much was about my children. As I transformed, that all changed.
I could feel motivation coursing through me.
Before I left, I shared with Connie a few pages of my youthful, creative writing that I had found the prior night in my memorabilia boxes. I am including one story at the end of this post.
After our session, I saw two of my high school teachers for lunch. It was truly wonderful to share my exuberance with both of them. My english teacher and music teacher sat across from me. Time definitely stood still as we all talked about life!
When I was in high school, I idolized my choir teacher, Frankie. At parties, I used to be so nervous playing my guitar in front of her!
After lunch, she sat in my car with me. Frankie used to sing in a professional choir. She had heard my recordings and told me she had some ideas that could improve my vocals. However, she was hesitant to “interfere” because I worked with Peaches. I reassured her that I was open to any kind of feedback.
I parked in a shady spot and savored the moment as I closed my eyes and followed her instructions while singing a few scales. I was no longer nervous around her!
Her suggestions on watching myself sing to a mirror and changing my vowel tones seemed extremely useful.
When I came home, I decided I could write again. It was time to move on from my melancholy and sadness.
ME A RAINDROP (Written when I was in 5th grade)
Being a raindrop was a little uncomfortable but I still enjoyed it. That day I felt good in the moist cloud but later I noticed the cloud was beginning to swell up. I felt moist and I knew when the storm hit I would become a raindrop. But now despite the cold I was happy. For quite awhile there was no rain and I knew it would be good to be a raindrop again. I was thinking I heard a big boom from the cloud I was in. I felt the steam under me give way and I fell through the cloud. The steam which I was made of turned into a little wet raindrop. As I fell, I wondered where I’d land. I found out as I landed in a little puddle. The rain soon stopped and I noticed the ground under me was cracked so I knew I must be in the desert. The rainstorm was over and I felt myself evaporating but it was fun while it lasted.
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.