JANUARY 8, 2020: “The Ashes Of Eden” …

Zachariah Lucas Williamson … The Blarney Castle Gardens

So, it’s Day Three here in Ireland. Upon proceeding with this trip after all, I’d also quickly decided that this would be the perfect place to bring the first of his ashes to spread. Not only because this was supposed to be his trip too, but more so because this is truly somewhere he belongs. Although he never actually lived here, a little more than a year ago he’d finally begun his ancestry tracing and much to his surprise discovered that he was predominantly of European descent. Considering the circumstances of his dismal childhood and not really ever knowing much about who he really was, I thought it was only fitting that he should be “here”.

Christian and I had decided that as we traveled here, we would set out to find “the perfect spot. When we stumbled upon this beautiful little brook that runs about the gardens at The Blarney Castle, we just knew that this was the spot. Since his “blood” never bothered to come and take him home, I have decided that they don’t deserve to have him anyway. In the years to come, the kids and I will take all his ashes they couldn’t be bothered with to the many places his ancestors once called “home”. So, with that, I end with my own adaptation of some of the most befitting lyrics for this moment …

Zachariah,

Despite your many mistakes and all the ways you hurt us, I knew your heart AND your faith in God. I cannot and will not discount the unconditional forgiveness and grace that He showed in that moment He reached for your hand. I know your faith was rewarded when you came to your end, and no final warning did you miss. Yes, He called for you, and He saw your soul within, and yes, Zachariah, you were worthy. He was with you after all, and although the demon that was living in your head prevented you from hearing His voice or feeling His presence, indeed He was with you through it all as the ashes of Eden did fall. The darkness is no longer falling upon you. The air no longer grows thin. No more voices haunting. You have nothing left to fear. There is nothing left but the shining Light from Heaven above Who has taken your hand to His everlasting will.

ASHES OF EDEN

Will the faithful be rewarded when we come to the end? Will I miss the final warning from the lie that I have lived? Is there anybody calling? I can see the soul within, and I am not worthy. I am not worthy of this. Are you with me after all? Why can’t I hear you? Are you with me through it all? Then why can’t I feel you? Stay with me don’t let me go because there’s nothing left at all. Stay with me don’t let me go until the ashes of Eden fall. Will the darkness fall upon me when the air is growing thin? Will the Light begin to pull me to its everlasting will? I can hear the voices haunting. There is nothing left to fear. And I am still calling. I am still calling to You. Heaven above me, take my hand. Shine until there’s nothing left but You. {Breaking Benjamin}

SEPTEMBER 14, 2019: “The Lion Of Lucerne” …

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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 …

At exactly 8am this morning we were supposed to be taking off on our flight to tour Switzerland for my 50th birthday. Lucerne was to be our first night, and our last, and one of the things I was most looking forward to sharing with him was ”the lion in the wall”. The very one that I myself stood before some 14 years prior while having the first of my many to follow “moments”. At that time, I too was trapped inside the dark and lonely prison of my own mind, a secluded chasm where I was alive but not quite living. So many of my realities back then were nothing more than lies and I but a walking farce. I vividly remember that day as the group I was with headed up this tree-lined path towards something magnanimous our guide was excited to show us. I was looking down at my schedule, not paying much attention, and almost ran in to the person standing in front of me when the group suddenly stopped and turned to look across the pond at “him”. My Lion.

The Lion of Lucerne is rock relief carved into the cliff face of a sandstone sculpted during the early part of the 19th century to commemorate the Swiss Guards who lost their lives in 1792 during the French Revolution. But as I paused to gaze upon him, I saw more than just a fallen soldier. It was in that very moment that I began feeling the plethora of emotions I’d been suppressing behind a fraudulent smile to protect not only myself, but my children especially, from the wreckage to come when I finally started letting it all go.

The Lion. Just look at him lying there slain inside that wall. A beast of many burdens, lifeless and alone with only the precious secrets he’d been carrying within his heart. Weak and weary. Tired and spent. Worn out, solemn and vacant. Life had its way with him and now he’s but a corpse of some unknown past he’d once lived, the demons that had devoured him and the countless private dreams he’d dreamt that never were to be. Despite his years of his perceived magnificence, he is, ”no longer”. Connecting with him in that one still moment screamed to me in ways and volumes that I have yet been able to fathom, but what I can tell you this. That was indeed the turning point when I truly began to “feel” the pain from the broken, jagged pieces that had been cutting me within all the while. Both my stomach and my heart were aching so badly that I literally couldn’t breathe. But to be very honest, it was without question one of THE most beautiful moments of my life.

The Lion is me. And he’s my husband. He is any and everyone who is now or has ever had the daunting task of wandering lost inside their own lonely head and heart just waiting for the day that they’re finally allowed to die. So, with that, as I finish this post, I think that I’ve made a decision: Someday, I will go on to Lucerne and offer some of his ashes to that pond beneath my Lion. It’s what I need to do.

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AUGUST 22, 2019 (Quarter ‘Til Midnight): “Dear Agony” …

"And Then It Was Done"
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

DEAR AGONY …

I have nothing left to give. I have found the perfect end. You were made to make it hurt. Disappear into the dirt. Carry me to heaven’s arms. Light the way and let me go. Take the time to take my breath. I will end where I began. And I will find the enemy within ’cause I can feel it crawl beneath my skin. Dear Agony: Just let go of me. Suffer slowly. Is this the way it’s got to be? Dear Agony. Suddenly the lights go out. Let forever drag me down. I will fight for one last breath. I will fight until the end. And I will find the enemy within ’cause I can feel it crawl beneath my skin. Dear Agony: Just let go of me. Suffer slowly. Is this the way it’s got to be? Don’t bury me faceless enemy. I’m so sorry. Is this the way it’s gotta be? Dear Agony: Leave me alone. God let me go. I’m blue and cold. Black sky will burn. Love pull me down. Hate lift me up. Just turn around. There’s nothing left. Somewhere far beyond this world. I feel nothing anymore.

~ Breaking Benjamin

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Although his death certificate says “FOUND AUGUST 23, 2019”, I “felt him leave” at just before midnight on August 22, 2019, when in that moment I became physically ill with a sharp pain in my stomach, and literally could not breathe. When the police notified me the next morning that they had found his body at 8:30am, he confirmed that my physical manifestation of his death the prior night was indeed correct: The coroner estimated that he’d been dead approximately 8 to 10 hours.

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NOVEMBER 8, 1996: “What Lied Beneath” …

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On this cool, crisp day in November, John asked me to meet him at a church in Sachse where he had been invited by one of my new Christian friends and mentors, Angie (who he’d also befriended) to attend a Power Team Christian evangelism show where he would also later be baptized that as well. He said that he had “something very exciting and important” to tell me that night, and based upon the tone and context of the recent conversations we’d been having I had every reason to believe that he was actually going to propose to me! Imagine my surprise then when after the baptism I was led into a room in the back of the church, where there he was standing, beside Angie and her entire family, a lot of people whom I’d truly come to admire and respect. It was then that John told me that “he was so sorry”, but over the last months, and completely unbeknownst to me, “God had called them together”, they’d fallen madly in love, and had been hiding their relationship from me. There I stood, just as I had 20 years before, numb and sick with the same stinging, disconnected pain just beneath the top layer of my skin on “the day of the Spic and Span“. I walked out of the church, heartbroken and alone, and just started driving on a 300-mile round trip to Oklahoma City and back. I’d just danced with the devil, a narcissist of unspeakable proportion, who after all was said and done “hoovered me” for years to come, but that’s another story for another time.

When I arrived back in Dallas, it was just about time for the Saturday parking lot meet up with Christian and his dad for our weekend custody switch. I was wrecked beyond belief but doing everything I could to keep it all together for my son’s sake. I needed not to let what had happened the night before break me down completely, and by this stage in the game I was a pro at stuffing painful things down and pretending they just didn’t exist. Despite my best efforts, though, I consciously decided to pick a fight with my ex-husband so I could just run away and avoid having to fake my way through a “normal” weekend visit with son. I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours, had just experienced the second biggest bombshell of my life, and although I didn’t know it, was less than 15 minutes away from the first of my nervous breakdowns. I went back to my parents’, where I’d been living at the time, swallowed every single pill, capsule, and liquid medicine I could find in my bathroom. I JUST WANTED TO “GO HOME”!

The details of that morning were never very clear, but I do remember just lying there, rocking back and forth and screaming that I wanted to be with God. It was my sister who first realized what I had done to myself and called 911. Meanwhile, my ex-husband and Christian had followed me home because he’d been concerned that something was just “off” at our meeting and was worried. My parents were ballistic as my sister was frantically pulling me out of the bed and dragging me to the bathroom to throw up everything I’d swallowed. While I cannot and will not ever say that I actually died that day, what I can say is that something did happen within my body and soul in that moment that not only defies logic, but as well everything I’d been taught to believe about life, death, and “hereafter” in my cradle Catholicism. It was “something”. I went “somewhere”. “Somewhere” I can still hardly fathom. No, I never saw “the light” we all hear people talk about when they’ve had a near death experience, because again, I don’t think I was actually dying. Rather, there was a numbing, soothing, lulling void in my mind, as if I were being cradled in blissful nothingness by every single hand from every single shred of the universe at once. It was ethereal to say the least, and even still when I think of it I want to cry, but not in a sad way, in a joyous one. “That moment” fully devoured and immersed me in something so much bigger than my simple mind will ever understand, yet at the same time I very much do understand it.

Meanwhile, my Christian, a mere five years old at the time, managed to slip through all the chaos and come to me. He, too, was ballistic and frantically crying, but had taken hold of my wrist and was patting my back as though HE were the parent consoling their child. Up until that point, I hadn’t been able to focus on anything in the room, because everything around me was just “dark”, yet I could very clearly hear my son was saying:

Mommy, God’s not ready for you to go home. He wants you to stay here and be my Mom.

It’s imperative to note that although I could see his mouth moving and hear the words he was saying, it was not Christian’s voice I was hearing. I firmly believe, and will never be convinced otherwise, that it was God Himself was speaking to me through my son.

I stayed in the hospital for a few days until the state had me committed to a local Dallas psyche ward where I underwent intense treatment for clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the sorely delayed but much needed rape counseling I’d never gotten. My whole family was involved in this process, which was something that by then that we were all in dire need of. Looking back, I realize that I didn’t want to die that morning, I just couldn’t pull myself out of the black hole that I was in. I was lucky. Very lucky. I made it home in time for Christmas that year, feeling lighter and happier than I had in years, clear-headed, focused, and internally combusted with a fire in my soul of epic proportion. Despite the unbelievably selfish horror I had put them all through, my entire family welcomed me home again.

As for the devil? He never ONCE turned back see what he had done! It was such an easy choice for him to just discard me as the unwanted “baggage” he’d also once referred to as my son. As for me? It was everything, because I loved him, I’d trusted him, and had given him every piece of my already broken heart I could have given. As for her? Her betrayal of me “in Jesus’ name” literally murdered my soul and caused spiritual damage within my heart, soul and psyche that would literally take years to recover from.

Perhaps you’ve heard it said: “The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for”. It wasn’t for years that I’d finally understand that they were two of the actual devil’s own. He, the consummate wolf in sheep’s clothing, and she, by the name of “Angela”, the most beautiful angel of Light I could have known. My friend, my mentor, and “sister in Christ”, with a pit viper’s tongue and a knife in her backstabbing hand. Indeed, it was my darkest hour to find out what really lied beneath the surface of two of the most truly evil “things” I’ve ever encountered. How very starved these two pathetic human creatures must have been that my heart became meals for his very small affect and her insignificant, insecure, and insincere ego.

WHAT LIES BENEATH

Take a breath. Hold it in. Start a fight. You won’t win. Had enough. Let’s begin. Never mind. I don’t care. All in all, you’re no good. You don’t cry like you should. Let it go if you could when love dies in the end. So I’ll find what lies beneath your sick twisted smile as I lay underneath your cold, jaded eyes. Now you’ve turned the tide on me ’cause you’re so unkind. I will always be here for the rest of my life. Here we go. Does it hurt? Say goodbye to this world. I will not be undone. Come to life. It gets worse. … Don’t carry me under. You’re the Devil in disguise. God sing for the hopeless. I’m the one you left behind. {Breaking Benjamin}