My writing focus was consuming. The book was coming together and my clear vision of it had me filled with enthusiasm and excitement. I couldn’t wait to start recording the audio for it. I could hear my own voice speaking the words I was editing. The distractions were familiar. There were household chores and fighting with my teenagers. And then there were issues related to my elderly parents. My father had an arthroscopic procedure last week to removed kidney stones that was not successful. He was released from the hospital on Saturday and needed to make a decision about the next step. My mother’s dementia continued progressing at a rapid pace. She lost more weight.
When it became too much for me, I retreated. My music was always there. However, it wasn’t easy to sing with joy. Jason’s birthday passed and I sang a new vocal for “Beside Me Always” on that day. I had purchased a better microphone. My song recordings were definitely improving and I was glad I hadn’t rushed into selling a CD too soon. I had my arrangements and with my childhood friend Steve’s help, I planned to sing new vocals for many of my songs. I would definitely still see George for any new arrangements. I had taught myself how to use Garage Band in order to paste together the best vocal lines.
It seemed that the best recording area was the large walk-in closet in my bedroom. It was full of so many things I could have discarded; organizing things was something I used to have time for. I cleared space for a chair and sang in the darkness to feel inspired.
I performed at Border’s on Sunday night. A week earlier I had felt disconnected from my audience. It was nice if even one person approached me to let me know they appreciated my music. On that night, several people came over to speak with me afterwards. I enjoyed singing so much that the hour went by quickly.
However, every day held challenges for me. It became difficult for me this morning. I remember not wanting to face my day and this morning I was tired of so many challenges.
I missed having my mother to talk to. I remembered how I could share my challenges with her. Now I listened to her confusion and reassured her about things that made no sense.
I felt very sad and decided I would let her speak with me anyway. What would she say to me now? I had to listen hard for her voice in my head. She spoke and I wrote it down to help me feel better. I had brought a paper and pen with me to write while I was waiting to see my father at the hospital.
Earlier in the afternoon, I decided to sing a new vocal for my song “More Than You Know.” I had rewritten the lyrics on that song after Jason died. However, as I sang it I thought of how I needed to let go of my parents. It didn’t mean I didn’t still love them.
I just was holding on so tight.
You Can Never Lose My Love
You can never lose my love
You are my shining star
From the time you were a baby
I have loved you completely
The last thing I want is for you to be sad
For many years you were sad and I could not bear it
Your happiness is something I want most for you
I feel your joy and it wraps around my soul
Now I know that fighting to stay alive
was worth it just to see you smile again
I am not who I was and I am sorry
I didn’t plan for this to happen
Even when I’m scared and confused
You must know how much I love you
I wish you didn’t have to see me this way
I have so many wishes
But wanting you to remain happy
is the wish I want most
Please don’t cry or be sad
You are so strong, so beautiful, so blessed
How fortunate I was to have you as my daughter
Now I will become your shining star
to always remind you from above
You can never lose my love
Subject: Email update on my father
Date: May 31, 2011
My dad was in a lot of pain last night, but refused to go to the hospital; he said he’d rather die. I made an appointment with his doctor, but this morning he told me he preferred having a home health nurse check him instead.
My mom has been getting much worse with her confusion. I received a call in the mid-afternoon that she slid out of her wheelchair onto the floor. She was fortunately unhurt.
I called my dad in the afternoon and he sounded terrible, but he said I had woken him up and that was why. When his nurse called me around dinnertime she told me what I expected; he needed to go immediately to the hospital. She said he was close to death.
I raced over to the hospital. My father was white as a ghost. He had 103 fever and his stomach was distended. The doctor said to me, “Why was he sent home without a catheter and on blood thinners? His stomach is filled with liquid.” He has a severe arrhythmia and dangerously fast heart rate again.
I regret that I didn’t get him to go to the hospital last night. He made fun of me and became tearful and angry when I told him I was taking him. He was unreasonable and childlike. I was supposed to be the parent and I wasn’t able to be.
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