Judy’s tales: Sing a song

As long as I can remember, my mom loved to sing. One of the earliest memories I have of my mom singing is when I was a very young child, maybe 3 or 4, and my mom would sing “It’s Baby’s Mi-Mi time” as we marched to bed each night. Once I was all tucked in, mom would sing the Lawrence Welk goodnight song to me before turning off the lights.

I can still hear and see her singing this so vividly. This bedtime ritual lasted long into my childhood and then fun transferred to my brother once he was old enough to march to bed. Although his marching was more of a run as he never, ever wanted to go to bed!

I also have some not-so-sweet memories of my mom’s belting. My mom was always wanting to sing at the most inopportune moments. Like singing in Wal-Mart aisles, singing deli orders at Publix, or singing over my classroom intercom the year I worked with her at Egypt Lake. Sometimes those moments were SO embarrassing!

Oh, and then, of course, there was the time when she sang at the Florida State Fair. She was dying to go into the “recording studio” trailer that was set up there. For $20, guests got a chance to go into the studio, choose a song, record it and go home with a cassette tape of their product. My mom was ALL over that. As she went in, my dad, brother and I waited outside. Little did we know, as my mom sang, her voiced was blared over loud speakers located OUTSIDE the trailer, for all to hear. We slowly backed away as my mom sang out a very loud version of Donna Summer’s Last Dance. Now don’t get me wrong, my mother could actually sing, and sing pretty well. But when it’s your mom singing, and you’re a teenager and a ten year old, yeah, no. I actually still have the tape (somewhere). I’m going to see if I can find it while I’m off this summer!

My friend Kristina, from Krissy and the City, wrote this guest post about my mom and her love all all things singing and karaoke.

Having known Steph and her family for many years (just how many I will not say), one of my strongest memories of Steph’s mom Judy was how much she loved to sing. Especially karaoke. I was a closet karaoke fan, I must admit. I think I hid it well too.

For numerous family gatherings, Judy would rent a karaoke machine and serenade us much of the evening. Not many joined in, if memory serves, except for a few of the younger kids. Honestly, I marveled at Judy getting up there and singing her heart out! it was a pure joy, and pure enjoyment of just living. It was impossible to feel bad when she was around.

I was a shy girl, and she just made me enjoy the evening with a presence that never ceased to be warm and welcoming. With her passing, I feel the loss of that kind of person in the world. It is a shame to lose someone so kind and sweet in a world that can feel harsh and unforgiving at times. Now, looking back, I see that I was hiding my true karaoke geek girl! Suddenly I find myself tapping into the memory of Judy and getting up and belting out songs a local pubs and even cruises that I’ve taken. It’s funny how experiencing a loss can help you realize how you need to seize life as much as you can, in all the ways that you can.

Steph has has lost so much in the loss of her mom, and I hope in some small way sharing this fond memory, and my new bravery in getting up and belting a few songs out, I remind her of her mother’s sweetness, life and outgoing personality in some way.



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