Link to Part 1 of this story:
My song can be heard by clicking the blue links below:
Below is an instrumental version of Memory of Love #1 (my first arrangement of this song):
For most of my life, I have struggled with my weight. My biggest obstacle has been my desire to use food as a means to self-medicate myself. For the last few years, I didn’t want to add pressure to my life by changing any of my habits and the pounds began to add up. I was stubborn and felt like dieting would interfere with my ability to cope.
But I was at a very low point. I had constant heartburn and it was getting harder and harder for me to ignore the pain in my dry eyes. Doctors had run out of remedies for me – most of them irritated my eyes and caused my condition to worsen. I was ready to do something.
On my online dry eye support group, there were people who experienced relief by changing their diet. One woman wrote that after seeing a functional MD and following a paleo diet (without any processed grains or dairy) her eye pain disappeared. Six months later, she posted that when she deviated and indulged by eating a small piece of cherry pie, her eyes tormented her the very next day. She swore by her remedy.
For most of my life, I drank several cups of coffee every day and I was addicted to artificial sweeteners. I wondered if that was aggravating my dry eye condition.
I woke up in the morning a week ago and just did it – cold turkey. I had tea and healthy oatmeal made with water instead of eating my usual breakfast cereal with milk. Instead of coffee, I had tea and put in a dab of honey. Throughout my day, I staved off hunger with fruits, vegetables and healthy protein.
I was extremely determined.
It was the first day of my new “lifestyle.” My willingness to do this was about self-love and concern for my health. I deserved to feel better and my old habits just weren’t serving me well anymore.
Unfortunately, there was no escaping the caffeine withdrawal headache. It blinded me and I had difficulty concentrating. To distract myself, I thought I might try to record vocals – it had been weeks since I had last recorded, because my engineer, Darrin, told me that he was rewiring everything in the studio.
I texted him to see how it was going and he replied that I could come in to record later that day. Which of my songs did I want to sing new vocals for?
I chose my song “Memory of Love.”
When I wrote the lyrics to that song five years ago, I was anguished watching my mother as she faded with dementia. There was no escaping her obvious decline and my resulting loneliness. A wise friend suggested that my song indicated unhappiness in my marriage and that surprised me at the time.
But it turned out she was right. My song simply expressed how starved I was for the love and affection missing in my marriage.
A few years after composing “Memory of Love,” I actually did end my marriage of 31 years.
I arrived to sing and was glad I had thought of it. My caffeine withdrawal headache lifted a little and it always felt good to sing and close my eyes. This song wasn’t hard to sing; it was very conversational. Most importantly, I needed to find my emotion.
My song was like a time machine. I had written it while my mother was alive. Here I was, living a life I never imagined back then. She had died two years ago. Being numb from overeating and dealing with eye pain had dulled my grief for her.
But nothing could ever erase the memory of her love. Through it all, I only had to remember her eyes and how she looked at me. I was blessed to have had her for a long time and to have experienced being loved like that.
Despite dementia that rendered her mute, she always lit up with joy when she saw me. I would never forget her adoring touch and gaze – oh, how I missed that. If she were still alive and aware, I was certain she would have been very worried about me.
In order to get through this difficult time in my life, I wanted to remember that love. Turning compassion to myself was the hardest thing. I was responsible for my own happiness – I didn’t like seeing myself as a “complainer” or as being “unappreciative” of my circumstances.
Overall, I felt very blessed and one of my recent songs even mentioned how much I treasured my life. Therefore, if I felt miserable, I was a hypocrite. Those thoughts were coming from my inner critic and not helpful for me at all.
I softly sang two takes of “Memory of Love” and asked Darrin how I sounded. He said, “I think I’d like to hear you connect to it – with more emotion.”
I was singing the fourth take when the emotion kicked in.
Certain lyric lines are the ones that take over and pierce my heart. The one that stabbed me was: “I try to be brave as you disappear from here.”
My voice closed up as tears choked me. It was embarrassing, but I had certainly found emotion.
30 seconds of a vocal I won’t be using:
It took a lot of bravery to experience watching my mother decline, as well as to leave my marriage of 31 years.
Even though the lyrics to my song can make me cry, my theme is true for me.
I have so many lovely memories. They are the ones that help me overcome my grief and sadness.
MEMORY OF LOVE
Copyright 2015 by Judy Unger
How can I tell you, I’m sad you’re leaving me?
I miss the way you used to be
I’ve lost you somewhere
I’m lonely and I cannot share
I can’t tell you, so instead I just pretend
it’s easier that way than to face the end
I’ve tried so hard to accept
as you fade away, I’ve slowly wept
I feel, I sense, there’s so much fear
I try to be brave, as you disappear from here
I cannot see you,
you’ve become transparent
I ache and wonder where you went
I know you can’t hear my cries
with deaf ears and vacant eyes
I pray, I wish, you were aware
But when I feel despair
the memory of love is there
the memory of love is there
© 2015 by Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com. 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.