SEPTEMBER 22, 2020: “The Last One Alive” …

… because sometimes the only thing you have to “say” is a song. Make it a good, bright and powerfully POSITIVE day my friends. That’s what I’m gonna do. “Eyes on the prize”.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2020: “And On The 5th Day” …

‘Twas a beautiful afternoon that found me happily enroute to my “Saturday circle of errands”, when all of a sudden I spied something on the side of the road, which of course I had to circle back around to, because, that’s just what I do …

Did you see them? Aren’t they beautiful? Meanwhile, in the video you can hear me saying, “God is so good” … “It’s these cosmic intersections with my Creation, and my Creator, and the Galaxy, and this planet we live on … that’s what keeps it real for me!” An hour later, I posted the it to my Instagram with the following caption:

It seems that once again I’d quickly intercepted the message behind that moment: “I too am a strong, confident, badass bitch!” How cool was it that I’d wrapped up that ‘lil juncture in my mind so fluidly, and even more so that I understood that moment to be far more than just “vultures doing vulture stuff”?

THAT BEING SAID …

Another hour later I was watching the video before sending it to Gia, who of course was sure to be as fascinated by my two magnificent, feathered friends as I was. That’s when I spotted THIS:

Ummmm, okay. Just, WOW!

A song I hadn’t heard since last I’d heard it “402 days ago” found it’s way to my cue, thus releasing a bittersweet memory I had no idea I needed that had been buried underneath all the ashes …

It was the Saturday night before he left, August 17, 2019. When he got home from work, we went for a quick bite and to see “Hobbs & Shaw”, which unbeknownst to me was our last and final date night ever. Upon returning home, there was a very special song I wanted him to hear, so we sat in the driveway and listened to it together. Under the circumstances, and knowing what we both knew was happening in his mind, these words cut us deeply as we sat in the car holding hands with silent tears running down our faces:

“I will run alone tonight without you by my side. I guess you had a place you had to get to. I know your eyes. I know inside the walls you hide behind, and I saw the truth inside the real you. Because I know you’re lost when you run away into the same black holes and black mistakes. It’s taking all my will just to run alone. When are you coming home? Even if the sky does fall. Even if they take it all. There’s no pain that I won’t go through. Even if I have to die for you. And when all the fires burn. When everything is overturning. There’s no thing that I won’t go through. Even if I have to die for you. One day the earth will open wide, and I’ll follow you inside, ’cause the only hell I know is without you. Some day when galaxies collide, we’ll be lost on different skies. I will send my rocket ship to find you. Because I know you’re lost when you run away into the same black holes and black mistakes. Taking all my will just to run alone, until I bring you home. Even if the sky does fall. Even if they take it all. There’s no pain that I won’t go through. Even if I have to die for you. And when all the fires burn. When everything is overturning. There’s no thing that I won’t go through. Even if I have to die for you. And if the sun grows cold for you along the way. And if the stars don’t line to light the way. And when you fall away and crash back down below. I’ll search the skies for you and I’ll follow. I’ll be in your afterglow and I’ll bring you home.” ~ Starset

If only I’d known the irony in just how deeply “these words” were cutting us both, but from completely different places. Knowing what he knew about what was happening in his mind? There was an actual monster living inside it that was eviscerating any and all traces of the man we once knew to be our rock. His humanness was becoming darker as every second passed, and his inability to overcome it was steadily severing the very last chords that were tethering “the him he was” to this Earth. As I’ve shared before, his decision to put down that monster he’d been hiding behind the mask had already been made, only I didn’t know how close we were to the end. And, knowing what I know now, I can’t help but wonder what he must have been thinking when he heard these words:

“Even if the sky does fall. Even if they take it all. There’s no pain that I won’t go through. Even if I have to die for you. And when all the fires burn. When everything is overturning. There’s no thing that I won’t go through. Even if I have to die for you.”

In the end? He did what he felt he had to do, as not only was he in excruciating, “screaming inside his head” pain and turmoil, he didn’t want to hurt us anymore either.

Now here I am, “Saturday, September 19, 2020”. What started out as two vultures on the side of the road, which then led me to remember that indeed I am a “strong, confident, badass bitch”, somehow also reminded me of that August night 402 days ago, that song, and that bittersweet “last”, all of which now lead me to hear “these words” from a much needed hindsight:

“I must run alone tonight without you by my side. I know you had a place you had to get to. I knew your eyes. I knew inside the walls you hid behind, and I saw the truth inside the real you. Because I knew you were lost when you ran away into the same black holes and black mistakes. Now I’ll use my will just to run alone. You’re never coming home. Even though the sky did fall. Even if though they took it all. There’s no pain that He didn’t go through … you knew He had to die for you. And now that all the fires burned, and everything is overturned, there’s no more that you’ll have to go through … because He already died for you.

One day the Earth it opened wide … I couldn’t follow you inside … and now the only hell I know is without you. Some day when galaxies collide, we’ll be lost on different skies. I will take my rocket ship to find you. And though the Sun grew cold for you along the way, and the stars didn’t line to light the way. And though you fell away and crashed back down below … I’ll search the skies for you … I’ll be in your afterglow until I get Home.”

So, with that, I part with this:

“On The 5th Day”, in a far away time and place, God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the Earth in the open firmament of Heaven”. As well on that day do I think He also said, “… and it’s these cosmic intersections with My Creation, and My galaxy, and My planet, and the two magnificent vultures I created, that she will need one day … not only to help her keep it real … but to help her keep on shining My Light.”

I’m such a blessed woman.

The End

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020: “A Birthday, A Butterfly & A Kiss” …

“It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to …!”

No, just kidding. But seriously though. It IS my birthday today … “Fifty-ONE-Derful” is what I’m calling it! And Indeed I AM “FIFTY-ONE-DERFUL”! With that, I want to share something special that happened in my cosmos in the last 24 hours, and yes, as I’m writing this, I’ve got “Butterfly Kisses” playing in the background, and yes, I’m in tears …

It’s probably not much of a surprise to anyone that I either was, or wasn’t, depending on which moment you’d have asked, looking forward to celebrating myself this year. Although technically this is my second birthday without him, given the fact that at this time last year I was just 27 days post “YOU KNOW” and still being severely medicated to actual physical numbness, I am actually considering this to be my first true “birthday without him”.

Truth be known, as I’ve powered down the road no one ever wants to walk (“Happy Birthday – You’re now a WIDOW!”) and risen so far above these ashes, there came a certain point this year that I was determined to CELEBRATE “Fifty-ONE-Derful” in an obnoxiously spectacular way! I’d even gone so far as to ASK for someone to throw me a party, which was so unlike me that there really are no words … except to say that if you know me at all, you know that I DON’T LIKE TO CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY! In my mind, however, I more than deserved an obnoxious celebration, especially given the fact that my my big “five-0” last year was anything but golden! Instead of standing before The Lion Of Lucerne during the birthday trip of a lifetime he had planned and paid for one full year in advance, I spent the vast majority of that day laying in bed alone just staring at the urn on my nightstand.

But you see, if there was just one thing you should know about my husband, it was that both of our birthdays, mine and Gia’s, were all but national holidays in our home. Not a year went by in the ten years we had him “healthy” that he didn’t pour every ounce of his heart, soul and whatever resources he had at to make sure that “his girls” were celebrated emphatically for all that we meant to his existence. Keep in mind that until he had “us”, no one really celebrated him on his birthday, and that, my friends, is one of the most painful, tragic truths that still haunts me to this day. It is a common known fact to those of us that knew him best that the woman who gave birth to him didn’t even remember the day he was born. But I’ve digressed … as usual. Lol!

In light of COVID, of course, and everyone’s busy lives, “Fifty-ONE-Derful” wasn’t really looking that spectacular this year. No big party was planned, nor was there a small one, and by the time I realized that, it was too late to throw something together for myself with peoples’ various conflicting schedules. Keep in mind that I am very much aware that under the circumstances, “birthdays” this year have stunken for EVERYONE, not just me! COVID-19 has pretty much crashed ALL our parties and celebrations. Not gonna lie, I was still a little bummed out though, if not feeling downright sorry for myself. “Zack would never have let this happen”, is what I was crying to myself late yesterday afternoon while I was sulking in my room, once again staring at his urn. “Two years ago today, he had whisked me away to Paris. Some birthday butterfly I am. The days of me being celebrated are just gone!” Then I closed my eyes and fell asleep, praying to God that I could just zap myself back to “two years ago yesterday”, when I know for a fact that we had just gotten settled into our room in Paris, were taking a nap, and he was holding me.

That’s when it happened!

THE BEST GIFT I NEVER KNEW I WAS GONNA NEED!

In the midst of my nap, in the darkened room, with my husband’s ashes right beside me, the angel I call daughter had quietly found her way to the side of my bed, where she adjusted my blanket and leaned over to gently kiss my forehead. As I’ve said so many times before, there are so many parts of our parts of this journey we are on that no one will ever truly understand. So many delicate conversations that we have yet to have, and maybe we never will. Things she knows. Things I know. Things we both just have to be okay “knowing” may never be spoken at all. The complications with Zack’s insanity have forced us to have to nurture some of each other’s wounds quietly. Her checking in on me yesterday in the manner that she did was the most precious “unspoken” nurturing possible.

She didn’t know, and still doesn’t know, that I was aware of what she did, but it happened nonetheless. And just like that, my former perspective of sorrow and worry at the thought of “never being celebrated again” hit the floor in all the best ways possible … kinda like my heart did when she gifted me exactly what I needed at exactly the perfect time! Perhaps the greatest irony here is that even as I’m writing this, she too is a little disappointed that, because she’s just a kid, she “thinks” she wasn’t able to do anything special for my birthday. Gia, I’m not quite sure when you will finally begin reading all these words I’m leaving here for you and your brother, but when that day finally comes? PLEASE KNOW … THAT I KNOW … EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID YESTERDAY WHILE YOU THOUGHT I WAS ASLEEP! You DID do something “really special” for me. It was one of the most touching moments of my last “Fifty-One-Derful” years!

SEPTEMBER 15, 2020: “The Dark Knight Of LIGHT” …

This morning I intersected with another mom who has also buried a child, which turned out to be fascinating! By now I hope you realize that my intention with this Diary is never to make you sad. “Sad” just isn’t for me, and although like anyone else, I have had more than my fair share of “sad”, I have chosen to walk a road wherein I do not to dwell in … or on … “sad” for too long.

With that, my intention now and as always is to remind you yet again that within each one of us is the propensity to EARN our very own “invisible cloak” just like that beautiful, flowy black one my favorite “not REALLY a superhero SUPERHERO” dons! You KNOW who I’m talking about … RIGHT?

Batman!

Just Batman.

Always, EVER, BATMAN!

We are ALL SUPERHEROES my friends … some of us just don’t know it! I mean, let’s be honest … NO parent should EVER have to bury a child. It’s just not natural. None of us should have to bury anyone! But having done so myself, then lived, survived, RISEN and THRIVED to tell about it? I’m here to tell you that although I didn’t quite realize it at the time, my tiny angel’s death was the catalyst to all the best and most endearing parts of what my human spirit could truly withstand and become.

I’m a living, breathing “Dark Knight Of LIGHT” who has found the strength, courage and sheer determination to rise above the uniquely personal demons, challenges, conflicts and chaoses I’ve internalized at different points that tried so hard to take me down, which for the record, is EXACTLY what makes Batman so relatable to me. He’s the only superhero of the historic thousands whose secret identity IS his mask. Wherein, for example, Clark Kent and Peter Parker “wear the masks” of Superman and Spider-Man? Bruce Wayne is the disguise for his real identity, “Batman”. He’s a mortal SUPER-HUMAN “hiding in plain site”, with a list a mile long of perfectly matched villains that took him toe to toe against personal weaknesses that eventually became his strengths. Two-Face challenged the duality of his personality and the two different paths that were offered him by Fate. Poison Ivy challenged his struggle with lust and temptation. Scarecrow challenged his struggle with fear. The Riddler challenged his intellect and the power of his mind. And the Joker? Fuhgettabout it! The greatest fictional anarchist of all times held Batman for ransom against his longing for justice and order.

So, with that, I end with this …

How awesome is it that a simple cosmic collision with another “grieving person” not only made me smile, but also reminded of how effing proud I am of the cloak I wear that no one sees!

“The Dark Knight Of Light!”

That’s me.

And it’s YOU!

Never forget to remind yourself that YOU’RE a bad ass superhero who has triumphed over SO many things – regardless of whether anyone’s ever noticed or acknowledged it! We gotta keep shining our OWN Lights over our OWN heads … because … it’s the right thing to do and we’re allowed to!

… and besides …

The God I serve doesn’t make anything less than “super-humans”. It’s our job to find the hero hiding within ourselves, lest we become the antithesis of all we truly stand for. THAT’S why He has to let us fall — so we can learn to pick ourselves back up!

SEPTEMBER 10, 2020: “When Real Was Just 3 Doors Down” …

Dear Brad:

THIS credit is LONG overdue!

Thank you.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2020: “Liars” …

… when the only man left in this world who’s ever really loved you (and perhaps the only one left who ever will) sends you this song. You’d have to know what my prayers look like every hour on the hour to know how much it means to me.

But this boy I love who “speaks to me in song“? HE’S A LIVING, BREATHING, FUCKING KING! The problem is, he’s having trouble seeing his kingdom through all the weeds and trees. Maybe HE’S that “one last King on Earth“, and I’m only here to help him find his throne before I reach the Brighter Side Of Grey with this crown I wear of my own. He just has to step out of the Circadian rhythm that’s pulling him in to the abyss, and away from the shadow of the people who abuse him as they melt his wings then taunt him for “failing to fly“.

“I will not let you down. I won’t be cause for harm. So, today I will do better, and I sure hope this can heal …”.

I have suffered and risen from MANY losses that would have devoured most by now. I had to watch the best human man I’ve possibly ever known literallydying out loud“. But THIS loss I don’t think I could bare. Which is why this message from him means everything to me … absolutely everything!

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020: “Thankfully Shattered” …

…. when it’s 365 days later and your formerly “shattered heart” has healed in ways that are still yet to fathom, such that now as you’re sifting through “9 years of joy in his eyes” you are simply and unspeakably THANKFUL.

Thankful for the adventure.

Thankful for the laughs.

Thankful for the gifts.

Thankful for the highest honor of getting to be the ONLY two girls he EVER gave his heart to and that we were his first and last of EVERYTHING.

This HAS been possible to digest and nope, I’m NEVER going to be able to turn a corner or look in any direction and not hear the sounds of their laughter, the traces of their smiles or feel the bond that they shared in the atmosphere.

He was our miracle, but the joy in his eyes was the only true joy that king of ours ever had. WE were his miracles too.

Despite how it ended, it was still a real life fairytale and we will wear the crowns he left behind for us with a smile for the rest of our lives.

He was ours. We were his. That’s the only truth we’ll ever need to know.

❤️

AUGUST 31, 2020: “The Tragic Truth Revisted” …

This was a super early morning for us as we awoke to a 4:30am alarm for a 5:00am departure to her 5:30am volleyball practice. While Gia was getting ready, I popped on to Instagram to find the picture above posted by a musician I’ve been following who I very much admire and consider a friend. His name is Angel, he’s a pirate of sorts, and an interesting character to say the least. His “Diary Of An Outlaw” and “The Diary Of My Perfection” were meant to cosmically collide, as more so than anything he too is a recent widow who seems to be hell bent on rising above his past and meeting each day of the rest of his life with a headstrong lust for spreading Light and Love into the darkness. Every one of his posts has resonated with me deeply.

His post this day hit me like a ton of bricks, as I had just spent an enchanted slumber with my husband conveying a message to me in the MOST surreal way. It was him; I just know it! I could smell his skin, sense his touch, and feel his breathe on my neck. And while I won’t go into detail, because believe it or not there are still so many things I keep tucked inside the most private places of my heart, what I will say is that he was shadowing me during a move. By the end of the dream we were tightly embraced and I asked him “that most important question”. I didn’t hear his voice, as he never said a word, but indeed he answered by grabbing my hand and squeezing it: “I know where you are. I believe it in my heart. But I just need to hear you say it. Am I right? Are you There now? WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN SOMEDAY?” His reply: “One squeeze for yes” as requested.

As this first year without him has all but flown by I’ve made absolute peace with his suicide. The heartbreaking pain of his many tragic truths was so far beyond sobering it still reduces me to tears when I think of it, and trust me when I tell you, he too remembered everything! I’ve said it before and will say it again; Unless you’ve born the cross of seeing a person dying out loud in such an egregious way, you couldn’t possibly understand the magnitude of relief you feel upon the release of their mortal shackles. He held on for dear life as long as he possibly could until the day he died, but when the end of his darkness finally settled in, Fate delivered the last, cruel blow.

but I’ve digressed … AGAIN …

Let’s go back to how my morning with Gia started. We backed out of the garage to find ourselves greeted by a bright orange moon on fire and ethereal setting in the field that meets the end of our driveway. We were in such deep tangent it was alarming, but comforting just the same. The intrinsic conversation that began tapped directly into our like understandings of “all of this” far beyond our simply dimensioned minds have yet to fathom. “She knows what I know”“I know what she knows”and that is all EITHER of us needs to know! It’s just … POWERFUL! Not to mention the fact that the first song that cued up when the engine started was “Remember Everything“. That meant something! Exactly what? I wasn’t sure. But sufficed to say that neither of us can listen to it now without being ever so painfully reminded of everything we remember about not just our own lives, but Zack’s and Christian’s as well.

But here’s where things get really interesting …

After I dropped her off and headed back home, “that other song” I love to hate so much found it’s way to my speakers, which of course was no mystery since it’s from the same album as “Remember Everything”.

The Tragic Truth.

Wait! What just happened? It didn’t make me cry this time! Instead, I smiled peacefully as I rolled on down the road with my gaze fixed hard into the sky from which I heard his voice serenading me with those tragically truthful words:

“It’s the demons I’ve created for myself … the Tragic Truth … it’s hard for me to understand myself, so it has to be hard as hell for you.”

All I can tell you is that my intersection with the Cosmos this morning was EVERYTHING to me. Even as I write this I’m smiling again, because while on the surface it may appear that the demons that devoured him won, nothing could be further from the truth.

The rare few of us who knew him best and were honored to both love and be loved by him know a “truth” that’s beautiful: He’s Home now! I just know it. No more heartache. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more tears. No more longing for the mother, father, brothers and sister who abandoned the “trash can boy”.

As for me? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … my “circadian life” is so much bigger than even I will ever know and my adventure still isn’t over!

AUGUST 24, 2020: “The First Year … In Focus” …

I did it people!

I SURVIVED!

Thank you SO much for all of the love and support! I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on!

AUGUST 10, 2020: “A Tree For All Seasons” …

NBKB0485

DEAR CAT:

Let me remind you of the words to that song he would sing to you:

“There’s a light in you that tears me down to nothing. There’s an angel in your eyes. There’s a hope inside that you can make it better. You see right through my disguise. When it rains it pours, and everybody stumbles. I won’t let them bring you down. I won’t let you down when the seasons change. I won’t go down. I’ll fight through the pain. I’ll be there right by your side. I’ll never let them bring you down when the seasons change. There’s a hope in me that I will die for something. Was the fire in my eyes? All this pain inside … Will it be this way forever? I can run but I can’t hide. When it rains it pours, and everybody stumbles. I won’t let them bring you down. When the seasons change and we’re in for colder weather look for me on The Divide …”.

You see? None of this is about you.

It has NEVER been about you.

IT’S ABOUT THEM!

Not just your babies …

… all the lives you’ll have touched before your time is done … if only for a season.

Your greatest treasure and greatest triumph are in knowing just how insignificant you really are in the bigger scheme of things.

Your “valuelessness” is your greatest value!

Your “powerlessness” is your greatest power!

YOU ARE REACHING NIRVANA!

You are EVERYTHING!

Because you are NOTHING!

You’re NOTHING but a pebble, to be dropped into your ocean, making ripples and waves of outward change for everyone whose path you cross on your journey.

Your purpose is to keep working the roots of this new and healthy family tree you’re now growing — free from the black toxicity that suffocated and broke all the branches of the tree that we came from.

KEEP CHANGING THE STORY!

THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU!

Your children’s children may never get to meet you, their “Crazy Grandma Cat“, but your legacy will live on through them! HIS legacy will live on through all of you!

Keep working.

Keep sowing.  

You’re doing a good job.

… and (PS) …

I love you! We got this! I WON’T LET YOU DOWN AS THE SEASONS CHANGE!

~ Me ❤️

img_2468

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg

AUGUST 8, 2020: “As The Darkness Settled In” …

IMG_4785

WAS IT FATE? OR DESTINY?

AUGUST 8, 2019. It started out as a beautiful day for our family. We all woke up to a beautiful sky. Ate breakfast together. Worked out as a family, then split up for the afternoon so Zack could go to his therapist and Gia and I could go run errands on our own. He seemed happy. We were both working SO hard to keep his head above the water, and I, ever the eternal optimist, was counting on the fact that everything was going to be okay and we were going to get him out of the darkness he’d been succumbing to. Little did I know how the darkness was truly settling in around us as Fate was spinning the wheel …

At just after 2pm, while the rest of the world was just turnin’ and burnin’ and Gia and I were out shopping, playing, and getting ready for our “double date” with the boys, the love of my life and one of the MOST beautiful souls I’ve ever known (and might possibly EVER will have known) was standing at the Cabella’s counter just a few parking lots away buying the Springfield handgun he used to shoot himself in the head just 14 days later.

!!! PLEASE !!!

Wherever you are …

Whatever you are doing …

Take a good look around you NOW!

One of those “happy, smiling faces” you see either standing right beside you or faded into some crowd may be the face of a human being who is silently dying inside.

ESPECIALLY NOW DURING THESE TURBULENT TIMES!

Current studies show that social isolation, anxiety, fear of contagion, uncertainty, chronic stress, and economic difficulties have led to the development and/or or exacerbation of depression, anxiety, substance use and other mental illnesses. Given that stress-related psychiatric conditions including mood and substance use disorders are associated with suicidal behavior, IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT SUICIDE RATES HAVE SKYROCKETED!

!!! PAY ATTENTION !!!

Eyes wide open!

Take nothing and no one for granted …

NOT EVEN THE “HAPPY FACES” YOU SEE!

Be mindful always!

You just never know!

For the record, this post wasn’t meant to make you sad. It was meant to make you MINDFUL of others … and more so that everything isn’t always what it seems.

I am going to do everything I can to stay peaceful, joyful, and hopeful today and keep my feet on the ground, BECAUSE … I CAN! While “August 8, 2019” is indeed a huge part of “my story”, it doesn’t mean I can’t let it play out for the better. This fucked up, fate-filled day in will NOT have been in vain and will not define me as a victim. I am choosing to do something else with it. I am choosing to spin it as “Destiny” … NOT “FATE”!

I am passionate about raising awareness of “mental health mindfulness” and this one blog post that I wrote last September is one of my most clicked, read, and shared pieces so far. That’s a good thing! Please share it if you can so that perhaps more people will remember to be mindful of this other “mask” problem in our world right now.

Make it a good day everyone. HUG your loved ones and take care of one another.

~ Cat

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg

AUGUST 7, 2020: “Of Kings And Queens” …

GHVZ5582

KINGS AND QUEENS

I saw these words posted on the Instagram page of a friend of sorts. He’s a musician, an inspirer, a widow, and also a pirate that I follow whose posts I adore:

 “… listen to her thoughts … adore her like no one could ever do … be more than just a text message … be the air they breathe, future they plan and smile they wear everywhere … live to have her hug you from behind … write her letters and hold hands while kissing … love until your heart is empty … and then love some more … BE HER EVERYTHING …”. (from The Diary Of An Outlaw Music)

How lucky am I to have had TWO kings on Earth? Not just one … TWO! Some women never have one! The “two kings” loved me to the depths of their souls, with every shred of what they had to give – UNCONDITIONALLY. The two of them made me into the true QUEEN that I am and I cannot say it enough! I’M A FORTRESS NOW PEOPLE! An impermeable FORTRESS!

My King in Heaven is pretty smitten with me by the way … I can feel His loving hands wrapped around my heart every second of every day. My truly blind faith in Him only pales in comparison to the faith He’s had in me since before I was even born, and He has loved me like the QUEEN He intended me to be long before any man on this Earth ever did. Is there to be “one last king” in this realm for me? Only He knows that and He’s got this! If there is, there is. If there isn’t, so be it. I’ve been there, and done that, and the legacies of love the two of them left for me are more than enough to fill my heart for the NEXT fifty years without them if that is to be the case. My standards are obnoxiously high now, and as I’ve said before, it would take one HELL of a powerful presence of a man to stand with the shadows of the two loves of my life that came before him. I know who I am, EXACTLY what I’m worth, and EXACTLY who is worthy of my attention and affection, much less being put on a pedestal. I will accept NOTHING but a king again. Nothing. No one. EVER! Unless and until that day comes that “the last king on Earth” comes to find me, I’ll continue to reign here in my kingdom “happily alone”. THIS CROWN ON MY HEAD IS GOING NOWHERE!

As for the next 50 years? Only time will tell.

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg

AUGUST 5, 2020: “Open Up Your Eyes” …

IMG_4652

Yesterday morning I woke up to another one of those magical music moments I have come to love and cherish wherein my son, Christian, communicates what he’s feeling by simply texting me a song. As I’ve said, his music messages are one of my greatest treasures, and ironically, Zack would often do the very same thing, which of course I treasured just as much. But once again I’ve digressed. Sufficed to say, today my own eyes are open wide and I’m beyond thankful that my beautiful King FINALLY found the peace he could never find.

But as they laid him in the ground, her heart would sing with out a sound :: For the first time you can open your eyes, and see the world without your sorrow when no one knows the pain you left behind …“.

I can only imagine what it was like for him that night, “August 22, 2019, “just before midnight, in that split second after he pulled the trigger and his eyes closed for the very last time.

WHAT did he see when at last he opened them?

HE SAW JESUS!

I JUST KNOW IT!

God had His hand on my husband’s beautiful head at all times, even while he was roaming this Earth like the motherless and forsaken “trash can boy” he always saw when he looked into a mirror. I am still the most blessed woman I have ever known to have roamed this Earth as well. How is that even possible? Because God has had His hand on MY head at all times as well, be it during my greatest triumphs and joys or darkest tragedies and traumas. And too, this …

MARK 2:17 :: When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Make it a good day everyone and always keep the faith! Remember, “this is our temporary home“, nothing more, nothing less. The best part of all of this is still yet to come!

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg

JULY 23, 2020: “Closer To The Heart” …

IMG_4245CLOSER TO THE HEART

“And the men who hold high places must be the ones who start to mold a new reality closer to the heart … The blacksmith and the artist reflect it in their art. They forge their creativity closer to the heart. Yes, closer to the heart … Philosophers and plowmen – each must know his part to sow a new mentality closer to the heart … You can be the captain and I will draw the chart sailing into destiny closer to the heart.” ~ Rush

Once again, I’m overwhelmed with overwhelmingness, which is a good thing of course! Tonight, I’m trying to catch back up with myself here at my desk. So, with that …

This afternoon I dropped Gia and one of her friends at the mall for a few hours to get them out of the house and let her spend some of her weekend birthday haul. When I arrived at the appointed meeting spot, they jumped into the car with the small boatload of shopping bags they each had in their hands. “Whoa, looks like you both did some damage I see! What did you get?” “Oh but WAIT until you see Mom! You’ll have to wait until we get home so I can do an unveiling ceremony!”

When we finally got home, she excitedly started the “unveiling”, but saved the best three items for last. When she pulled them out of their respective bags, my heart literally LEPT out of my chest! Batman, Venom and “A Farewell To Kings” vinyl with one of my favorite Rush songs EVER … “Closer To The Heart”? She is her mother’s daughter! Let me break it down …

BATMAN. Have you listened to anything I’ve said? Batman is and always will be my MOST favorite superhero of all times, although he’s not really a “superhero” at all! He’s a mortal man born with no magical powers or gifts who epitomizes the endless possibily of a triumphant human spirit and metamorphosis under even the most dismal conditions. He’s the benchmark standard for achievement through commitment, discipline, heart, soul, and determination. He’s the juxtaposition of “light with dark”, “positive with negative” and “ying to yang”. BATMAN BECAME WHO HE WANTED TO BECOME BY PULLING HIMSELF OUT OF HIMSELF FOR THE BETTERMENT OF ALL MANKIND! So, yes, HOLY SMOKES BATMAN! My daughter knows what I know, and yes, Batman is her favorite superhero too. She and I both have black capes on our backs by the way. You just can’t see them BECAUSE THEY’RE INVISIBLE!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

VENOM. Again … have you listened to anything I’ve said? Well, for those of you who don’t know or understand the “Venom” of it all (or as I often refer to it, “the Black Spider-Man suit of it all”), let me explain by first clarifying who he is. There is much debate amongst the Spider-Man community as to who Venom is. “Is Venom actually Spider-Man? Or is he just Venom? Or is he both?” Factually speaking, the Venom movie has absolutely no relation to Spider-Man. Within the pages of Marvel Comics however, it’s a somewhat complicated storyline.

Venom first made his appearance in 1984 as a new Spider-Man suit the “Secret Wars” storyline when Spider-Man came into possession of a mysterious new black suit that gave him extra powers, which suit is later revealed to be a malevolent alien symbiote that attached itself to Peter Parker. Although Peter soon rid himself of the suit because its inherently evil nature and propensity to channel an inner darkness inside himself that he doesn’t want to channel, the symbiote ended up bonding with Eddie Brock, a reporter with a serious grudge against Spider-Man. Eddie Brock and the black suit then became symbiotically bonded as Venom. So then, no, Venom is not Spider-Man. “The black suit”, however, does to me represent the dark alter ego of Spider-Man. It’s a thick, black, suffocative web of enmeshed, entangled and toxic emotions that overtakes and chokes the life out of its host, much like the black Spider-Man suit I fought so desperately to get the HELL off of me for more than forty years of my life, the one my son still wears, and the one my beautiful husband was wearing as he slipped away into the abyss. So, yes, “The Greatest Battle Lies Within” and the accompanying “Venom of it all” are so much more than words and comic book movie characters to me. And my daughter feels the same way!

… and finally …

“CLOSER TO THE HEART”. I’ve always loved Rush and I’ve always loved this album. “A Farewell To Kings”? Really? No, of course there’s not a shred of irony in my beautifully chaotic life, is there? Lol! No need for me to really go any further with this, as the words to this song speak volumes to the connection between me and my daughter. Her unintentionally “purposed” shopping spree today brought us even closer than we already were.

DEAR GOD: THANK YOU! For everything. No, I really mean it. THANK YOU! For the positive. The negative. The yings. The yangs. The pain. The beauty. The love. The hate. The gifts You sent that I had to give back. THANKS EVEN FOR THAT DAMNED BLACK SPIDER-MAN SUIT I HAD TO WEAR FOR ALL THOSE YEARS! Taking it off and finally being free wouldn’t have seemed so, FREEING, if I hadn’t gotten to wear it in the first place. And thank you for the cape you wove for me as I’m flyin’ through Gotham just tryin’ to be a Light in all this Dark! Every second … every minute … every hour … I’m growing closer to YOUR heart most of all! 

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg

JULY 14, 2020: “Yes, AGAIN With The Flowers!” …

IMG_4105

As I’ve already said before, from the first week he married me there was NEVER a time there were “no fresh flowers” in our home somewhere for me. Some he sent. Some he picked up. The method of their delivery didn’t matter to me either way … I JUST REALLY LOVE FRESH FLOWERS! He only had to hear me say it once and the rest is merely history. As our lives got busier and his career took off, there were some weeks that he just couldn’t get them, so I started making fresh flower arrangements on my own to fill the void. My little treks to all my favorite flower haunts soon became one of the brightest spots of my week (and still are to this day)! It always made him so happy to walk into our home and find that I’d “treated myself” like the true queen he made me. He always wanted me to see myself as one, with or without him, which is something I will not only cherish, but HONOR for not only him, but myself as well, as long as I shall live.

Sufficed to say, not a week has passed since the day he left, nor will there EVER be, that there haven’t been fresh flowers in this castle he left behind for me. I’m entitled to treat myself like the queen that I am, because, I’M A QUEEN who deserves only the best treatment from anyone and everyone, up to and including myself!

Zack also brought flowers to our daughter quite often, and sometimes to ONLY her, which I loved and so did she. Part of my process with her now is to deeply imprint into her psyche that SHE TOO IS A QUEEN! It’s not uncommon for us to be at the market and her to run off and come back with flowers she chooses for herself. I’ve made her promise that when it’s time for her to leave this nest she’ll remember to get herself flowers often, regardless of whether there’s a man in her life. Because? SHE CAN DO THAT!

LADIES :: I once again challenge every one of you to and go and get YOURSELF some flowers this week! They don’t have to be expensive. You can make your own arrangement with flowers from the grocery store and wildflowers or even weeds growing on the side of the road, which is par for the course with me. If you do “go and get yourself some flowers”, PLEASE MESSAGE ME A PICTURE OF THEM! It would absolutely make my day to see that I’ve made a ripple in your pond with this thought process!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg

 

 

JULY 10, 2020: “Healing Conversations” …

IMG_4015

On November 23, 2019, last year, I attended my first “International Survivors Of Suicide Loss Day” with the only man who ever stepped up as a true father figure to my husband, Rick Scauzillo, at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Of course we attended to honor my husband’s memory and suicide, but as much to honor my daughter, who, in case you didn’t already know, was also suicidal the night that Zack left. And too, if you didn’t already know this by now, I am a suicide attempt survivor myself … November 8, 1996.

The event was a beautiful symposium style conference of sorts intended to be a day of healing, where all those impacted by suicide loss could connect around the lives of their loved ones and the experiences of hope, support, and encouragement. It was a wonderful day that did in fact help solidify my steadfast road to the recovery process that I was headstrong determined to conquer!

At the end of the day each attendee received a beautiful packet of memorial “seedling” paper on which we could write intentional messages of love, hope and perhaps even notes to our loved ones. I of course brought mine home, but because of the extremely complicated ways that he hurt her, Gia’s road to recovery was not only delicate, but, strictly on her timing. So, the packet just sat in our windowsill for literally MONTHS!

Without going into details, all I can say is THIS: That “love note” you see above? “I forgive you dad“? It was just — EVERYTHING! I’m not quite sure when or if the day will ever come that either myself or she will be able to share “everything” that happened in the literal psychosis and insanity that proceeded his death … BUT … just know this ::

MY DAUGHTER IS A PHOENIX!

MY DAUGHTER IS A MIRACLE!

MY DAUGHTER IS EVERYTHING I ASPIRE TO BE!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg

JULY 3, 2020: “Lucky Charms Moments” …

lucky charms

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo-1.jpg