I close my eyes, and I’m in that picture again.

Link for lyrics, recordings and other stories: YOU ARE MY WINGS

Perhaps it was hypnotherapy that allowed me to release my trauma. My hypnotherapist, Connie, encouraged me to write and that has freed me. So much energy was required to stuff those painful memories away.

In these past few months, I’ve learned a great deal about how to take care of myself after so many years of caregiving. I am truly a different person. I will never go back to the way I was.

I will always be a bereaved parent. Certainly many things continue to come up for me with my children and their challenges. The same goes for my elderly parents that rely on me. I’m still married, although I know I don’t write much about my husband.

I am just so much happier right now. I have gotten much younger in a very short amount of time. My identity has completely changed. I love the idea that I can be not only an artist, but also a musician and a writer! Most of all, I revel in simply being an improved, human being.

Occasionally I have financial worries, however, I’ve made the decision that enjoying my life right now includes spending money on the things I didn’t do for thirty years. If it means I might have to sacrifice other things, I’ve accepted that. I will never go back to the way I was.

In my writing, I share what I have learned and what I am still learning. My life happens to be very exciting right now. It is that way because I made decisions to pursue things that have brought me this excitement.

I’m not sure if I’ll write any more essays about grief, my children, or my elderly parents. I’m just going to write about anything that hits me! Right now, I am captivated by music, and my heart is singing.

If I end up having a hit song, then I’ll definitely have a great story to write for my book. But even if that doesn’t happen, my journey has been wonderful.

On Sunday night, I decided to attend a performance workshop. It was held at Kulak’s Woodshed where I was planning to perform the following night. When it was my turn, I played only the chorus to my song. The instructor told me to stop, because he said I was singing my song way too high.

He wanted to hear how it would sound lower. I fumbled with the chords, but managed to transpose my song into a significantly lower key. After singing two lines the unanimous response was, “Much, much better!”

I came home that night, and was up in my bathroom until 1 a.m. finalizing an entire new chord structure for my song. I wanted to be certain I’d be polished enough to perform it for the open mic the next day.

I had a voice lesson with Peaches a few hours before my performance. Peaches is my vocal instructor. I demonstrated my lower version for her. She had no opinion about what was better for me. She told me she wanted me to have the proper technique and tools so I could sing my songs in any key.

I am sharing an audio part of my lesson again, because my singing improvement has been inspirational for me. Now when I hear my older versions of my songs from thirty years ago, I am pleased to know that I sound much better. I didn’t used to feel that way.

My youngest son told me, “Mom, now you won’t sound like a teakettle!”

I wasn’t a great singer when I was younger. I thought at fifty, I was way too old to improve my singing. Unfortunately, this change will require redoing my recordings with George in a lower key. I’m planning to record You Are My Wings again; even lower than my recent performance. I wasn’t comfortable performing it as low as I might have.

I am fine with starting over! As an artist, I have learned how important it is to experiment in order to achieve the best results.

When I performed last night, I did make a few minor guitar chord errors. It was understandable since I had only changed my key the night before. It took a lot of courage. Listening to my audio recording, I learned that I have to be careful when singing out not to get too close to the microphone. My nervousness also translated into playing the song at a much faster tempo. When I sang, “I’m in love,” the note almost didn’t come out!

I can easily comprehend a continuing lesson for me, which is: there is no perfection in this world. I can share my music knowing I am improving and it will only get better!


My passion for music could have me writing endless details about that journey alone. My heart is singing and it feels like I’m flying these days.

As I have been healing, I’ve become more and more musical. There even seems to be the possibility that I might write a brand new song. I have not written a song for thirty years, although I have revised my songs. My last song was written for my own wedding. Eventually, I hope to record that special song and share it.

A picture from when I was thin. It was a long time ago, but I see myself being that way in the not so distant future.

I was a serious songwriter! I typed this page of rhymes and ten more just like it!

I have been practicing my songs in lower keys, and it’s been exciting and challenging to find new, chord structures. My playing has become smoother and my voice has begun to change.

My goal is to share all of my recordings in one place when I have a few, satisfactory ones. Right now, my songs are scattered throughout the blog as a testament to my improvement. I want only my best recordings to be part of an audio page.

I have no illusions that I have a “great voice.” I’ve thought of deleting my earlier, embarrassing singing attempts. I have even wondered how I had the nerve to share some of my thirty-year-old recordings. However, I’ve decided to leave them there. I am very human and completely unashamed that I’ve “put myself out there.”

I’m certain my noticeable improvement will continue. It has been inspirational to know that at the age of fifty I was capable of this!

My age is now much younger. I might be fifty, but I really do feel as if I’m eighteen again. Singing a love song feels wonderful and real for me. My husband is a little perplexed and confused to see me this way. I have not bridged our distance. Our marriage survived the death of our son, as well as dealing with our children and their challenges. Most marriages do not survive these things. I know because I’ve watched so many other couples break apart.

I realize survival is not always enough. I still love my husband and I am hopeful that our distance will be bridged. I’m just not ready to make the effort yet. I don’t want to face the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations. I’ve been getting along with my husband much better since I’ve started voicing my feelings when I’m upset.

Bye, bye, “ouchie shield!”

I am a happier person, and happier people have better marriages. That can certainly be true for me!

Yesterday, I recorded another version of my original song, “You Are My Wings.”

I loved it in the higher key, but now I realize how much better it is for my voice in a lower key. I plan to concentrate on learning more stylistic phrasing. I appreciated the lower range because there was so much less pressure on me. I didn’t have to worry about my voice breaking up on those higher notes.

Singing lower is a perfect analogy for my life! I was singing a certain way for a very, long time. I wasn’t open to changing anything! I had reasons and excuses not to change, and it was mostly because I was comfortable doing it the same way. It seemed impossible to consider changing my voice; even though I had been told many times that I should sing lower.

It all changed after I attended a performing workshop in order to improve.

Just as I have with about everything else in my life, I decided to make this change. Doing something different has opened up my world in every way. I’m certain that is why I’m losing weight without focusing on even “dieting.”

The sensation of singing today in George’s recording studio was truly blissful. Singing is such an intimate form of communication. Unlike writing, it is immediate. I liken it to kissing. I am sharing my breath, my mouth, my heart, and my soul as I sing. Through singing, I am able to fully express my feelings as the music causes an intense connection with my heart.

I did not make the same mistake I did last week with my voice. On my way to my recording session last week, I had a twenty-minute phone chat with my mother while in my car. I was shouting to her because she had trouble hearing me while I was using my Bluetooth. I walked in hoarse before I even started singing.

Yesterday, I was totally relaxed and warmed up. I was ready! I had bought a metronome and worked on practicing to a click track. George recorded me as I played my guitar with feeling, instead of marching along as I had before.

After the guitar was recorded, I put on the headphones to record the vocal track. I savored the experience. It has dawned on me that it’s not about the quality of my singing voice, so much as my intensity of expression.

Once I was finished, I collapsed in a chair. George was now ready to go to work on the arrangement. I told him, “I loved your other version; just replicate it in this lower key.”

He shook his head and said, “Judy darling, it’s a different song now. I don’t hear it in the same way. Right now it’s a pop song – I hear piano, harp, and drums. Let me do my thing!”

I let him do his thing. He added strings, drums, piano, bass, and harps. Soon our time was running out, and I wanted him to fix some of the vocal imperfections. There were only a few spots. We decided we could work on it more the following week.

I came home and listened to the recording many times. My vocals and the guitar track were completely overwhelmed by his production. I’ve decided I’ll ask him to change the balance next week. Some of the harp noises were distracting. He might be an arranger, but the song is mine and I want the recording to be pleasing for me. I love my life right now!

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 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. Norm says:

    Hi Jude,

    I just listened to the song you sent Jo and it was beautiful. I got very emotional. I couldn’t stop thinking of Jason and what a beautiful boy he was. I’m so proud of you for following your dream and singing your songs.




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