The relief has flooded me once more. Another anniversary of heart has passed. This year was very different for me. It was because I was not the same person I was last year at this time. Having my heart connected to writing and music, and the ability to express myself made everything very meaningful for me this year.

It did not escape me at all how the weather abruptly changed within a day of the anniversary of my son’s death. It always feels like it has been that way on each and every anniversary.

My world has become consumed by my passionate endeavors. At dinner, I shared with my family about my day; I had carried the awareness of this anniversary day alone. It led to a very open discussion which I found touching.

I said, “Well since today was the day Jason died, it was a wonderful experience to record a special song.”

No one in my family was interested in hearing my song, but I felt I needed to mention at least something about Jason and my day! Grief can be very isolating and lonely.

I celebrate many things in my life. I had an MRI to investigate if there were any serious causes for my pain and numbness in my hands. I received the results, which stated I did not have MS. I am very grateful. My hands occasionally tingle, and still occasionally wake me up at 4:00 a.m. I have managed with them.

Last week, I had lunch with a special friend. She was my “grief buddy” and I hadn’t seen her in a long time. I remember very well when the leader of a bereavement support group gave me excellent advice to help me with my agonizing pain.

I have given the same advice to others. She said, “You can survive when you take baby steps and hold the hands of others who are experiencing the same suffering.” She suggested I pair up with another woman in that group.

My special friend, Riva, was a window into the horrors of the trauma that a sick child brings. Her daughter suffered with endless surgeries and intense pain for 26 years. Riva gave me a manuscript for a book, which she had completed during the time we had not been in touch. I plan to share some of her poetry on my blog.

My journey of insight has allowed me to reconnect with so many wonderful people in my life!


My dad yelling, “I hate your dog! I caught him up on the dining room table. He ate my oatmeal!”


“You don’t have to fix me another one. He left me a little and what the hell? I ate it!”


A wave of carpal tunnel pain with a hot flash simultaneously.

My father and I many years ago.


On Oct 3, 2010, Ohanian, Nancy L. wrote:

Hi, Judy!

I love hearing what you’re doing!!!!

I feel like I am spinning my wheels, struggling with school, and the development of my comic strip, greeting cards, political illustrations and paint.

My brother once said to me that he couldn’t understand how I do all these creative things and never make any money. Hahaha!

He has a huge point. I wonder the same thing. I’m 60 years old and my ship is still being tossed about somewhere out in the deepest ocean. I’m in debt up to my ears and living in a small house in NJ. Oy, yoy, yoy!!!

I hope you are just having a wonderful time with your music, Judy. Hahaha!

Love Nan XX

I love your message, Nancy. I am very happy to share my songs with you! I feel soooo close when I do.

I totally understand about the money thing. We are up to our ears in debt also – I can’t believe what I am spending on recording. How in the world is all my blogging and music going to pay off? You have to laugh at this; when I play at Borders (which is exhausting), I’m excited for my payment in the form of a coffee drink. I’ll take what I can get!

Still, I have to say that with all that I’m doing I feel richer than I ever have in my life.

I’m just having a wonderful time with my music and writing even if I’m poor. But if I ever do make it big, I’ll put you on my payroll somewhere!

Love, Jude

Hi Jude!

You are courageous and beautiful. I think it’s so funny about the coffee at Border’s.

Is the feedback encouraging, besides the fact that they ask you to return every week? Hahaha! Guess that is all that needs to be said.

I am off to school this morning and then it will be back to draw. Actually I love it. It just doesn’t pay the bills.

Lots of love, Nan XX

Hi Nanc!

I think the words “I love it, but it just doesn’t pay the bills” sums up the lives of creative people!

You’ll laugh about this: First off, Borders accepted me without an audition. I think they’re brave!

This is embarrassing; after my show I asked the manager, “Can my shows get more promotion?” He said that the division that does that was cut.

Then I said, “How about email?” He said that it was reserved for national recognition; like Jimmy Carter at a book signing! I said, “Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m not in his league; how silly of me!”

The people there are on the young side; some are downright rude! I mean they hold a conversation while I’m trying my darndest to remember my chords and lyrics! However, since I’m not getting paid, I don’t have to put up with it. I always stop and tell them to “go somewhere else, please.” The hardest time was when a mother with a crying baby wouldn’t leave for ten minutes. Finally, I couldn’t sing anymore! I stopped and asked her, “Would it help if I sang Puff the Magic Dragon?”

When the coffee bar has a blender going, that’s tough, too.

So now you know my ins and outs of performing! Since I love what I’m doing, I guess it’s what it is. I’m improving and I do connect with at least a few people every time I play. Someday I feel in my heart, I will have a larger audience.

Thanks for your compliments. Encouragement keeps me going.

Love, Jude

Ps. This is so funny, I might share it on my blog. Is that okay with you?

Hahahaha!! I LOVE your details, Judy. After I read what you put up with during your performances, I just started to laugh. It’s very funny. I can’t imagine you stopping to ask people to go somewhere else! It’s hilarious. And the crying baby!!! What a great Seinfeld.

Of course you can share this on your blog.

Keep singing your heart out!!!

Love Nan :O)

Thanks, Nanc. I love writing and sharing with you.

All I need is an income and I’d be set!

Love, Jude

Hi Jude,

It’s remarkable how we are able to measure improvement only after such a long stretch of time. It must be satisfying for you to experience your evolution, while at the same time it also touches some very deep and painful feelings.

Thanks for continuing to share your music.


I haven’t seen them smile together for such a long, long time. I am fortunate to still have them, I know.

My father visited tonight.

He failed his driving test for the fourth time last month. He is allowed one more try and plans to take the test again. Since his license was taken away (he had a car accident on the way to the hospital after my mom fell), my father has been very depressed.

I decided to share some of my recordings with my father. He hates to listen to music, but I forced him. He did not appreciate the instrumentation on my songs at all. He said, “Can’t you just sing a cappella? Then I could hear what you are saying!”

I actually thought it was better that he didn’t hear the words, especially on the song about my mother.

Just the other day he told me how lonely he was, and how he missed the way she used to be. He said I’m the only one that understood his predicament. My phone calls were the highlight of his day.

Then he said, “How can you sing about Jason and manage not to cry?”

I didn’t have a good answer at that moment, but one came to me later on.

For many, many years I could not sing at all.

I have sung and cried many times. The more I sing, the less I cry.

Peaches and I in May, 2010 at my second lesson.

Peaches Chrenko, my vocal coach, at her piano. These photos were taken in May, 2010 at my second lesson.

© 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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