FEBRUARY 16, 2022:
Dear Mr. Witherspoon,
Someday when I get the chance to properly put it down in words, I’m going to explain how much your music meant to my late husband. The first time I ever saw the man (who was our “rock”) cry was when he played me Angel’s Son, then explained why. His “mother” threw him away when he was born, then the only woman who ever loved or cared for him in his lifetime before me was his Grandma. When she died literally right in front of him at age 13, I’m certain that’s when he stopped living and growing and was only “dead alive” until we lost him to suicide 910 days ago this moment actually.
A few years ago, we were in downtown Ft Worth on a surprise weekend getaway for ME – eating at this FINE restaurant near a window that looked down to a square where he had NO idea you were playing. It was one of THE happiest moments of his twisted existence, and the pure joy on his face that night is still seared into my memories. Thank GOD for that, too, because those truly JOY moments for him were fleeting.
Anyway, I just thought I’d share. I’m blogging “Angel’s Son” in honor of his Grandma on Mother’s Day – I’ll send it to you then. Hope this very long message wasn’t too annoying. Your music means a lot to me because it meant so much to him. You’re a king, my friend.
~ Real Cat
MAY 8, 2022:
Life is changing … but I am going on without you. Rearranging, yeah. I’m being strong standing on my own. You were fighting every day. So hard to hide the pain. I know you never said goodbye. I had so much left to say. One last song given to an angel’s son. As soon as you were gone. As soon as you were gone.
We love you.
And so, with that, I suppose I’ve conveyed what finally needed to be conveyed about “the angel” and her otherwise motherless son. I cannot tell you how many times he told me over the years, “Catherine, I wish you could have known her”. Ah, but what that silly boy never realized is that I very much did know her. Every tear that fell from his eyes during the many times he would talk about her told me everything his many words and many silences could never say, as well did the tears he cried whenever he would listen to this song.
As with every Mother’s Day I’ve since had to or will ever spend without him, today is so twisted and bittersweet. On one hand, I am privileged to celebrate not just the gift of my motherhood, but the gifts of my mother beautiful Mother and angel Grandmother as well, it was on this day in May 2019 when he started coming apart at the seams. For that reason, this day will always be a rollercoaster of deep joy and intense sadness for me.
He had just gone up to say goodbye to Gia before heading off to work that morning. As he made it to that last step on the way back down, he just stopped there dead in his tracks and started sobbing, much like the day at the kitchen window a few months before. When I asked him what was wrong, the words he spoke were all but paralyzing:
That whore that gave birth to me just threw me the fuck away. My own mother didn’t want me. She never did. She never will. I really AM a Zack Of Shit!
It’s a moment that haunts me still as though I were seeing him standing there and hearing the abysmal, scathing truth in those words as they fell from his mouth for the first time every time I’m sitting in the chair in my office where I was that Godforsaken Mother’s Day morning.
There he stood at the end of that beautiful staircase I love to hate so much, the “rock” of our world and the king of our hearts, just slipping down the cold, black hole that “mother THING” that buried him alive in on the day she left him behind like a piece of garbage on the street. Virtually every day and night for the months that followed until he left, he suffered, cried, ached, and sobbed, sometimes in the fetal position, for not just her, but the entire lot of them. All Gia and I could do was helplessly watch him dying out loud right before our eyes as he battled the actual demon that moved into his mind and destroyed not just him, but my daughter and me as well.
That angel on Earth beautiful Grandmother of his truly was the first and only other woman who ever really loved him other than me and my daughter. For that we will forever be thankful that not only did she exist, but that she was one of the few bright stars in his sky.
Today, in both their honors, we will not only take flowers to her grave for the first but certainly not last time, but we will also take some of the ashes the rest of his “family” couldn’t be bothered to come get and take home to bury in the ground at her grave where they truly belong.