I have loved three men in my life — respectively, my father, singer Tom Jones, and my husband. My father was married to my mother for over 60 years before he passed away days before his 91st birthday. It is well known that Tom Jones married his first love. And I am married to the love of my life.
Tom Jones is what I like to call the object of my transformation, but in object relations theory of psychology, he was technically my object of transition. He came at a time and place in my life when, as a teenager, I was teetering in the abyss of a black hole. While life appeared so simple for so many, it felt so complicated for me.
This is my story of how Tom Jones saved my life and how my path to maturity took a twisted turn into song, sound, celebrity, and sanity. It’s a fun superficial story – a sexy pop star, backstage visits, and Vegas in the 70s baby! It’s also a journey that took me years to fully understand. Would I have gotten to peace, love, and joy without Tom Jones? I don’t know, because he is inextricably linked to my delayed development.
Shortly before my mother passed on, I bought the old TV show, “This is Tom Jones” DVDs, which we watched in her bed together. Time and space and illness disappeared and we were as giddy and giggly and had as much fun as we did when we watched it together four decades ago. My mother was very religious with conservative values, and I decided this was my moment to ask her why she encouraged and allowed me to chase my Tom Jones dreams. She reached out her hand, squeezed mine gently, and looked at me with love in her eyes and said, “Because he was all you had, Judi.”