“A soothing voice was all that was required”

I love the words “silence turned to song” from my most recent song, “The Music From Her Heart.” I hear music in my mind when I fall asleep and when I awaken. Not audible music I am listening to, but I am singing in my mind.

I realize I am not contemporary with my music at all. I stopped listening to music a long time ago. Certainly, there was nothing on the radio that inspired me much. I was busy surviving and did not have any desire to revisit my musical past.

That time in my life I consider “the silence.” At this time, hearing melodies in my mind represents joy and wonderment with life.

I am eager to finish my book so I will have something to market and share. Once I am satisfied with my “draft,” I have no idea how long it will take to publish my book. I do know that on my end, I want it to be my best effort but not to the point of having perfectionism prevent me from finishing it.

Just the other day, George (my arranger), asked me, “Hey Jude, are you ever going to sell a CD?”

I told him how I felt. I am not a professional singer and the beauty of my music is in having my audience understand the honesty behind my songs. I first want to sell my book with my music to create something unique. Later on, I could sell my music alone, hopefully.

As I wrote the above sentence, the realization for me was that I was selling myself!

On Sunday night, I enjoyed playing so much at Border’s. It had been two weeks since my last performance.

The burn on my right arm ached as it rubbed against my guitar. However, my singing soothed and enveloped me in comfort. I felt like the microphone was my friend. I understood how to use it to help my voice sound better.

The audience was completely unfamiliar. I wasn’t sure if they liked my music, but after a few of my songs I started to receive applause. My heart sang! I had no expectations of anything more as I sang and tried to do my best. I could feel that my singing had really improved and it felt great.

The next morning, my arm wasn’t bending too well. I had tried sleeping without the bandages on it; there was so much freedom without the slimy covering. But having it so exposed was exquisitely painful, especially when I rested it upon my pillow. Each movement hurt, so I tried to stay as still as possible.

It had been a week since I burned my arm when I spilled a mug of hot tea. The impact of what happened to my “important” arm had now sunk in.

No more blisters – it is healing!

Yesterday morning, I spoke with my father who was in the hospital. He was going to have a procedure that would try to “zap” and eliminate his kidney stones. That attempt was not successful and another try would be attempted later on this week.

It was interesting that my father needed little time from me compared to my mother. He was very appreciative that he had a nurse who was giving him a lot of attention. I was pleased to hear he was a good patient and I especially appreciated that he was aware of everything.

He said to me, “I know your life! Please! Please, do not waste time to visit and just talk to me on the phone instead! Hearing your voice is all I need.”

This week, I missed the sympathy I knew I would have gotten from my mother. Instead, I was very careful to hide my wound from her. With dementia, there was no reason to add anything else to her imagined fears.

No sooner had I gotten off the phone with my father, I received a call from my mother’s nursing facility notifying me that she had “unexplained” bruises on her legs. After I hung up, there was another stressful call. My mother’s wonderful caregiver, Miriam, was on the phone. I didn’t want Miriam to know that I planned to visit later on to surprise her on her birthday.

She desperately needed my help to calm my mother. She told me that my mother was certain my husband and father had died the night before in a car accident. My mother was sobbing hysterically because it was very real for her.

Miriam couldn’t convince her otherwise and was actually worried that something might have happened to my father, because he happened to be in the hospital.

It took me about ten minutes to gently persuade my mother that everyone was fine. My mother could not find the words, but I knew what she meant when she said to me shakily, “Your voice is all I need.”

Thankfully, my voice calmed her. She believed me when I told her that it was all a bad dream. I realized that my poor mother’s life was now a nightmare for her and the day would come when my voice would not be enough.

All the voice lessons in the world to improve my singing was not as important for me as knowing my voice could make such a huge difference for my parents!

“Showing appreciation

It was Miriam’s birthday; I had wrapped up an iPod Nano and purchased a cake. I was looking forward to surprising her. There simply was no way for me to ever truly express my appreciation, but I was excited to have an opportunity to do something special for her.

I had found an excellent card. Although I often share a lot, I’m not sharing my personal message. I wanted it to be special, unique and only for her. I am sharing the card I purchased, which set the stage for my own words.

My mother enjoyed watching Miriam blow out her candles. I found out Miriam was thirty-three years old; there was so much I didn’t know about her. Together, all three of us had some cake and Miriam looked delighted with her gift.

I brought my mom a bag of peanuts – she always loves feeding the squirrels. She and Miriam were headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.

She read my card and tears trickled down her cheeks. We hugged each other tightly.

Yesterday was a challenging day. Although having my burn made things a little more painful, I managed with it.

A year ago, I had named one of my more stressful days, “Just Another Manic Monday.” I thought about that title, yesterday. But I realized that with my transformation, it might have been challenging like many days I’ve experienced but it was not manic.

Manic implies a sense of “being out of control.” I realize that I don’t have control over many things. The one thing I do try to control is my own attitude.

Rather than being “tossed around by life,” I decided to keep smiling and humming my songs. Last night, I decided I could perform my new song at Kulak’s Woodshed in the evening and looked forward to it.

My performance at Kulak’s wasn’t the way I would have liked for my new song. I rushed through it because I was pumped full of adrenaline. I’m not even going to share it.

But I could still hear the echo in my head of the announcer’s voice when I was finished.

He said, “That’s going to heal up soon, I hope – Hopefully, it looks worse than it is. How about a trooper here? She’s got an injury and she’s still gonna come out and play! Ain’t nothing gonna stop her!

© Judy Unger and 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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  1. Karyn @ kloppenmum says:

    Your ability to move with change instead of fighting it, like so many people, always impresses me Judy. And I think you’ll find it’s an advantage not to be ‘up with’ the current music scene. You’re sure to sound new and fresh because of the difference. 🙂


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