JANUARY 18, 2021: “Happy” …

… when you see this little dealio floating around on everyone’s social media and this is the first picture that comes to your mind …

Yes indeed, I really was “happy and content” every single moment of 2020. Happiness isn’t a state of mind, by the way, IT’S A CHOICE! Does that mean I never experience sadness, anger, or frustration? HELL NO! Of course I do! Just because I’m a Light in the frigging dark doesn’t mean I’m not human. But even at my saddest, maddest, or most “bent out of shapest”, I’m still always happy. Sounds twisted, right? Well, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

I choose JOY!

I choose RIDICULOUS!

I choose SILLY!

I choose OPTIMISM!

I. CHOOSE. HAPPY!

JANUARY 17, 2021: “Dear God” …

DEAR GOD, IN ACTUAL HEAVEN:

I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you. Like, as in, from the deepest places of my infinitely grateful heart … THANK YOU! Thank you for all these beautiful memories tucked safely in the most sacred places off my mind, the overwhelming magnitude of which eclipse even the darkest hours I’ve walked through here on Earth.

For instance, THANK YOU for this epic rant from two years ago this day that has now become one of my go-to picker uppers on those rare occasions that I’m feeling down. It makes me smile, AND remember, that I really WAS married to a KING and I truly AM the luckiest woman on this Earth. To know him was to love him, and yes I still do, and I always will, until I see him again with YOU!

So, THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU FOR HIM, and that he was OURS, and only ever ours, and for the bittersweet consolation in knowing that the foolish “family” that threw him away missed out on knowing one of THE brightest souls in any room and one of THE best men, husbands and fathers this world has ever known. Her “Zack of shit” was one of our truest treasures, and yes I take extremely twisted pleasure in knowing full well that despite the lies they must surely tell themselves as they look inside their empty mirrors, only WE got the privilege and honor of truly knowing the wonder of everything that was “him”.

Likewise, THANK YOU for this equally epic memory from three years ago this day. You know, the one where I found that ever-loving blanket I snuck onto her bed folded neatly on my desk with this ‘lil nugget of sarcastic wit that could only be served by one of my favorite phoenixes of all …

Yes indeed, I’m a truly blessed queen that I should have this abundance of treasure to propel me forward, never backward, and keep this torch I carry into Your eternity burning as bright as bright can be! I love my life. Every single minute of it – the good, the bad, and even the very ugly.

THANK YOU.

With as much love and adoration as could possibly be put into words from one of your favorite brats of all …

ME.

JANUARY 15, 2021: “The Only One In Color” …

The first time Williamson and I ever heard this song together was on a road trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and although I myself had heard it before, it wasn’t until hearing it with him that it really took root in my heart. I’ll never forget it! We were driving down I-30 on a beautiful, crisp, bright blue day. We had the Sun roof open, the radio playing, and the view out the front window was ethereal. We were at one of those junctures that found us both just peace-filled, quiet, and immersed in the moment. We didn’t have much to say, and didn’t need to say much, because our truly connected souls said everything without any words. So, when this song cued up and the lyrics began to avail … he quickly grabbed my hand and squeezed it so tight. He looked at me. I looked at him. IT WAS THE PERFECT TRIBUTE TO THE WAY WE FELT ABOUT ONE ANOTHER. We ended up playing it over and over on that trip, and in the decade that followed it became one of our favorite songs. He had always said that we were the only “color” his lonely heart had ever known, and sadly, that was true.

“… in a world of black an white, you are the only one in color”.

What I love most about this song is how poignantly it now speaks to the abundant growth and life I achieved in the years I was lucky enough to be in his halo. Not only was I able to slay the demons living inside the haunted place that was once my broken mind and become an actual living queen, I was also able to find my missing reflection in a mirror and see the formerly “black and white me” in so many beautiful colors.

If you are reading this and struggling to find the color in your life, I want to encourage you to please get out of your own heavy heart and haunted head immediately. Find the closest mirror, take a good, hard look inside, and find the broken kid hiding behind it who needs to YOU to pull them out of the dark and into the Light. You weren’t created to be colorless – YOU WERE CREATED TO BE A MASTERPIECE! The last time I checked, God doesn’t make mistakes, so you have to give yourself permission to walk away from people or situations that have made you feel invisible – UP TO AND INCLUDING YOURSELF – so you can stand in front of a mirror and say …

OMG – I FUCKING LOVE YOU!

… at which point you slip a crown or tiara on your head and head out into the world like the priceless piece work of art you truly are! Now then … WHAT DO YOU THINK COMES NEXT HERE? That’s right folks, I’m gonna need you to listen to this song AND SING IT OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF! Perhaps one of the best wisdoms I’ve learned on my journey thus far is that “love songs” aren’t just for lovers. YOU should be the “only one in color” greatest love story of your life!

ONLY ONE IN COLOR

I’ve been searching all my life. I used to be so color blind. You opened up my eyes. Do you wanna share your dreams? See a different side of me? You’re everything I need. I like it when you think out loud – the things you say when you know there is no one else around. Well I can dig my own graves now, but will you smile every time I try to crawl my way out? There is no one like you! I live in a world of black and white and you are the only one in color. There is no one like you. Into a mystery I slide – I want you to keep it all uncovered. You are the only one in color! You know how to set that mood. You can light up any room just by the way you move. The only one who understands. What I’ve given you you’ve given back. Come on and take my hand. You turned an old world upside down. A wave of calm when I was so tightly wound and so full of doubt. I’ll never tell you that two’s a crowd. I know I can’t get through without ever needing you around. {Trapt}

JANUARY 12, 2021: “Unconditionally” …

How many women can say they’ve had “this kind of love”, not once, but TWICE? I can say it, BECAUSE IT’S TRUE! Two KINGS on this Earth have loved me. Not one, but TWO! Unconditionally, under even the worst conditions, with every ugly scar, scab, wound and ghost. Yet, as blessed as I’ve been in now being able to say that, here’s the hardcore, sobering truth …

DEATH HAPPENS.

Let’s just face it people – IT DOES! But as I’ve said before, it really isnothing at all“. No one, and I mean NO ONE, gets out of here alive. Even so, something truly magnificent happens when you find a way to not only make peace with it, but more so than that, to bask in the light of all that it was and everything it brought you and find the strength to let it go gracefully when it’s not meant to stay forever. The memories. The laughter. The joy. Everything that comes after you leave out all the rest is the beauty that rises in the aftermath of “death” and it’s all that really matters.

Now that I think about it, how many PEOPLE can say they’ve had “this kind of love” from anyone, up to and including their own family? The ability to love without condition isn’t a given and doesn’t come naturally. Well, WAIT! Let me reframe that, as I do firmly believe that we were created to “love unconditionally” – BUT – that from the moment we draw our very first breath, our circumstances and environment are what take us by the hand and the lead us on our love journey. While the most fortunate of us who were raised in optimal conditions do tend to fare better in their propensity to love and be loved without boundaries, unfortunately, others of us who are born into unfavorable environments laden with generationally toxic relationship tools are doomed right from the womb. Not being able to love or be loved unconditionally is the gift that just keeps on giving.

At the end of the day …

if you’ve never had “this kind of love” even ONCE in your life, it is my greatest wish that before your journey is over you do!

But REMEMBER …

START WITH YOU!

If you can’t love yourself unconditionally, you’ll never be able to recognize or receive it from anyone else. This beautiful song obviously speaks VOLUMES to my point – BUT – when you listen to it, SING IT OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF! I know – it sounds ridiculous, right? I’M TELLING YOU … it wasn’t until I was able to rise up and love ME the way I wanted to be loved that “this kind of love” finally found me!

JUST TRY IT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!

UNCONDITIONALLY

Oh, no, did I get too close? Oh, did I almost see what’s really on the inside? All your insecurities. All the dirty laundry. Never made me blink one time. Unconditional. Unconditionally. I will love you unconditionally. There is no fear now … let go and just be free. I will love you unconditionally. Come just as you are to me. Don’t need apologies. Know that you are worthy. I’ll take your bad days with your good. Walk through the storm, I would. I do it all because I love you. I love you. Unconditional. Unconditionally. I will love you unconditionally. There is no fear now … let go and just be free. I will love you unconditionally. So open up your heart and just let it begin. Acceptance is the key to be … truly free. Will you do the same for me? {Katy Perry}

JANUARY 9, 2021: “Drinking Straw Parasites” …

AND NOW …

A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:

Just thought I’d share this lovely PSA for your reading enjoyment! Are YOU letting parasites drink from YOUR straws?

GOOD GRIEF, I truly hope not! As for me, I stopped handing out my straws so freely a few years ago. It wasn’t immediate, of course, but rather, quite the arduous and painful process. Setting boundaries was extremely difficult, because I’M AN EMPATH, and despite what some may choose to believe, I don’t take pleasure from either hurting people or seeing them hurt. So, the “Hi everyone, IT’S ME CAT! Here you go, take one of my straws” days are OVER! There was a time not too long ago that I didn’t even realize how valuable my straws were, so I’d hand them out to practically anyone.

That was then!

This is now!

These days it seems I’ve become an absolute raving biotch, and in some regards I suppose it’s true. It just depends on who’s watching me “hoard my straws”! I’ve said it before … and I’ll say it again …

I’M AN ACTUAL QUEEN,

AND QUEENS DON’T TAKE EVEN NOMINAL AMOUNTS OF SHIT FROM ANYONE!

These days, I’ll only “really give” what I actually get, because my time, effort, attention and energy are some of the most precious commodities a VERY LUCKY human being could possibly get! My “straws” are reserved for ONLY other kings and queens and that’s just how it is.

“HI EVERYONE, IT’S ME, CAT! I’M THE NICEST DAMN BIOTCH YOU’LL EVER WANNA KNOW AND MY STRAWS ARE EFFING PRICELESS!”

Now then, please do enjoy this all too fitting drinking straw parasite serenade from perhaps my favorite “don’t you DARE take shit from ANYONE” sponsors of all … the one … the only … THE GHOST … THE IVAN!

JANUARY 8, 2021: “Leave Out All The Rest” …

One year ago today we took the first bit of his ashes “home” to the Blarney Castle gardens, so when the memory of our trip popped up on Facebook, it prompted a sweet conversation with Christian. Although both the kids are doing much better now than they were a year ago when everything was still so raw, he’s had a really tough time with Zack’s suicide. Not only were the two of them extremely close, but Christian had always said,

You two HAVE to stay together and happy forever … your relationship is the ONLY thing that restores my faith in love.

As you can imagine, August 23, 2019 jaded him even more than our life before Zack did. It was heartbreaking for me to watch their processes at the onset of this nightmare knowing their “hero” let them down in such traumatic and devastating ways. However, watching the miracle of transformation in each of their hearts and how they’ve both been able to forgive him for so much more than any of you will ever know is truly one of my greatest blessings.

Indeed it is true that I have an “uncanny way of taking the best parts of everything and everyone and leaving out all the rest”. I suppose the abundant and seemingly endless amount of grace I have for others is one of my best attributes, and I truly do always look for the best in everyone. But here’s the thing …

IT’S NOT ME.

IT’S HIM!

He’s the one who has “graced me with grace and forgiveness“, and His grace and forgiveness for the endless amounts of bullshit I’ve engaged in over the years is what I owe to others. Now, does that mean I’ll tolerate bad behavior towards me or mine? NOPE! Those days are gone for good! My boundaries are beyond firm at this point and there is absolutely no going backwards. This is how we choose to remember him … by taking only the joy and treasure he brought to all our lives in the decade we got to have him and leaving out all the rest. Likewise, “when my time comes” I hope that my own legacy is none the worse for the wear despite all the wrong that I’ve done!

LEAVE OUT ALL THE REST

I dreamed I was missing. You were so scared. But no one would listen, ’cause no one else cared. After my dreaming, I woke with this fear. What am I leaving when I’m done here? So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know … When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done. Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed. And don’t resent me, and when you’re feeling empty, keep me in your memory. Leave out all the rest. Leave out all the rest. Don’t be afraid. I’ve taken my beating. I’ve shared what I’ve made. I’m strong on the surface, not all the way through. I’ve never been perfect, but neither have you. So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know …When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done. Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed. And don’t resent me, and when you’re feeling empty, keep me in your memory. Leave out all the rest. Leave out all the rest. Forgetting all the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well. Pretending someone else can come and save me from myself. I can’t be who you are. {Linkin’ Park}

JANUARY 6, 2021: “O Say Can You See?” …

~ January 6, 2021 … The Bunratty Castle … Ireland ~

One year ago tonight THIS happened at The Bunratty Castle in Ireland …

~ MY SON ~

This was one of THE best nights of our life!

Well I’m gonna sing the only song there is to sing!

Then he sang our National Anthem!

I’m not gonna lie … it brought actual tears to my eyes and a knot in my stomach this morning as I watched it again when the “Facebook memory” popped up. Even despite what the three of us had been through, “who was missing“, and why we were on that trip to Ireland in the first place, if only we had known what was to become of this beautiful country not too long after we arrived home.

Oh say can you see … by the dawn’s early light … what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight. O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare … the bombs bursting in … gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave … o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

For the record, I’m a lover of every country on this beautiful Atlas. Of course I’m a Patriot, but more so am I a human being who is thankful for human beings … no matter “where” on this globe you call home. My pride in America is by no means a slight or disregard to any other country’s soil. I’m a blessed American woman, indeed it is true. But I’m for the love of all people – everywhere – because …

WE ALL BLEED RED!

JANUARY 1, 2021: “Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful!” …

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

500. The number of days that have passed since Destiny took me by the hand and started leading me down a path I never saw coming. With that in mind, and in keeping with my “Fifty-ONE-Derful” years of life thus far, I have dubbed today as January 1st, “Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful”! Realizing, of course, that I am blessed beyond measure to find myself in a place that while on the surface seems dark and tragic, at it’s roots is nothing short of a miracle, wrapped in iridescence, and adorned with the most beautiful crown a queen could wear.

I once heard it said that fifty is the beginning of our golden years. As such, I find no coincidence with regard to the fact that as I’ve walked through the fog to the Brighter Side Of Grey, I’ve also managed to stumble upon The Golden Circle. Indeed I’ve come to bittersweet, endearing terms with “my why“, so from this point forward it’s just a matter of discovering “how” and “what”.

If I could have one wish right now, it would be that I really could just zap you all with “this thing” that’s coursing through my veins. It’s my super power, my ultimate peace, and absolute euphoria! It’s the simple yet overwhelming joy in finally realizing that not everything is about me, because I am nothing, which is why I am everything. The paradigm has shifted. The cycle is broken.

It is not in my nature to ask for anything from anyone, especially inasmuch as I not only have every “thing” a woman could ever want, likewise I have everything a human being will ever need. Still, here I am asking. First and foremost, if there is ever an opportunity for you share something poignant I’ve said or written that has touched you, will you please share it so that perhaps some of these pebbles I’m skipping across the pond can radiate even further? Second, sit with this beautiful song I love so much and really let it sink in. Let the words wash you clean, lift you up, and encourage you. Let them help you cry if you need to. Let them validate and give you the permission you may have been searching for to let go of some of your burdens and cut yourself some slack so that you too can discover “your why” and become an iridescent Light unto the masses. And last but not least, make it a beautiful, powerful, and epically life-changing year my friends …

“Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful!”

IRIDESCENT

When you were standing in the wake of devastation. When you were waiting on the edge of the unknown. And with the cataclysm raining down, insides crying, “Save me now”, you were there, impossibly alone. Do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known. Remember all the sadness and frustration – and let it go. Let it go. And in a burst of Light that blinded every angel, as if the sky had blown the heavens into stars. You felt the gravity of tempered grace falling into empty space. No one there to catch you in their arms. Do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known. Remember all the sadness and frustration – and let it go. Let it go! {Linkin’ Park}

DECEMBER 31, 2020: “Burn It Down Black Sheep” …

Oh, wait!

I AM “THAT” AUNT OR UNCLE!

Okay, so, I have no nieces or nephews. Nevertheless, it’s true … I’M THAT “ONE”! The game board flipper. The disloyal, disgruntled employee who dared to rip the Venom suit off and burn it all to the ground.

The Black Sheep.

Am I exactly where I want to be? Not even close. This detoxification process has been a bittersweet, painful, and often very lonely journey for my broken heart, mind and soul. In the beginning, it took every ounce of strength and conviction I didn’t have. Correction. I did have it, I just didn’t know it. Let’s just say it was dormant. Sleeping. Laying in wait like, ummmm, a sleeping dragon. But damn, did she wake up?

Holding fast to all these boundaries that now enthrall me never really gets easy, by the way, and if you too are “this person”, you know just what I’m saying. While I am certainly no doctor or mental health professional, what I have garnered in my lifelong, hands-on study of the cyclical nature of “family”, it’s that more so than not, it’s the empath who is usually the black sheep of each bloodline. Likewise do I strongly believe that the sometimes arduous task of being the proverbial game-changer is at least an honor, if not at best a cosmic calling. I recently read an intriguing article in this regard by an actual doctor:

Have you been the black sheep? The weirdo? The one cast out, judged, misunderstood or ridiculed by your family? Maybe, just maybe, instead of them being here to teach you, you are here to teach them. Instead of your family, friends, work place, and society trying to get you to fit into their mold, is it possible you are really here to break the mold altogether? Being an empath is an honor, a pre-ordained sacred role. And it is the way forward. Instead of ambling through life doubting your exquisite brilliance, can you instead stride in full brightness believing…knowing…you are the prototype for the next phase of human evolution? Can you embrace the risk of being different? Can you accept, with humility and confidence, your mission – however small or large – to contribute a higher vibration to the collective?

Michelle Robin, “Empaths Are Here For A Cosmic Purpose “:

COMMISSION ACCEPTED!

I have a crown on my head, a sword in my hand, and crystal clear sights on the future I want for my children. If my work is done well and my legacy lives on the way that I pray, neither my kids’ kids nor their kids’ kids will have to hear the tragic tales of the abuse, manipulation, emotional extortion, and endless human wastelands of mental health corrosion their “Crazy Grandma Cat” finally laid to rest. There’s an age old saying that goes something like this:

If you’re not sure who the black sheep of your family is, it’s probably you.

Author Unknown

I never had to wonder, because in my heart I’ve always known. It was me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DECEMBER 30, 2020: “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” …

Hello my friends from Nashville, Tennessee, USA! We are still here enjoying our holiday in the crisp, clean, cool mountain air! This morning, as I was enjoying my coffee and preparing for our road trip to Pigeon Forge this afternoon, for some reason I was just “thinking” about how excited I am to see all the holiday lights and sparkle and twinkle that surely await us this night. Then, my thoughts turned back to ME once again, and my kids, and my extraordinarily beautiful diamond of a life. I’m just so thankful for so many things that even with “all my words”, I was kind of outta words.

Then, I turned my head and saw him sitting there on my sister’s shelf, because never shall there be a trip near or far that he won’t be going with us. Why is that, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! It’s simply because after all is said and done, we owe so much of this “diamond life” to him … the fallen king who prepared this wide open path for us to move forward in whatever direction we choose.

Then, I smiled and remembered how much I love this song and how he used to laugh whenever I was singing it out loud and literally twirling through whatever space I occupied where he let me be whoever and whatever I wanted to be, hands down, no questions asked, unconditionally.

So, yah, this is my vibe today! I’m gonna rise and shine, as usual, and always, SO bright that it actually does hurt people to look at me. And by the way, this legacy he left us? It only looks forward and never behind (unless we’re remembering all the laughter and joy). ‘Cause I’m a queen, raising a princess and a king, and that’s what I do, and this is my legacy!

DECEMBER 25, 2020: “Be Good To Yourself” …

If you are reading this right now, I want you to know that YOU MATTER TO ME! I want to wish every single person who’s still alive and kicking the utmost of love, strength, courage, and perseverance today and always as we head into a brand new year!

And PLEASE …

If you are going to make only ONE resolute plan for 2021, let it be this one:

Just.

Be.

Kind.

And by the way, “being kind” includes being kind to YOURSELF! God doesn’t make anything but kings and queens my friends. It’s our job alone to find our crowns and get them on our own heads – NO ONE ELSE’S! No one, and I mean NO ONE, is coming to save you from anything. You have to do that on your own … and … YOU CAN! But not before first learning how to be kind – TO YOURSELF. After that EVERYTHING else will fall into place. I promise!

DECEMBER 24, 2020: “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” …

… and all through the land, every creature was patiently awaiting the band …

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MY AMAZING KNUCKLEHEAD FAMILY AROUND THE GLOBE … not the least of which is Ivan Moody, Chris Kael, Zoltan Bathory, Charlie Engen and Andy James. 2020 wasn’t half as bad as I suppose it could have been because of all of you! Wishing you all so much love and a POWERFUL 2021!

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

Better you’re the last one alive, than a soul denied.

Level up TODAY people.

LEVEL UP!

… because the more you suffer in training, the greater your victory on the battlefield of your life! This is where you’ll find the only hope within this place “where angels fall, and darkness reigns, and time dissolves the brightest flame“. COMMAND YOUR OWN DESTINY MY FRIENDS — WITH THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON YOU POSSESS — YOUR MIND! Don’t cower to the devil, or the masses, or yourself. Just sayin’.

Yours truly … “Commander Cat”

DECEMBER 21, 2020: “The Bitter End” …

THIS IS ME.

Contemplating … everything behind me, and everything ahead … but mostly … EVERYTHING IN THIS MOMENT! No matter what I’ve ever been through or have waiting down the road, I’m STILL the luckiest queen I’ve ever known. Win, lose or draw, my heart is wide open to any and every possibility, with a battalion of angels and the God they serve working behind my scene 25 hours a day, all of whom follow my every step and guide my path with a Light I can’t even. But this much I know …

… somehow we’ll be alright!

(And by the way? That includes YOU!)

THE BITTER END

I’ve walked every road and turned every corner. Searched high and low where I did not belong. Adrift with the tide – always hungry and yearning. If only I’d known that the answer was here all along. The bitter end will come in time. But the joy I have found in the sweet here and now? It keeps me alive I’ve kissed the lips. Of an angel in waiting. Devil in kind. I’ve been lost and deceived. The thrill had to fade in this world for the taking. Once I woke up to what mattered, then I could see. The bitter end will come in time. But the joy I have found in the sweet here and now? It keeps me alive. We’re lost on a road where all we can find are just the remnants of hope that somehow we leave far behind. But this much I know … somehow we’ll be alright. ‘Cause It’s never too late to learn how to start living right. Starting right now, I’ll stop falling down and start living right. {Alter Bridge}

DECEMBER 20, 2020: “Alone. Not lonely.” …

YOU’RE NOT ALONE TONIGHT

We all drink to forget – some of us more than most. When reality gets too real and the fires of hell to close. But I’m here to let you know that that you can make it through, if you believe that someone is watchin’ over you. Call it an angel. Call it a muse. Call it karma that you’ve got comin’ to you. What’s the difference? What’s in a name? What matters most is never ever losin’ faith. ‘Cause it’s gonna be alright … you’re not alone tonight. We all have our days when nothing goes as planned. Not a soul in the world seems to understand. And for someone to talk to, you’d give anything. Well go on and cry out loud – ’cause someone’s listenin’. Call it an angel. Call it a muse. Call it karma that you’ve got comin’ to you. What’s the difference? What’s in a name? What matters most is never ever losin’ faith. ‘Cause it’s gonna be alright … you’re not alone tonight. {Keith Urban}

DECEMBER 19, 2020: “I’m Gonna Love You” …

James kisses Margaret before he comes to see us. James kisses Margaret before he does pretty much anything.

{The Daily James}

Dear God:

Earlier today I got my saw this video on my Instagram feed, which I’m sure You already knew. Knowing my heart the way You do, You also already knew how taken I was, once again, by the way James literally bows to that Queen he loves so desperately, yet at the same time, no matter how high he places her above himself, he is only ever right beside her. As You and I both know, and as I finally got to learn in the most ethereal way, when a king loves a queen love so deep and so true that each of their hearts but serve the other, the balance of power is never a struggle and there is no “servitude” whatsoever.

As we have already discussed, You know that I know that I trust You implicitly. You and he both made me a queen, and there is no going back to where I came from. I will not and cannot settle for anything less than everything where another partner on this journey is concerned, and I’d rather reign here “alone, but not lonely” if that’s what Your plan shall be. That being said, if indeed there “one last king on Earth” You have waiting for me somewhere, can I please just ask that he really be a king. Like You. Like Zack. LIKE KING JAMES THE RAVEN …

THE RULER OF QUEEN MARGARET’S HEART!

It’s an impossible order, but hey, look Who I am talking to! I’ve had two kings before, and three is the perfect number, so maybe, just maybe, we shall see. In the meantime, I will just have to wait for the moments like these when the image of two love birds washes over me. “Just a chill in a winter breeze, standing in the cold debris that left behind so many beautiful memories.” Like every word that has left Your lips, and those of my beautiful husband, there are fingerprints everywhere to evidence the love that has committed me right back to “here”. I really do only want to be remembered for being that one who will always ever say “I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly” to that one last king who may be waiting to fly the remainder of my heart into eternity.

James almost always positions his head right below Margaret.

{The Daily James}

I’M GONNA LOVE YOU

Something still comes over me. Just a chill in a winter breeze. Standing in the cold debris left behind a memory. Every word that left your lips left behind your fingerprints. Every crime that love commits brings you right back here to this. I only want to be remembered for being the one who’d always say that I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly. I’ll never be one to yell surrender as long as you’re standing next to me. ‘Cause I’m gonna love you. I’m gonna love you endlessly. No escaping this embrace every time I see your face. Around the love I can’t erase. Wouldn’t want to anyway. I only want to be remembered for being the one who’d always say that I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly. {David Cook}

DECEMBER 18, 2020: “128,000 Ripples” …

“128,000 RIPPLES AND COUNTING”

It’s been 498 days since Fate really started spinning the wheel for our family and 484 days since the king fell off his throne, yet here I am STILL STANDING STRONG with this tiara on my head, but more so than that …

I’M MAKING WAVES!

SO CAN YOU!

PLEASE! If you are reading this and have also been to HELL and back and are still alive to to tell about it … TELL ABOUT IT! Don’t let YOUR own “Survival Resume” have been in vain. You just never know who’s listening and watching or how far your ripples will reach into the ocean! LET YOUR OWN SURVIVAL STORY BE THE REASON SOMEONE ELSE MAKES THE DECISION TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES AND STICK AROUND!

DECEMBER 17, 2020: “Yummy Things With Eyeballs” …

… because nothing that is given from her head, heart or hands isn’t just that – given from her head, heart and hands. The funny thing about these “yummies” she made for a very lucky few of us is that they aren’t actually the gift. You’d have to be fortunate enough to get to bask in the glow of her halo to understand what I’m saying. Oh, and, in case I forgot to tell you again

I AM THE LUCKIEST WOMAN ALIVE ON THE FACE OF THIS PLANET!

DECEMBER 16, 2020: “Once … In A Lifetime” …

“The Window”

As promised in this previously recorded live video and in a text to a friend last night …

I totally just walked back into Lifetime and reinstated my membership. Didn’t crumble. Didn’t cry. Didn’t fall apart. It just feels like I’m home. It’s totally supposed to be this way. This is a giant leap! And it was Gia’s final decision – not mine. “Mom, dad wouldn’t want us working out anywhere else. It would wreck him. Besides, queens don’t work out at 24-hour fitness!”

Well, I DID IT! I walked back in to the very place the best decade of our lives began, straightened up my crown, held my head high, and took back that one last piece of my life I was certain I’d have to forsake as I started crossing over. I even stood before the window, and nope, I didn’t cry. I just remembered everything. ALL OF IT!Every day” we got to have him for the most beautiful season of our lives. And by the way, that chair you see to the left of the computer is the very one I was sitting in when our first meaningful conversation began. You know? The one that started our entire story with the shot heard round the world: Ummm, do you even OWN a hairbrush?” Yes, my friends, I’m smiling ear to ear as I’m literally hearing him say it!

So, now I’ll remix the words to this all too fitting song in a manner that the KING who loved this broken queen back to life and turned the four year old girl who bounced into his heart into a princess would have spoken them, if, as I suspect, he watched me powering through one of the most monumental moments of my “lifetime” …

I can see it in your eyes – and I’ve felt it in your touch. I know that you’re scared, but you’ve never been this loved. It’s a long shot, baby, I know it’s true, but if anyone can make it, I’m betting on the two of you. Just keep on moving towards the Sun. I know you’re gonna to see – the best is yet to come. Don’t don’t fear it now. You’re going all the way. That Sun is shining on a brand new day. It’s a long way down, and it’s a leap of faith, but you’re never giving up. ‘Cause you’ve had a once in a lifetime love. Everybody’s looking for what we found. Some wait their whole life and it never comes around. So don’t hold back now. Just let go of all you’ve ever known. You can put your hand in His. Don’t fear it now. You’re going all the way. That Sun is shining on a brand new day. I closed my eyes and I saw you standing right there, saying I do and they’re throwing the rice in our hair. Well your first was born, then his a sister came along, and they’ve got your smile. I’ve been looking back on the life we had. I’m still by your side. So don’t fear it now. You’re going all the way! I’ll never let you go … I’ll be right by your side … just know I’ve made it Home … and thanked God for our …

ONCE … In A Lifetime Love!

To Read The “Rocky IV” Post Referenced In The Video, Click HERE.

DECEMBER 15, 2020: “The Selfish Parent Serenade” …

… ummmm,

YES IT DOES!

Listen up my parent friends, and listen up real good! We only get eighteen years with ’em! Actually, make that sixteen once they get driver’s licenses and become mobile. WE brought them into this world of our own volition, NOT THEIRS! None of them signed up for this gig – WE DID! Our kids shouldn’t have to sacrifice so that WE can have the lives we want. WE should make the sacrifices so that our KIDS can have the lives they DESERVE! There is nothing that should ever come between us and them …

Not a job!

Not a dream!

Not a hobby!

Not an education!

NOT EVEN “THE LOVE OF OUR LIFE”!

Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who tries to put YOU between them and YOUR children? Thaaat would be a deal-breaker my friends, and that is not “the love of your life”!

Honey, I love you, but it’s me or them …

… to which your response is …

WELL THEN DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS!

Does that mean that we aren’t entitled to have those things? The jobs, dreams, hobbies, educations, AND the loves of our lives? OF COURSE IT DOESN’T! But here’s the deal … KIDS FIRST! US LAST! Period. End of story! The years with them home will be over before we know it and then it’s OUR time to fly! The sky’s the limit people, but not at the expense of the wings we clip, mangle, twist and BURN when we’re more worried about our wings then theirs.

FAILURE TO FLY.

I may not be doctor, but I’m willing to bet that more “failed flights” than not are due in part to selfish parents who failed to make their kids a priority. Sorry, “not sorry” if that truth is hard to hear, but the truth does hurt, does it not? Let’s not be stupid and squander the fleeting time we have with them at home. More so than that, let’s not be “those parents” that the parents who do sacrifice to put their kids first talk badly about behind our backs. WORST OF ALL, let’s not be “those parents” whose KIDS will be talking about to their kids one day, telling them all the things we did or didn’t do, and how our selfish parenting landed them in therapy and medicated because we shattered their fragile hearts like glass!

Not to be sanctimonious, but there are certain crimes against humanity that are deserving of such flagrant disapproval and reproach. ASSHOLE PARENTS ARE ONE OF THEM! For the record, I too have been guilty of some not so stellar, very selfish parenting. I’m not EVEN gonna sit here and lie! But guess what? I grew up, opened my eyes, and took a sobering look at the wreckage I’d gifted to the undeserving kids I allowed to become casualties of both “my war within” and my “war abroad. After breaking apart for a not so hot minute or two, I looked into the mirror at the little girl who knew exactly what it felt like to be “at the expense of an unavailable parent”. My guilty conscience took care of the rest. I sat down with my both my kids at different times and stages appropriate to their age and understanding and had the hardest and most awkward conversations of my life:

Kids, I’m sorry, but MOMMY TOTALLY FUCKED YOU OVER! Let me tell you how …

At which point I owned it all, accounted for everything, APOLOGIZED, then vowed to start doing better! Never again will my kids be second to anything or anyone … NOT EVEN MY OWN DAMN SELF!

This song is probably one of the best “selfish parent serenades” I’ve ever heard. Digest the words and let them sink in. If you’ve ever been guilty of misappropriating the precious gift of parenthood, it may just twist you up inside the same way it twisted me the first time I heard it. That being the case, just stop what you’re doing, talk to your kids, validate their wounds AND FIX IT! “But in the end we were made to be apart in separate chambers of the human heart.” Is that the legacy you want to leave behind? Certainly not. But children grow up and become adults, many of who end up spending so much time in therapy trying to fix the damage we caused that they have no choice but to keep us in “separate chambers of the heart”. They learn about boundaries and “loving from afar” to either protect themselves from us, break the cycle, or both, and thus the bridge is burned.

For the record, no matter what seemingly unforgiveable parenting mistakes you’ve made along the way, and no matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to own it, account for it, apologize, and do better! As long as you’re breathing and they are too? JUST FIX IT!

BURNING IN THE SKIES

I use the dead wood to make the fire rise. The blood of innocence burning in the skies. I filled my cup with the rising of the sea, and poured it out in an ocean of debris. Ooh, I’m swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned. So don’t apologize – I’m losing what I don’t deserve. What I don’t deserve. We held our breathe when the clouds began to form, but you were lost in the beating of the storm. But in the end we were made to be apart in separate chambers of the human heart. Ooh, I’m swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned. So don’t apologize – I’m losing what I don’t deserve. It’s in the blackened bones of bridges I have burned. The blame is mine alone for bridges I have burned. So don’t apologize – I’m losing what I don’t deserve. What I don’t deserve. {Linkin’ Park}

DECEMBER 14, 2020: “Give Him Roots” …

The “Tell Us What You See” Tree {Courtesy Of The Daily James}

This morning I saw this post on my Instagram page by one of my favorite haunts, “The Daily James“, a Los Angeles based wildlife sanctuary that is home to one of my absolute favorite families, “King James, Margaret and the kids“. But I’ve digressed. The post was of this picture above along with one very simple question:

Tell us what you see.

To which I replied …

The thing that struck me the most in this post was the first picture of that magnificent tree. It screamed, “Look here upon my branches – Creation’s true majesty. I am a life well lived, no matter the circumstances or elements that have encumbered me – a true force to be reckoned with. I am ONLY as tall as my roots are deep, no matter HOW twisted and chaotic they may be seem. I am a strong fortress. I am – everything.”

Today is my son’s birthday. Twenty-eight years ago, after nineteen hours and eleven minutes of labor, he was born at exactly 4:50pm! With that, this picture couldn’t have come at a more befitting time, because after I made my response, I immediately thought of this song I’ve loved since first hearing it in the early ’90’s when I just beginning to know Jesus. Up until then, I had been wandering lost in the woods all alone. Actually? Correction: I wasn’t really alone – He was ALWAYS with me, I just wasn’t ready to believe it. Truth be told, even after I accepted Christ into my heart, my walk was a bit of a struggle. I’ve been a really stubborn kid – NO JOKE! Christian was so young at the time, and I tried desperately to give him the solid foundation he needed to get through life. But alas, I failed him at so many turns. It’s the absolute, tragic truth.

Those days are gone though, and now I know better. I truly have seen the error of my ways, not the least of which is the not-so-stable ground I set his feet upon and the wings I helped clip that have made it more difficult for him to fly. Just as sure as God has forgiven me for my many imperfections and failures, I too have done the same. All I can do at this point is try to lead him to The Truth by my example and let His Majesty take it from there. My son is a true force to be reckoned with, just like his mom and sister! It’s just a matter of time … and only a matter of faith. At the end of the day, no matter how “twisted and chaotic” his roots are below, there is a strong fortress working behind him powering the circumstances and elements. The great “I Am” is everything I need to know.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTIAN PETER! I love you to the Moon and back and am SO proud to be your mom. I believe in you, always, unconditionally, with every shred of my being, from here until eternity!

GIVE HIM ROOTS

So many voices in his ear. Are they playing on his fears? It’s a bad situation all the way around. But with a solid foundation, he’s gonna stand his ground. Take a little time. Plant the seeds. Give him reasons to believe. Give him roots, and give him wings, and he’ll grow up to do great things. Let him know the joy that he brings. Teach him the value of the truth. Oh you gotta give him roots. Give him wings. When he comes to you and he needs your help, and he’s so unsure of himself, give him vision so he can see the Light. Let him know the difference between wrong and right. Share the wisdom of your peers. There’ll be laughter. There’ll be tears. He should aim as high as the sky. There ain’t nothing he can’t do if he’ll only try. {Clay Crosse}

DECEMBER 13, 2020: “Castle Of Glass” …

… because sometimes all I have is the words to someone’s else’s song …

“Castle Of Glass”

Take me down to the river bend. Take me down to the fighting end. Wash the poison from off my skin. Show me how to be whole again. Fly me up on a silver wing. Past the black where the sirens sing. Warm me up in a nova’s glow and drop me down to the dream below. ‘Cause I’m only a crack in this castle of glass. Hardly anything there for you to see. Bring me home in a blinding dream Through the secrets that I have seen. Wash the sorrow from off my skin and show me how to be whole again. ‘Cause I’m only a crack in this castle of glass. Hardly anything there for you to see.

~ Linkin’ Park

DECEMBER 12, 2020: “Never Cross A Crow” …

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I live in a very special place inside my own head, and it’s really not so bad! What you see is what you get with me – I’m the happiest “sad person” I think I’ve ever met. Glass half full people. GLASS HALF FULL!

If you’ve been keeping up with this Diary or any of my whacky videos videos, you’ve probably heard me say I’m the “luckiest person” I think I’ve ever met. I love my life – the good, the bad, and the ugly, and am thankful for EVERY day I get to be alive! No matter what broken roads I’ve traveled, and no matter how much I miss my fallen king, I know he’s smiling down on me right now watching me survive with joy, and love, and light. He wouldn’t have wanted it ANY other way, and his heart would be broken even more than it was in the first place if he couldn’t look down and see me still “being me” – a very happy Cat!

Keep the faith my friends! If you’re struggling in any way, shape or form? Just breathe … and be silly … and laugh a little (especially at yourself). IT’S OKAY TO DO THAT – even if your “grieving”. Much love to all of you today. And remember …

NEVER CROSS A CROW!

DECEMBER 11, 2020: “One Heart” …

… that moment you get a surprise in the mail from literally out of the blue from a dear friend of years, with not only a precious gift but these sweet words as well:

Watching your love story grow was beautiful. Watching how you honor your husband today is beautiful. Under the surface, I am sure you have experienced a roller coaster of emotion. But you carry on with such grace and strength. Even though I never had the privilege of meeting your husband, I hope this ornament can serve as a small piece to honor him at Christmas. May God bless and keep your family safe during this holiday season.

Of all the things that could possibly reduce me, of all people, “the Cat who never seems to shut up”, to speechless tears? A random act of kindness! And with that, I’m yet again reminded of how blessed I am. I too wish she could have met him. I wish all of you could have met him (the him he was before he got sick). He was a force to be reckoned with, the changer of my game, and the king of my heart. This ornament is so special to me that it will now adorn a lamp in my kitchen year-round. It will serve as a loving, daily reminder of not just him and every bittersweet and beautiful piece of this journey, but most importantly that in all things big and small, God is “turning and turning” this thing with the One Heart that brings hearts like hers close to mine!

ONE HEART

There’s a new church on the horizon, made of light, not of stone. Calling out to all Creation – you are not alone, no, no, no. Lions and lambs. Saints and sinners. Best of friends. Enemies. Woman and man. Losers and winners. They are all in you and me. We are one heart looking for answers. One soul finding our way in the dark. One dream we share together. We are all a part of one heart. Out in the cold, ooh, there are faces hidden by, the wind and rain. Hold out your hand – someone will take it. They’re gonna bring you home again. Around the Earth tonight the fires are burning. Tears are falling from the sky. Still the world keeps turning … turning and turning and turning. {Clay Crosse}

DECEMBER 10, 2020: “I’ll Carry Them” …

Dear Mom …

Could any two words in the history of written language EVER melt a heart so quickly as they do mine? OH but the irony here! In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a very sentimental person. It’s all those little things in my life, like the sticks, the rocks, the dried up flowers, and love notes from my people that mean literally “everything” to me … and yes, to the best of my ability … I KEEP THEM ALL! I’ve had this love note from Gia to me and Zack resting on the typing stand on my desk since literally the day I found it waiting on my keyboard to be found as a surprise and read, “November 29, 2014”. The other one, however, I only recently found when I was shuffling through a stack of papers that were inside my desk that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. You know the stack? “Toss it, or keep it? Hmmmm. I’ll just keep it and deal with it later!” Meanwhile, years later, and ya FINALLY start going through it all!

The love note from Christian (Circa 2008″, age 16) was also left as a surprise for me to find on the keyboard of my computer when I was still living at His house with all of them. Sadly, it wasn’t too long afterwards that I’d made my final departure once and for all. And by the way, how completely crazy is it that both their notes were done in either the same or a very similar font? For the record, I chose today to publish this post because it’s “midway” between November 29th and December 18th. I just split the difference and landed here!

I’m not gonna lie, when I found Christian’s note it tore me up pretty good, but not in the traditional “torn up” way. It was good. Bittersweet tears flowing from my eyes at just the right time and space. It’s these precious little bits of “everything” from days gone by that remind me that although I’ve definitely had my fare share of screw ups and not-so-stellar mom moments, at the end of the day, this is what I’ve been fighting for. I carry them while they carry me forward as a Light Into The Dark.

In being honest, these love notes from my kids do also make me a little sad. That beautiful king who gave us absolutely everything never had this as a child, and that’s what eventually broke him. She broke him into pieces and he’s gone. Luckily, however, I can let him rest in peace knowing that he did finally have a home and “everything” to carry him through the season we were lucky enough to have him.

DECEMBER 9, 2020: “When Angels Fly Away” …

I promise I’m not bragging, but then again, I AM! The guy on the left? He’s one of the best men on my paternal family tree, my cousin, and our Grandfather’s namesake, Brigadier General Ernest Audino, US Army (Ret). This man has devoted his entire life to the betterment of not just his American brethren, but his Kurdish brethren as well. He’s a pretty big ordeal, and someone to be honored to know, much less share blood with. The guy on the right? He’s “The Lion Of Handrin”, and I posted my cousin’s own words to pay him homage. He TOO is a pretty big ordeal and the story of his accomplishments and survival are beyond!

I am so damn proud of this man, as are both of my kids. We talk about him to anyone who will listen as often as we can, and are always grateful for his endless service to this country that is often neither appreciated nor recognized. Ironically, I thought of him yesterday when out of the blue, one of the most beautiful and thoughtful ballads I’ve ever heard cued onto my stereo. This song always brings a tear to my eye and a knot to my stomach when I sit with and absorb it, and try to conceptualize how in the actual HELL it would feel to be the angel having to say these words inside his own head after having had to watch so many other angels fly away. It’s literally mind-numbing to think about. I have long thought that every American teenager should have to listen to it at least once so that perhaps they might really get a better understanding of what countless others have had to go through so they could be “free” to sit and listen to it in the first place. Honestly? There are a fair amount of adults that could stand to spend some time with this song as well, so that they too might better appreciate “the angels flying away of it all” the next time they dare think about complaining about this beautiful nation that we live in. At the end of the day, I’m just so grateful to all the men and women in my family that stood up for me this way. There are a handful of American soldiers on my maternal family tree as well, one of whom actually split his time between the Army and the Navy. Now that’s something! The military life is clearly not for everyone, and not every man or woman is cut from that cloth.

Meanwhile, having this song avail itself to my magical music wheel yesterday and thus remind me of how much I love it, just so happened to coincide with one of my favorite hero’s birthday! So, with that …

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GENERAL!

I love you, am prouder of you than all my endless words could say … and by the way? I just KNOW that Grandpa must be watching you from his recliner in The Sky just smiling from ear to ear! Damn! Turns out we have some “lions” of our very own on this family tree, and you are certainly one of them!

DECEMBER 8, 2020: “Hey, Younger You – RISE UP!” …

First of all, my sincere gratitude to the very talented young artist I’ve befriended over on my Instagram page, @metalhead_ryze, for collaborating with me on this project. I sent her the words for which I needed a backdrop late the night before last with a query: “I need a superhero looking silhouette with a cape to go with these words. Can you do that?” This picture you see is the final result and I couldn’t be happier with it!

In the meantime …

… don’t forget …

… that “broken kids” aren’t always kids. Sometimes we’re adults. Treat yourself kindly, with patience, love and respect, and validate yourself always! TELL THE BROKEN KID HIDING BENEATH YOUR SKIN THAT THEY’RE TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME AND THEY DIDN’T DESERVE TO BE BROKEN!

“Reparenting”

IT’S EVERYTHING!

The first day in your adult life that you’re TRULY able to show that broken kid you once were (or the kid you never got to be) a little empathy, grace, unconditional love and compassion, will be the first day of the rest of your life. I PROMISE! I call “that day” my second birthday, and yes my friends, I remember exactly where I was when I began the reparenting of “younger me”. It was April 8, 2008, and it truly was the beginning of everything I’ve become!

Much love to all of you “broken adult kiddos” out there. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” Your cape will be waiting by the mirror! Find it. Accept it. Embrace it. WEAR IT! Let it adorn your “sick of being tired” shoulders and RISE YOU UP to who you’re waiting to become …

Your personal superhero …

YOU!

DECEMBER 6, 2020: “The Great Adventure” …

Can I get an AMEN and a witness?

A friend of mine posted this on her social media page today and I just absolutely LOVED IT! In fact, it was one of my most “liked” photos on Instagram thus far, which I believe is telling. Besides, a well-stamped passport and an abundance of travel memories (at home AND abroad) as a child is the number one key to destroying hatred, bigotry, racism and xenophobia as an adult! We gotta keep their horizons BROAD so their minds can stay WIDE OPEN!

As I’ve said so many times before, aside from all the other legacies the king left behind, perhaps amongst the most treasured are our many travel adventures. Although he didn’t really know it at the time we met, quite simply because the life he’d lived before us was mostly solitaire and uneventful, Williamson was a natural born “adventurer” at heart. It wasn’t too long after our first trip together that he’d developed the same steadfast passion for travel that I’ve always had. There were so many nights he would just sit and endlessly research all the places he wanted to take us … and even more so all the places he wanted to take Gia. Once he’d decided that he was going to be the first one to take her to Europe? IT WAS ALL UPHILL FROM THERE! He’d had it firm in his mind that we would put “one stamp in her Passport” for each year she was in high school and college if possible, which for the record, is one of the promises he made that I fully intend to keep!

Sadly, I can count on less than one hand all the places my ex-husband took me and the kids, and in fact, since the day she was born he has taken Gia NOWHERE! Not one place … not one time … ZERO “adventures” have they had. Traveling was just never his thing I suppose. Well, correction … “traveling with us” that is. He is more than par to the task if and when it suits him and according to “who” the priority is at any given time. I have it on good record that in over the years he has done his own fair share of traveling, but again, just not with our kids. Perhaps one of the most heart-breaking conversations I’ve ever had in my life was several years ago when I was sitting with Christian and his girlfriend at the time going through all his childhood scrapbooks.

Mom, why isn’t dad in any of these pictures?

He was right. No, his dad wasn’t in any of the travel pictures in his albums. For the most part, in all our combined sixteen years together, I was the only one who ever took our son “on adventures”. Not Him. ME! It was always just me and Christian … either with my family or completely on our own. But you see, Christian had forgotten that part, as I believe he had had subliminally blocked that very painful reality from his memory. In being honest, I UNDERSTAND WHY, as my father never really traveled much with us either. In that moment, I think my heart actually shattered in a whole new kind of way, and to this day it breaks my heart when I hear those sobering words my son spoke echoing in the back of my mind. Zack understood my heartbreak in that regard, and to the best of his ability tried to include Christian in as many of our “adventures” as possible. It was just another of the many reasons I fell in love with him over and over and over!

In the meantime, I remain grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had with my both Zack and my kids to see as much of this beautiful Atlas as possible! I am fully aware that not everyone is so lucky and do not take that for granted. At the end of the day, to see, smell, taste, hear and experience EVERYTHING in EVERY MOMENT is my heart’s truest passion. Call me a gypsy, a wanderer, or a vagagbond … but one day I hope my kids’ kids will look back fondly on their “Crazy Grandma Cat” and think, “WOW! Just WOW! That Crazy Grandma Cat of ours … The Great Adventurer”! It’s the only legacy I want to leave behind when it’s time for my GREATEST adventure of all … THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF GREY!

THE GREAT ADVENTURE

Chasing thoughts inside my head of all I had to do today. Another time around the circle. Try to make it better than the last. I opened up the Bible and I read about You and me. Said we’d all been prisoners and God’s grace had set us all free. Somewhere between the pages it hit me like a lightning bolt. I saw a big frontier in front of me, and I heard Somebody say “let’s go”! Saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze. Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace. Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown. This is a life like no other, whoa whoa this is the great adventure. So come on get ready for the ride of your life! Gonna leave long faced religion in a cloud of dust behind and discover all the new horizons waiting to be explored. This is what we were created for. Saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace. Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown. This is a life like no other, whoa whoa this is the great adventure! We’ll travel long, over mountains so high. We’ll go through valleys so low. Still through it all we’ll find that this is the greatest journey that the human heart will ever see. The love of God will take us far beyond our wildest dreams. {Stephen Curtis Chapman}

DECEMBER 5, 2020: “In The Kingdom” …

THIS IS THE KINGDOM

This is the kingdom. KINGDOM! Everybody’s building empires. Building walls high in the name of glory. Everybody’s hanging high wires. It’s a fine line, it’s an age-old story. The first will be last, and the last will be kings. The small will be great, and the great will be weak. Everybody’s building empires, but it’s our time! This is the kingdom. Heaven coming down to the corners of the Earth. This is the kingdom! Come alive in us! Gonna light up this whole world. This is for freedom. FREEDOM! To break off every chain. This is the kingdom. Blessed are the bound and broken. You’re a citizen, and your faith will prove it. Blessed are the persecuted, and the wounded. You’ll be crowned as rulers. Everything else is gonna fade away. We stand together … one heart, one voice, one name. It stands forever. {Skillet}

The God I serve doesn’t make anyone but kings and queens! You just have to find a way to see yourself through His eyes and let your blind faith do all the rest! For the record, I’m an ecumenical abuser when it comes to ideals about humanity …

… MEANING …

… just because the words say “she”, “her”, and “woman”, it doesn’t mean the same words can’t apply to “man”. As for me? The mindset of a KING is the only one that will work for a queen, and the only one I will allow inside my atmosphere going forward!

IF YOU ARE READING THIS:

May you self-realize this entire day, rest well the entire night, then wake up in the morning with the mindset of royalty! Self-evaluate, REALIZE YOUR WORTH, and never sell yourself or your soul short of anything less than EVERYTHING! (And, NO, I’m not just talking about “stuff”!) Then someday very soon I hope you find your standing in the mirror saying THESE words to YOU:

You’re moving different and your price is going up. You AREN’T afraid to leave anyone behind. You ARE authentic and courageous. You ARE the type of human being most love, but get intimidated by because you know EXACTLY what you want. Take some time for YOU today to recharge and soak in the glorious solitude of YOU!

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM!

DECEMBER 2, 2020: “You’re Just LAZY!” …

“Cat? Did you just say I’m LAZY?

UMMMMM – NOPE! You’re NOT!

Let me ask you something: Did you feel this one? In your core? HOW DID IT MAKE YOU FEEL? I HOPE IT MADE YOU FEEL RELIEVED! Listen up! YOU’RE GONNA BE OKAY! If I can do this? YOU CAN DO THIS!

YOU’RE A SURVIVOR!

Keep the faith my friends! Keep flying from the inside because there is no easy way out! And hey, if no one else in this ENTIRE world believes in you …

HERE’S SOMEONE WHO DOES!

SURVIVOR

Bulletproof. Adrenalized. Burning up. Cauterized. I’m the roar. The battle cry. Screaming out … IT’S MY LIFE! It’s my time! My fight! I’m unstoppable! I’m unbreakable! It’s my pride, my ride. I won’t be denied! How you like me now? Alive ‘cuz I believed. You tried to knock me out, but you couldn’t drop … no you couldn’t drop me! I’ll never bow down! Never own defeat! ‘Cuz you messed with a fighter! I stand here baptized by the fire. A SURVIVOR! Supercharged. Flying high. All lit up. Electrified. I’m the storm. A hurricane. Rising up like a tidal wave! {Scott Stapp}

NOVEMBER 30, 2020: “The Beautiful Infection” …

Will I know if it’s happiness I see? Will I feel a different side of me? And if I let it go, would you come back to haunt me? Am I doing the best that I can? We can wait for tomorrow or we can find ourselves right now. Think about all that we’ve wasted trying to figure all this out. I know it’s not too late to turn it all into something beautiful. Can I see The Light still needs to shine inside of me through the windows I can’t find. Will you let me go? I’m tired of hiding. I’m trying to find my way. We can wait for tomorrow or we can find ourselves right now. Think about all that we’ve wasted trying to figure all this out. I know it’s not too late to turn it all into something beautiful. {One Less Reason}

TO READ MORE ABOUT “THE TRIBE” THAT ALMOST DESTROYED MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER, CLICK HERE.

NOVEMBER 30, 2020: “Another One Bites The Dust” …

Well, thank you kindly “Dr. X”! But, hey, you should see my heart … and my mind … and my soul … and my steadfast loyalty and servitude. Especially since those are the ONLY things about me that will stand the test of time, age and gravity. Oh well …

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … I’M THE NICEST BITCH YOU’LL EVER MEET. AND I’m a queen who will HAPPILY reign alone on this Earth for as long as I’m allowed to live here if there isn’t “one last king” waiting somewhere for me with a much better opening line than …

“You’re so pretty.”

Thank you so very much.

YOU’RE SO BLOCKED!

Yours truly …

~ THE QUEEN ~

NOVEMBER 28, 2020: “My Parking Lot Meds” …

Andy James (“DOCTOR SHRED”)

Does YOUR doctor make on-site visits to your neighborhood Walmart? MINE DOES! And the best part is …

NO DEDUCTIBLE!

NO CO-PAY!

Just a good time dealing with myself in a local parking lot today before I went inside the store, such that mascara was all over my face and I looked like I’d just cut onions while I was shopping for even MORE Christmas decorations and crow food! Have I ever told you that I love my actual life?

NOVEMBER 26, 2020: “I’m STILL Seein’ It” …

TEN THANKSGIVINGS LATER …

… and I still see the gold smoldering quietly in the embers, as far as my gaze to and fro, shining steadfast like a beacon to The Brighter Side Of Grey that led me to this Light … especially when I look in the mirror.

Golden is the crown that adorns my head, encrusted with all the precious diamonds of my life, not the least of which is me, the Queen I truly am, who was also created under pressure and fire.

The King may no longer reign beside me on Earth, and my sister may have moved miles away, but I still have my fire babies … and so many beautiful strangers … and I’m still so very thankful for these still so applicable words from “ten Thanksgivings later”.

These lonely hours like a fire refining something that’s precious – something that’s shining. There in the darkness, surrounded by coals … it’s starting to glow.

I think I see gold, and I’m just so very thankful … FOR EVERYTHING.

NOVEMBER 25, 2020: “Will The Sun Rise?”…

PERSPECTIVE.

After a deep and meaningful heartfelt intersection with my MUSE last night, or rather should I say, “a 4am meeting of the masterminds” (because after all, isn’t “4am when most masterminds do their best work), I’ve decided this needs to be said …

This song? It’s a favorite of mine! I still love Dokken very, very much, and still listen to them ALL the time. (“Under Lock And Key” is one of my lifetime favorite albums.)

“Will The Sun Rise?”

As I told my muse, the meaning of this song used to go RIGHT over my hairspray encrusted head. But now when I hear it, it wants to make me sad. I’m a grown up now. I’m a mother now. If I’m lucky? I’LL BE A GRANDMA ONE DAY … a “Crazy Grandma Cat“! These days we are living in, where it seems that Atlas really is falling?

The contemplation of “the Sun rising of it all” does tend to give cause for a fair amount of panic. But then I stop and think for a minute about everything I know to be true, and my perspective instantly shifts!

“Will the Sun rise? Yes! It will! I’ve “gotten to learn this” the very beautifully hard way. The lights go on. Then they go off. The dark of night comes. Then so does the Sun, to reveal the Brighter Side Of Grey.

Meanwhile …

Now is the time to share this song with your still impressionable teen. Have them listen and tell you how it makes them feel. The words to this beautiful, 35 year old melody have never been more relevant, and sharing them with a young person in your atmosphere could be a great opportunity to start a “music therapy conversation“.

I’m STILL the most blessed woman that I know!

If you look closely at the image on which I’ve put the lyrics to this song, you will see that it’s the “negative perspective” of a sketch I made from my father’s cigarette ashes years ago. But look below now to my “brighter side perspective” today. It’s my truth in my grey and it’s EVERYTHING! And, with that, I once again leave you with this …

NOVEMBER 24, 2020: “And They Shall Rise Up”…

They made me a mom.

They made me strong.

They made me REFUSE to give up on myself under any circumstances!

They make me DETERMINED with every single breathe that I’m lucky enough to take to be a Light in all their darkness.

You see, “Phoenixes can only make phoenixes”, so they have no ther choice but to rise up and and fly.

And that, my friends, is just the way it is!

RISE UP

I was hoping for an indication. I was seeking higher elevation. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. I’ve been shaken wakin’ in the night light. I’ve been breakin’, hiding from the spotlight. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. The more I stray, the less I fear, and the more I reach, the more I fade away. The darkness right in front of me. Oh it’s calling out and I won’t walk away! I would always open up the door. Always looking up at higher floors. Want to see it all. Give me more. Rise, rise up! I was always up for the making changes. Walking down the street and meeting strangers. Flipping through my life turning pages. Rise, rise up! Like a prayer that only needs a reason. Like a hunter waiting for the season. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. I was there, but I was always leaving. I believe it, that I was never breathing. Ay, ay, ay. Ay, ay, ay. I’m bursting like the 4th of July, so color me and blow me away! I’m broken in the prime of my life, so embrace it and leave me to stray! {Imagine Dragons}

NOVEMBER 23, 2020: “One Light Burning” …

ONE LIGHT BURNING

All alone in the dark. No walls, no windows. Trying hard to define Heaven from hell. Standing out in the rain with just one shadow. Nothing to see or believe beyond myself. See my life going by each moment I am alive. I keep reaching out, holding on, hoping somewhere in my life there’s one light burning. I feel it like my heart beating inside. Somewhere in my life, there’s one light burning. All alone with my fears. No words are spoken. A story yet to be told locked in my mind. Hope is somewhere ahead shining brightly, but the past is always following close behind. Somewhere in my life, t here’s one light burning leading the way. {Richie Sambora}

If you’re reading this …

… PLEASE REMEMBER …

It doesn’t HAVE to be the dark of night to get out there, Light ’em up and be that “One Light Burning”!

It’s Monday, November 23, 2020! So many kids are home this week with parents and families who are desperately thinking “WHAT THE HELL” – especially where this whole “holiday season 2020 COVID style” is concerned. Yah, it’s really kinda DARK outside, EVEN in the daytime!

Let me encourage you to to THIS …

While you’re out and about living life today, SMILE AT SOMEONE! Be kind to EVERYONE! Hold a door open. Pay for someone’s lunch. HELP where you can (smiles are FREE). Say “have a good day” (and really mean it) to a complete and total stranger and see how truly good and hopeful it makes you feel! Do it for them, do it for you, do it in tribute to loved ones you’ve lost who would WANT you to have learned to value humanity and cherish “the living” with their crossing. DO IT BECAUSE ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! Especially because, as we all surely know, NO ONE MAKES IT OUT OF HERE ALIVE! So many people, including our loved ones, do lose the hope they need to keep their feet on this foreboding and shaky ground we call planet Earth! YOU know that I KNOW this all too well! For those of us left behind in the wake of a loved one’s lost battle with the darkness, WE OWE IT TO THEM TO LIGHT THE WAY FOR THE OTHERS!

Listen! Just because you can’t see a burning flame in the daylight, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel a burning flame in the daylight. A flame is a flame regardless of its timing, circumstances or surroundings … IT GIVES WARMTH! So, get out there and make it a powerful Monday everyone …

Chin Up!

Knuckles Out!

LIGHT ‘EM UP!

ONE LIGHT BURNING!