My father and I a few days ago.

My mom looked great that night!

This Thanksgiving holiday allowed for me to truly celebrate how thankful I am for all that has happened to me this past year.

I am honest, and share that I am struggling again with weight issues like many, middle-aged women do. I hoped my pounds would continue to “melt away,” but that hasn’t happened. With the holidays, I realize that I have to rediscover my ability to fill myself up with something besides food. It has been stressful for me to gain back some of the weight I have lost.

That also indicates to me that perhaps I am not coping as well as I could with some of the stressors in my life. I love my motto “every day is a new day!” So today I will try to get back on track – it is not helpful ever, for me to beat myself up for food infractions.

Last night, the door to my studio opened and Rosa came in. Her face was wet with tears. She hugged me.

I was a little baffled at first. I wondered why she was crying. Then she choked out words about how much she appreciated me. I was glad to hear that, since her moodiness was something I’ve often grappled with. Most of the time, she was fairly grouchy and I was always careful not to upset her.

She has worked for me for over twenty years – so she’s not just an employee. For certain, she is part of my family! She started crying again. I hugged her. What was she possibly going to tell me?

“I had no idea about your parents until I saw you with them on Thursday! Oh my god – you were so wonderful the way you took care of them! When I saw what you are dealing with – I was overwhelmed. Your children have no idea what you go through. And you never complain or anything – you just smile and are so happy!”

I knew now what she was referring to. My parents have deteriorated a lot since she last saw them.

I remembered the moment on Thursday night when I barely got my mother into my car after our dinner at my brother’s house. Her coat was bothering her sore shoulder (I had put it on incorrectly). As I pushed her wheelchair to my car, my mother was crying, “Take off my jacket!”

I told her it was freezing, and I would in a moment. I felt horrible when I reached my car and she was moaning in pain. It was then I realized I had put her jacket on incorrectly. She was too weak to get into my car. I lifted her. Her pants were wet, and it was another lesson for me. In the future, I’ll need to bring additional, adult diapers whenever I travel with her (as well as a change of clothes).

I felt a lot of anguish about her sore shoulder – but let go of it. Her happiness about the entire evening carried me through. My mother might have dementia, but her love for me was so tangible. She relished every minute with me, as did my father.

I was so impressed with how my mom carried herself through circumstances that have made it difficult for her to maintain her dignity.

So now I knew why Rosa was crying.

Rosa always knew how close I was to my mom. Many times Rosa would say to me, “I’m really worried for you, Judy. When you lose your mom, I don’t know what will happen to you. You are so close with her!”

My life is not really less complicated or less stressful than it was before. However, with joy and humor – I am truly happy and willing to deal with life.

That is the difference for me between my former “zombie-like” existence and my recent “transformation.”

I just don’t want to gain any more weight!

From the very beginning, my blog has been therapy and I’ve shared my transformation through healing.

Below are lesson clips, which share my passion for music and songwriting. My voice teacher, Peaches Chrenko, has been inspirational for me.

Voice Lesson with Peaches #1 – 12-20-10

Voice Lesson with Peaches #2 – 12-20-10

Voice Lesson with Peaches #3 – 12-20-10

Because I am honest, I’ve allowed myself to share things I might normally be embarrassed about such as: wanting to be left alone! My family desperately wants me to be the way I used to be – that involved fixing them meals and snacks all the time. I have gotten away from that!

Of course, I’m still trying to find a balance and hope to go hiking soon.

The most important thing I’d like to convey, is that I certainly wake up every morning with a sense of joy and purpose.

When describing my bereavement I wrote, “Time was my enemy.”

That was true. Every moment was excruciating and endless while I was hurting.

Currently, time has become my friend.

Every second is precious for me and life is a gift.

© 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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