Sometimes it is very strange to be with my tennis friends when we’re not wearing our tennis clothes.

There were many distractions for me this past week. Some were wonderful, as I had beautiful moments catching up with my friends because of my birthday. I played tennis on the actual day and a group of my friends treated me to a wonderful lunch afterwards. The day after that, I went to lunch with my parents and celebrated with them. I received a necklace and two cards from my mother’s caregiver, Miriam. I treasured Miriam’s cards: She wrote one to me and then gave me a card dictated by my mother. I was so touched by her gesture.

Miriam’s birthday card to me.

My mother dictated these words to Miriam. My mother signed it with “Judy, Judy” on the bottom right.


Some distractions this week were quite painful. While I was recording a guitar track for my upcoming song, I received a call from my mother’s nursing facility telling me my mom had fallen out of her wheelchair while in the dining room. Her fall resulted from agitation and I was told she tried to bite the nurses and even Miriam who arrived after it had happened. It turned out my mom had lung congestion, fever, and a urinary tract infection. Later that day I visited her and she seemed comfortable; so I was relieved she hadn’t hurt herself when she fell, even though her confusion was extreme.


My father had his microwave/prostate procedure. He was relieved and weak when it was over. The results will not be known for at least two weeks when he returns to see his urologist.


Although I take breaks for tennis and exercise, open mic performances, social outings and seeing my parents, – I am always driven to get back to working on my book at every opportunity. I am recording my book at my friend, Larry’s, recording studio and am fortunate that he lives only five minutes from me.


For every story, I carefully prepare ahead of time; practice always helps. Once I come home with my finished recording on a disk, I must edit it as an audio file and that takes considerable time.


Speaking my audio stories is very much like singing. I must concentrate on my words and their meaning because if I begin to simply read them, then I sound like a reader. Instead, I try to feel my words. If they make me smile or cry; I allow it.


But then . . . there is always my guitar to distract me. It beckons me to play and to sing whenever I start to feel sad or overwhelmed. I keep my guitar in my upstairs bathroom. Sometimes it is very late at night when I finish my editing; I brush my teeth and a moment later I am playing my guitar and singing softly with my eyes half closed before I go to sleep.


My newest song has filled up the space in my heart completely. I made an appointment with George, who has arranged all of my songs. When I entered George’s guesthouse to work on my song, I was filled with passion and excitement. I wish I were a better singer, because it was challenging for me to stay on pitch due to the intense emotions of my song. As I sang, I thought of the many messages I read on a grief forum, which I am a part of. I really feel so much pain inside when I read those messages. The pain of grief is never forgotten.


I was shopping at Costco later in my day after recording my song with George. I listened to my newest song recording over and over. Tears filled my eyes, and spilled down my cheeks as I shopped. I wiped them off with my shirt as I stepped into the checkout line.


I had been working long hours on my audio book and decided it was time for me to take a break. The dusk had already faded into night as I drove to an open mic night at Kulak’s Woodshed. I planned to perform my newest song and sang loudly in my car with complete abandon; I could not contain my joy. 

As I entered Kulak’s Woodshed, I felt welcomed; several people warmly told me that they looked forward to hearing me play. After an hour, my name was announced and it was my turn to sing. I stood at the microphone and introduced my newest song with some unscripted and heartfelt words. I had brought an instrumental karaoke track with me and planned to play and sing along with it. With the first notes of my song, my heart began to melt and the outside corners of my eyes became wet with tears. 

I sang passionately and felt both music and love lifting me up. I was soaring and sailing and Jason was beside me, I was certain of that. The room danced along with me and as I sang the last words of “Hang on,” I wanted to hang onto the feeling; I was euphoric. 

My song ended with an unresolved chord and I allowed my voice to hold onto the very last note, I wished I could continue singing. With my eyes closed, I still heard my chorus echoing. Although I was in a small room with perhaps only twenty people, suddenly I was transported to a large stage. 

My vision was one of thousands of people, as far as my eyes could see; they were all clapping and singing the words “hang on” from my chorus in beautiful harmony. 

Clicking the blue link below will play my performance:


HANG ON – Performance by Judy at Kulak’s Woodshed on 10-22-11


© 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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