A picture of Joni and I on vacation. We stayed at a ranch outside of Las Vegas.

I am not a “professional” writer. I graduated college with an art degree. This whole, writing process is both amazing and baffling to me, as I am finding myself overcome with ideas. My head is spinning about what an amazing opportunity it has become to write about what has been gone on in my life! There is frustration there, because I am still a caregiver for a lot of people, and writing is a luxury for me.

All of my writing began recently through emails to my old friends whom I’ve seen little of for the past thirty years. During my mom’s illness, I began to use email as a form of therapy; to reconnect with all the wonderful friends I’ve managed to stay in touch with through the years. Even though I never shared with them many of my trials, I am finding that I have swung now in a totally “different and new” direction.

Suddenly, I have put my life out there for anyone and everyone to read. Someone did ask me how it is that I could do this. That’s a good question, and I haven’t found a good answer for that – except that for right now it is “working for me!”

I haven’t mentioned much about my parents and their “care.” Needless to say, it should suffice to say that they both call me at least twice a day or more. Sometimes when I’m on the phone with one, the other will call – such a choice! Which parent can I satisfy? They both need me so much, and I love them.

When I bemoan the lack of illustration assignments, I always realize there is never any time for me to work again – I have plenty to do. When I feel a little “spoiled” that I still have my housekeeper/wife, Rosa, I realize that she is only working part-time. She never has time to clean my house, and I am responsible for shopping for five, hungry people in my home. I don’t want to mention how many times a week I am shopping at Costco, Target, Trader Joes, and supermarkets.

From left to right – Joni, me, and her sister, Shari.

Email correspondence to share:

On Feb 23, 2010, Joni wrote:

Did you find the Israel trip interesting as a possibility? If you did or could go, fill out the application as soon as possible, it will fill up fast.

Love, Joni

Hi Jone,

To make a long story short, I could not travel without Michael, yet. He has been waiting for us to have that chance once it was actually feasible. I say feasible, but even I don’t know what that means. I guess if I had a million dollars it would be!  I think it is more about the kids and more stability. They still need me so much, even though their mom is sitting at her computer all the time lately.

I just don’t have the desire to go, knowing how hurt he would be. I can do a weekend thing, but not two weeks. That being said, it was so tremendous of you to think of me for this opportunity.

Love, Jude

Ps. Here’s another pic to share. Notice how pretty you are and you have that great figure I was always so jealous of. And look at me, the “Tomboy.” No wonder I liked bugs and lizards! I got my period late and never had much of a waistline compared to you! And your sister, Shari, has that wild, curly hair and she’s so tiny. That’s how I always remember her. And whoever took the picture, is casting their shadow!

Love you, Jude

Ps. we’ve had lunch how many times in the last 30 years? Five?

Joni and I at her Bat Mitzvah. She became very religious later on in her life, due in part to my mom’s influence.

I corresponded yesterday with a neighborhood friend that I used to play with until I was ten years old! His name is Steve.

He and his family moved away and I have not seen him in forty years. When my mother and father were living with me for a year, I made it a point to take my mom out to see his mother, Marilyn and another neighbor. When my mom was ill, I sent updates to Marilyn.

Marilyn shared my emails with Steve. Steve happens to know a lot about music and recording music.

On Feb 23, 2010, Judy wrote:

Hi Steve,

I am seriously thinking of sending you my old cassette to see if you can re-record it digitally. I am in the process of moving forward to perhaps having someone else sing and record my songs – AS IS! I don’t want to change them. Thanks again for being so helpful, and for sharing with your mom.

Hi Judy,

I read an email where you mentioned you had an old, cassette tape. I had a good cassette deck but it’s been sitting under my bed for years. I just dug it out and cleaned out all the dust out of it. I’ll try and power it up and see if I can get it all connected to where I could record to the computer.


Steve, You’re an angel! This cassette is about all that I have to remember my songs and my prior ability when I was “in practice.” I have another cassette that has just one or two songs interspersed with dialog. I’ll send that, too, although it is slightly embarrassing.

I am very excited if you’re able to make my voice sound less “screechy.” I doubt that is possible, but if it sounds better – perhaps I can share it with a future singer that I can have do an excellent recording. This is wonderful! Thank you!

Once again, thank you for your involvement. It’s been such a pleasure reconnecting with you and your mom after 40 years.


On Feb 23, 2010, Marilyn wrote:


Your artwork is truly fantastic.

I so hope that Steve can help you in some way. I will tell you that with whatever he does he is a perfectionist.

Love, Marilyn

Steven and I at our preschool graduation. Marilyn and my mom are behind us.

© Judy Unger and 2010. 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.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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  1. Fawn says:

    Judy, Wow! You have your hands full with Jenny, also and Michael with his toe. Don’t ever feel guilty if you stop and take time for yourself. You deserve that.


    • judyunger says:

      Hi Fawn,
      I just finished my Mini-post #2, which is anything but “mini.” I am definitely taking the time now to write and today I went swimming. Thank you for your encouragement not to feel guilty. I have allowed myself to feel that way in the past, and I’m learning that it certainly is never helpful! I appreciate very much your supportive comment. Thank you!


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