SHARING JOY AND MY HEARTACHE, TOO

At the moment, I have a lot of creative energy expended in different directions all at the same time. For certain, I feel pressure to market something that I could sell, which would allow me to continue my creative pursuits.

At the same time, the need for writing therapy causes me to drop everything to update my blog.

In essence, I am crafting my book from the beginning, while at the same time I’m continuing to write the ending!

I wanted to respond to a beautiful message I received from my friend, Tauni, yesterday. Tauni is one of the moms in my “special moms group.” She has a child with autism, as do I. We also share a “grief connection.” Tauni’s sister was murdered, and she has suffered terribly with her grief. The fact that the date of her sister’s death was the same as Jason’s death was another one of those amazing coincidences.

I know a lot of my friends might be wondering the same thing that Tauni mentions.

On Feb 4, 2011, Tauni wrote:

Hi Judy,

I got a chance to listen to your song, Retreat. I agree that it is more contemporary, but still definitely sounds like a “Judy” song. I feel and hear your emotion when you sing. Each time I listen to one of your songs, it draws me right in. They are all so moving emotionally and so reflective of all you’ve been through. This one touched me, as almost all of your songs do…even though many of our life experiences are different (and then again, some of those “autism” ones are similar).

I also got caught up reading your blog, listening to your sessions with Peaches and viewing the accompanying pictures. As always, I enjoyed everything…although it feels strange to say that in a way when I read of such heart wrenching sharing sometimes.  You are so brave to reveal so much of yourself. Peaches sounds like a great voice coach…so positive and filled with good ideas and advice.

Do you think there might be a future written song (maybe???) that reflects some of the positive joy of where you are now (musically) and have been while rediscovering your music and singing? Something uplifting and joyous…???…when the time is right??? I’d love to hear the outcome of that…  (Just wondering…)

Love, Tauni

My friend, Tauni.

My answer”

First of all, I am really touched whenever I am asked whether I will write a completely, new song. I ask myself that question, too, and the possibilities seem endless. The process of composing is truly a mystery for me.

I do think it will happen at some point, but I have no idea when. My energy has been extended in so many directions!

I see from the quality of my recordings, that my voice and working relationship with George has simply gotten better and better. I really like the sound of my most recent song, Retreat. I plan to go back to some of my older songs and record them now in a more contemporary, upbeat way. Of course, the expense means I really need to concentrate on selling something!

I am completely uncertain about whether there will be any “new” songs, as long as I still have a few possibilities from my old. song sheets.

I do not hear a new song calling out to me yet! However, just the other day I was humming a nice melody to some lyrics to one of those old songs. Instead of a song to a lover, it felt like it could become a song to my child.

I haven’t written a song like that yet – so it was a very interesting possibility for me. Because the song would require a lot of work, it would be very much like a new song.

I have been aware that there is a predominant theme of loss in my music. That thought led me to categorizing my songs.

I was glad to see that I do have a fair amount of songs that celebrate love and joy!

It was actually such a good exercise, that I created a “song by category” page for my blog.

This picture is of Jason with a neighbor when he was about four. He is frozen in time and she would be about 24 now.

This picture is of Jason with a neighbor when he was about four. He is frozen in time and she would be about 24 now.

“It was unimaginable”

While editing my blog a few months ago, I created a separate post about my son, Jason, which was about the early years before he died. I did that because my original story about Jason was too long for one post. It was:

JASON MEANT HEALER

At the end of that post was a story called “To have a heart.”

While I was in deep grief, I expended a lot of my energy wishing things were different. I wondered why Jason couldn’t have survived the surgery, which ultimately caused his death.

Mathew was a boy in a cardiac support group I used to attend many years ago. He had the same defect as Jason, which was “transposition of the great vessels.” Matthew also had even more severe abnormalities to his heart, as well.

His mother had no other children.

I stayed in touch with his mother, Helen. When she lived locally, she shared some of Matthew’s clothes when he’d outgrow them. Helen endured a difficult divorce. Eventually, she remarried and moved away.

Every year, I received a beautiful Christmas card from her. This year, she shared many wonderful things about her life. She was very involved in her church, where her husband was a Pastor.

Her words about Matthew were extremely touching. He was a strapping, 6’4” man now, and was the manager of Hippo Car Wash in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Over the summer he had gotten married, and he and his wife were expecting a baby.

I remember when Matthew was such an angry boy; he actually emptied all the clothes from his closet and trashed his room when he was four years old!

When I read Helen’s letter, I closed my eyes and allowed my emotions to wash over me.

I was always so worried about Helen losing Matthew; how wrong I was about the seriousness of his heart defect!

With my eyes still closed, I allowed myself “to wonder” what Jason might have been like if he had lived. As usual, I drew a blank – it was too unimaginable for me.

I hadn’t spoken to Helen in at least fifteen years; I decided to call her to let her know that her Christmas update was very touching. I congratulated her. She was gracious as she told me she certainly remembered me well. With honesty, she shared that she had not had time to read my blog. I understood.

After I got off the phone, I pondered what I would write. I was puzzled that I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be.

And then I realized that I no longer expended any energy wishing things were “different.”

That was an amazing revelation for me.

Matthew was a few years older than Jason – he was like a big brother to him.

© 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.

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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