MAY 15, 2022: “Mother THINGS And Monsters” …

Okay, so let’s clarify this whole “mother THING” dealio once and for all!

While there are probably a fair amount of people who feel this way but aren’t as willing to openly admit it, I personally believe there should be NO mercy, grace, or forgiveness whatsoever for “mother THINGS” that (not “who”) mindfully and willfully either cause or allow grave harm to a child of their own womb.

Judge not others lest ye be judged. (Matthew 7:1-3)

Yet, are the THINGS that are capable of inflicting grave harm upon their children even “human” at all and therefore subject to God’s disdain of judging or wishing them actual hell?

I really can forgive anyone for just about anything, and as God is my witness, I HAVE! But I’ll just keeping taking people on a case-by-case basis. The Devil’s Own really do walk among us, but I’m not even sure they’re “people”. They’re a different kind of breed “thing” altogether. I’m not quite sure I’ll ever get to the point that I stop avidly praying that God really DOES sort us all out in the end. I’m just a mortal human, not a god or Jesus Christ, so I’ll just keeping asking for “forgiveness” for not being too excited about the idea of “mercy for the merciless”.

(“They Walk Amongst Us” … from The Diary Of My Perfection}

Just to be clear, I’m not simply talking about selfish, inattentive, ill-prepared, immature, or narcissistic moms who are truly oblivious to the damage they cause their children. Been there, done that, and trust me when I say that we are a collective wrecking ball crew to our own. I may be sanctimonious at times, but I’m not even gonna deny my own regrettable crimes against my children.

I wear the hearts of two children on my sleeve who are still navigating the wreckage my former tragic mothering and mental illness caused them, so any shame or guilt I’ve suffered for not having done better sooner is well-deserved. Have they forgiven me? Yes. Have I forgiven myself? Yes. Have they forgotten? Absolutely NOPE, nor shall they ever, and nor shall I. If they have to remember everything, then why should I be afforded the luxury of “I FUCKED UP MY KIDS AMNESIA”?

That being said, if, like me, you have fucked up your kids but are able to acknowledge, account, and atone for it, indeed I believe there is mercy and grace to be found. Owning up to my parenting flubs and “remembering everything” with them is what keeps me growing forward as a stronger, wiser, and healthier mom who is determined to break the generations of cyclically egregious parenting on my tree. Let’s face it, people, you can’t fix something you don’t think is broken, and that includes ourselves. De-NILE was for little baby Moses, my friends, and in a basket I am not.

Meanwhile, I am talking about the seriously life-altering and mind-bending crimes against at the hands of “mothers” that NO CHILD deserves to suffer through. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • Throwing their babies in the trash or just leaving them out in the freezing fucking cold on a curb or even a doorstep.
  • Murdering them, drowning them, choking them, setting fire to them, burying them alive, locking them in closets, caging, or chaining them like a rabid fucking animal, starving, burning them, or “sticking stuff” in places where stuff isn’t supposed to be stuck in them until they are grown ass adults who consent!
  • Coat-hanger SLAUGHTERING or letting a medically sanctioned hired hitman SHANK them in utero right through their already formed and beating hearts, seeing eyes, hearing ears, and feeling spinal cords. (YUP! I just went there!)

None of these horrors are forgivable to me, and even a crocodile mommy instinctually knows better than to intentionally torment a life she bears in such detestable ways.

Look, there’s NO such thing as a perfect mom, because after all, most of us are only human. But sooner or later, even the worst of us wrecking ball mommies can grow up, take a sobering look at the body count on the battlefield of our children’s lives and the failed flights we caused, APOLOGIZE, move on, then just do fucking BETTER!

It is my avid prayer that these THINGS will eventually be dealt with accordingly and made to pay for their crimes against the humanity that THEY made and BROKE! I can’t imagine that God will take such travesties lightly, as when He blessed women with a womb, it would seem that He did so with the intention of populating the world, NOT destroying it.

I’ll never forget the day in 2016 when my secretly crumbling husband, whose own mother THING discarded him, heard it for the first time while we were driving. The stoic tears that fell from his eyes in that moment still haunt me. After that, he would play it often and always said it made him think about that “thing” that gave birth to him.

Now, I’m not saying that every child of a mother THING grows up to be a monster, but the truth is many do. I’m also not saying that my husband was a monster, but in the end there was a monster living inside his head that he felt he had to stop from hurting us any further, and thus the bullet to his head.

If YOU are a mother THING that is reading this, here’s hoping that the fate you meet is far greater than anything you ever did to one of your own. Also? YOU’RE GROSS!

More than that, if you are THE CHILD of a mother THING who is reading this, YOU DIDN’T FUCKING DESERVE THAT! Just because everyone isn’t as openly angry at the THING that was supposed to love you more than her own life itself as I am, it doesn’t mean you aren’t thought of, cared for, prayed over, and deeply loved by more of us than you will ever know. Don’t you DARE let yourself be defined by the monster that brought into this world or think for one minute that God didn’t see it ALL!

MONSTER

Under the knife I surrendered. The innocence yours to consume. You cut it away and you filled me up with hate. Into the silence you sent me. Into the fire consumed. You thought I’d forget, but it’s always in my head. You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me? You’re the love that I hate. You’re the drug that I take. Will you cage me? Will you cage me? You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me from the monster you made me? The monster you made me? This is the world you’ve created. The product of what I’ve become. My soul and my youth? Seems it’s all for you to use. If I could take back the moment I’d let you get under my skin. Relent or resist? Seems the monster always wins. You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me? You’re the love that I hate. You’re the drug that I take. Will you cage me? Will you cage me? You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me from the monster you made me? From the monster you made me? My heart’s an artifice, a decoy soul. I lift you up and then I let you go. I’ve made an art of digging shallow holes. I’ll drop the darkness in and watch it grow. Who knew the emptiness could be so cold? I’ve lost the parts of me that make me whole. I am the darkness. I’m a monster. {Starset}

MAY 11, 2022: “The SON Will Shine Again” …

After a downright harrowing weekend of watching my daughter hit a pretty big emotional wall, having her home safe with me for a couple of extra days as we worked her through a process, then finally having to take her back to school, I’d been doing everything within my mommy powers not to text her during the day to just make sure she was okay. She had enough on her plate just walking onto the campus in the first place, and she, like me, all but dreads even “wanted” text messages when she’s trying to get out of her own head.

Meanwhile, I get this “is she okay” text from her ride or die bestie who didn’t even know she was already back at school. Knowing my child like I know her, although she probably very much “needed” to see her friends today, she was probably doing her best to avoid seeing her friends today to protect them from her perceived burden of struggling emotions. Learning to lean a support system is hard enough when your adult, much less when you’re a teenage girl whose “tribe” has somehow managed to band together from an array of equally struggling and burdened yolks. But hey, that’s another story for a different day, right?

Despite the brief moment of panic after receiving the text from Five (“Five”, by the way, because she’s like my “fifth child”), how blessed are we both that she finally has friends like this in her atmosphere who care for her so much so that they’ll even resort to reaching out to her dear ole mom when they notice that she’s gone missing? God Himself knows that it wasn’t always this way for her. Indeed there was a time, not too long ago, when she could have been missing for a week or two on end and not one of her putrid “frenemies” would have cared, much less have taken the time to go looking for her.

After having all but begged her to go find her people as she was getting out of the car today and not isolate herself the way we both tend to do only to be alerted to the sobering fact that she was indeed MIA, all I could do was literally hit my knees at the foot of the panic chair in my room and beg God to cover her with His love and protection as she navigates her internal storm.

It’s 95 degrees here in Dallas, today, not a single cloud anywhere in the sky, and because I was so focused on her all weekend long, I was thankfully focused on a barrage of neglected chores. I say thankfully because, for me, keeping busy on a day like this is just … BETTER! Meanwhile, there I was just standing and the kitchen counter sorting out the trash from her perch when one of my favorite songs of this lifetime cycled up to the cue.

This sweet song that I first heard over 25 years ago has gotten me through SO many dark days of my own, ever the consummate “light in the dark”, so much so that my words fail to properly express it. So, what are the chances that my “music wheel of destiny” would magically spin it up to me this morning as though God Himself knew I would need to hear it when I saw my Mona Lisa’s “smile” fall to the floor?

I won’t go into details about the black clouds looming in her sky right now, because not only is it just too overwhelming and tender at the moment, it’s not my place to share the intimate details of her private mental health journey. Sufficed to say, though, I’m in a pure power and grace momma bear survival mode for BOTH my kids’ sake these days, have been for many months now, and will be until both their suns rise again.

But guess what?

I once knew a girl who had lost everything. The story goes but it doesn’t end in misery. Down the road of circumstance awaited reality, ’cause she found a new beginning. You see, that girl was me.

I know her sun will shine again before her dreams fade away. I’ll just remember there’s a Savior who will brighten up her day. I know the sun will shine again … on her.

{Words Adapted from “The Sun Will Shine Again” by David & The Giants}

Yes, I’m a roller coaster of raw emotion today, but thank you GOD that I’ve survived so storms of my own that I know now more than ever that I have to keep my own oxygen mask on tighter than ever so that I can catch my babies when they’re falling.

This parenting gig ain’t for the faint of heart, my friends, and especially as a relatively new widowed and single mom who on the surface appears to have no partner to weather the stormy seas with. The truth is, though, that I very much do have a partner in my parenthood and I am never all alone. This precious paper smiley face falling to the floor is proof positive that I have learned to trust and lean on my Father, Who indeed is greater than this storm. I know her Sun will shine again, and so will mine keep shining. After all, I’m still God’s favorite daughter, and now that I think of it, so is she.

THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN

I hear you say you’re going through  a big ordeal. Complications  … your heart is breaking … you can’t see through. Time goes by. You don’t know why you can’t find the clue. Seem s the night is always darkest before the morning light. Life  is filled with fire and rain and winds of change. Seems as though the things we know are misunderstood. But  the trying of our faith is working for the good, ’cause we learn to trust our Father Who is greater than the storm. I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior. He’ll brighten up your day. I know The Son will shine again on you. I once knew a man who had lost everything. The story goes, but it doesn’t end in misery. Down the road of circumstance waits reality, ’cause he found a new beginning. You see, that man was me. I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior. He’ll brighten up your day. I know The Son will shine again on you. I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or stranded in the rain. Close your eyes now. Wake up and proclaim! I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior … He’ll brighten up your day! I know The Son will shine again on you. {David & The Giants}

MAY 8, 2008: “One Son’s Angel” …

~ Evelyn Pansy Williamson ~
(One Son’s Angel)

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:

Zachariah,

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.

~ Us

🌺🌸🌼🌺🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺

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.

“The Staircase”

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.

APRIL 24, 2022: “My Perfectly Mistaken Quarters” …

… ’cause when it’s a 4:30am covert meeting of a phoenix, sage, and PIRATE and his ever so faithful crew, this shit just hits a little different. Jean-Claude Van DAMN he’s so fucking right …

I AM A PERFECT MISTAKE!

It’s taken all the people in the history of my timeline and the masterful compilation of their coming and going, hunting and gathering, scavenging and foraging, falling and rising, destroying and building, sinking and swimming, killing and conquering, lying and truth telling, silence and screaming, plus some perfectly imperfect genetic coding to create this glorious fucking STORM that I am.

I’ve known long well that I’m a jacked up train wreck of a beautiful disaster. It was my equally jacked up train wreck of a beautiful disaster husband who would physically hold me in the mirror when I couldn’t see my own reflection and force me to say these words out loud:

I love you Catherine Williamson! Not just some of you – ALL of you!

My husband found me (or did I find him?) when I was at my rock bottom worst in every possible mental and physical way:

For 16 years I have searched for my own reflection in another person’s eyes but could never find it. I looked into the mirror and felt ugly. I felt dirty, empty and invisible. I see the way people look at me but have never really understood it. What the hell could anyone possibly see? There’s nothing here. I’m hollow. “Lights, smoke, and illusion!” Please, please, please Henrik, hear what I am saying. Last July, when it was finally time for the doctors to take the bandages off my chest and stomach, I came home and couldn’t even walk past a mirror, much less look inside one. I knew then that my destruction was finally complete, but just didn’t know how to reckon myself with the reality. That’s when I decided to not EVER search for my missing reflection again, whether in a mirror or through the eyes of another! I just gave up. Two full days passed before I was finally able to take my shirt off and I couldn’t actually look at myself for weeks. When the day finally came, I just stood there and cried. I touched my scars, held my stomach, dropped down to my bathroom floor and cried for so many hours you can’t begin to imagine. I thought my life was over, which was par for the entire course, and I knew from that day on I would NEVER “show myself” to another living soul, whether physically or emotionally. When I was done crying, and God I remember this like it was yesterday, I stood up, wiped away my tears, straightened my shoulders and began to devise a plan that would allow me to continue the “grand illusion”. I got dressed, got in the car and had Him drive me to a little shop across town that carried prosthetic implants I could stuff inside my bra to disguise my mutilated chest. I walked back out of that shop a whole and “perfect” woman again. Got back home, pulled into the driveway and never looked back. I have played the game very well I might add with the cards I’ve been dealt in a manner that would cause no one I love to suffer.

{“So Far Away“}

It was his unconditional love for me just the way I was that forever chased away the clouds of “imperfection” that had once loomed over my head. Slowly, but surely, I became less afraid to surrender “all of me” to not just my love for him, but the love I’d desperately needed for myself as well.

God Himself knows how much I do truly love myself now, PERFECT MISTAKES AND ALL, and not a day passes that I don’t still stand in the mirror and literally see my husband, my God, my angels, my ancestors, and even a few of my demons standing right behind me whispering, “You got this! You’re our reason! You’re our gift, our scion, our message, and our voice!” They’re the zephyrs in my sky who hold me upright and push me forward into this perpetual state of punctuation and magic that I’ve become as I navigate this sea of madness. In the meantime, as I continue to soar through these fleeting golden years of mine,

I’ll be wearing steel that’s bright and true and carrying news that must get through. I’ll choose the path where no-one goes. I’ll hold no quarter, no quarter, oh!

{Words Adapted from “No Quarters” by Led Zeppelin}

I love you so dearly, Ivan FUCKING Moody, my kindred soul and friend. I cannot tell you how long I’ve been waiting for the perfect time, space, and words I needed to blog out this very special song. It was one of his favorites and I listen to it often. He truly believed he was a pirate in another life, and the first time I ever heard him say it, I thought he was just being silly. Nope! He wasn’t! Every single time that man stared out across an ocean amid our many adventures, he insisted that he’d been out there before. The funny thing is that while searching for the missing pieces of himself that he’d never known anything about because of his abysmal childhood, the Ancestry report we fetched really did seem to point in that direction. Meanwhile, here I am, just swabbing the deck of my jacked up proverbial ship, and I cannot thank you enough. Your words of wisdom never cease to amaze or fail me, and I truly hope that they’re blowing through the sails of some other jacked up pirates’ sails, too.

NO QUARTER

Close the door, put out the light. No, I won’t be home tonight. The snow falls hard and don’t you know? The winds of Thor are blowing cold. I’m wearing steel that’s bright and true and carrying news that must get through. I choose the path where no-one goes. I hold no quarter, no quarter, oh! Walking side-by-side with death. The devil mocks my every step, ooh. The snow drives back the foot that’s slow. The dogs of doom are howling more. I carry news that must get through to build a dream for me and you, oh, oh, oh. This path I choose where no one goes … I hold no quarter, oh. {Led Zeppelin}

APRIL 21, 2022: “The Weeping” …

Yes, it is true, I’m a 2,000%, certifiably crazy, deaf, dumb, and blind, sold-out believer. Yes, I also listen to heavy metal music and think that crows are messengers from The Cosmos, which Cosmos is the God I believe in, and yes, even though I have a seriously foul mouth, more than my fair share of flaws, and a few too many tattoos, I have indeed read The Bible cover to cover twice, and YES, my favorite verse in it just happens to be the shortest and therefore easiest to memorize.

That being said, not a single day in my life has passed in the 26 years that I’ve personally known and had a relationship with Jesus that I don’t mentally picture Him “weeping”. It’s the one spiritual principal that I’ve grasped on to the very tightest and yes, I actually “hold” that mental picture of Him weeping near to my heart and “feel” the actual idea of Jesus weeping. He weeps for me. He weeps for you. He weeps for all of this jacked up FUCKING bullshit that He’s watching go down as time passes by and the division in humanity becomes its demise, and WOW, look at me, I just cursed again!

I’m not gonna lie, folks, there’s been a lot of dark and toxic “stuff” hanging in the balance over not necessarily my own head, but the heads of my beautiful children. My one and only son is fighting a domestic and internal war against an enemy that is all but devouring him, which “enemy” is one of the very few people he’s loved, trusted, and had unyielding and completely blind faith in all the days of his life. Meanwhile, as his mother, all I can do is just sit back and watch as he is metaphorically dangling over a muddied swamp with just one beast in it. It’s a hopeless, torturous, and abysmal feeling, because unless and until he can find the strength and courage to finally walk away from that beast once and for all there is nothing I can do to help him. So, today, amid the carnage and fallout from a battlefield I am literally helpless on, all I could manage to do is feel like weeping. So, guess what?

I LET MYSELF!

Weeping is one of the things that makes me a human being and not the monster this world full of Satan’s minions wants to turn me into. If you’ve been around this Diary long enough by now, you know that I have a song for every entry, but that some songs have made an appearance more than once:

And by the way, it’s okay to feel sadness and grief for the things that have died inside of you, and it’s certainly okay to cry. Now that I think of it, it’s such a blessing that one of my favorite verses in the Bible also happens to be the shortest: JOHN 11:35: Jesus wept. So, with that, yes … GO AHEAD AND CRY AS OFTEN AS YOU NEED TO! Get mad! Scream loud! Do what you must to let yourself feel everything that’s hurt you so can finally let it go! Then, someday when it’s time for you to sit back and marvel at what you’ve survived, listen to this song again.

{“Reopening A Gift“}

Indeed, I “reopened my gift” of human weeping this day, and now I’m about to hit my knees and thank GOD that He ever gave this precious gift to me in the first place. If weeping was good enough for His Son, then weeping is good enough for me, and I’d be hard-pressed not to forget that there are some people in this world who either can’t or simply won’t allow themselves the utmost privilege and honor of “weeping”. For those people, too, I will pray tonight. Everyone should be so lucky to be able to just let themselves weep when they need to. Goodnight everyone.

APRIL 6, 2022: “What Would Elsa Do?” …

Long and potentially arduous story KINDA short, but then again, maybe not REALLY that short:

As Elsa from that “Frozen” movie once said over, and over, and over again … “Let ’em go! Let’ em go! Let all those driveway bullshitters GO!” Okay, so maybe that’s not how the song song really goes, but you HAVE to get my drift! NO THING and NO ONE is ever worth making yourself physically ill and literally “inflamed and swollen”!

If you are the one emitting the noxious, toxic fume that’s making the people around you physically ill, “inflamed and swollen”: DON’T BE A TOXIC WASTELAND! There’s a “Real Cat” name for you here in this Diary, and umm, do you really want to be thought of as a “Drinking Straw Parasite“?

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, but not until you go ahead and listen to this oh so cliche’ freakin’ Disney princess song about why you need to just LET GO of the toxins in your life. Whether you’re ingesting them or emitting them … LET ‘EM GO!

APRIL 4, 2022: “The Grey High” …

Ain’t it funny how things happen sometimes? I mean, c’mon people … do any of you still only believe in random coincidence? As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m yummily wrapped up in one of the king’s ginormous grey sweaters that on any other given Monday would have traveled in Gia’s backpack to her dad’s house. But for the fact that I just happened to be doing laundry last night instead of on my regularly scheduled Sunday afternoon, it wouldn’t have been here to greet me this morning when I decided to just make it a “grey day” and stay home to enjoy the peaceful oblivion of my happily solitary existence. Hell, I wasn’t even done reveling in and relishing the last four beautiful days I had of time spent with my precious kids and family, the message I got from Skid Row, and that fucking EPIC German schnitzel sandwich situation. I mean, BRING IT you badass Cosmos

I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!

Meanwhile, I popped on to Instagram earlier only to find that while I was busy “queening” around my castle in one of the best “grey highs” I’ve had in a while, that today has marked yet another powerful 5FDP moment. It was the official release of the “Brighter Side Of Grey” video:

It’s hard to believe that our last record “F8” came out over 2 years ago in the beginning of 2020, born into the whirlwind of events that dominated our lives and will echo into the rest of our history. Those of you intimately familiar with that album, now know how some of F8’s dystopian lyrics became rather prophetic. Brighter Side of Grey was an important song on that record, but especially personal to Ivan (who’s the only parent in the band). It is a more than fitting commentary to what’s going on in the world that probably needs a good reminder right about now that we are here only for second, a tiny blip on the flow of time… not just as individuals but as an entire species. It took a trillion conditions to be just right for human life to exist in this Universe, yet it takes just one to go terribly wrong and make it all disappear. This song also serves as the perfect bridge to our new album we just finished this week, which generally revolves around similar existential questions. It’s incredible how much we don’t understand about our own existence, yet everyone’s relationship with the concept of death permeates, even orients their entire lives. Can’t wait to share it… enjoy this video and stay tuned for new music and big tour announcements in the very near future!

{FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH YOUTUBE}

In case you didn’t already know this yet, this isn’t just a song to me, and grey isn’t just a color. “The Brighter Side Of Grey” is an entire mindset and way of life for me:

Grey is not just a color to me – IT’S EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN! It’s the grace I’ve received that is so undeserved yet given to me anyway by The One who has never loved me with black and white conditions. He “takes the best parts of me and locks them away without the key” and I know that He is never far away. He’s the Light that shines ahead of my journey and dilutes the blackness of the abyss into the most beautiful shades of grey. For more than four decades, I lived a black and white existence with no room for the forlorn grey I knew I needed but didn’t know how to connect with. As I look back at this picture now, I’m filled with the most unbelievable solace you can imagine. It reminds me of just how far I’ve comethat it was always supposed to be this way, and there is always a “Brighter Side Of Grey”. I’m not gonna lie … it is now my final wish that when it’s time for me to move along, this is the last song I hear as they bid me farewell.

{“The Brighter Side Of Grey“}

I could keep going on and on about the brighter side of grey of it all, but honestly, I’m so done writing about it. Now I want to live in it! I want to sit back, relax, and inhale all the life nugget goodness.

Today is such a good day in the music world, my friends. Not just for the factions of knuckleheads like me who have been anxiously awaiting this “official” BSOG video, but likewise for anyone else who sees it, hears the words, and really bites in to its soberingly prophetic message.

This life we’re living really is just a blip, and yes, the lights will go down. Do everything within your power to ensure that when your door closes for the very last time that you leave your light on for the people you’ve left behind and not just a darkened void. It’s how you’ll become “nothing, everything, and ALL of it” and leave this place a little better than you found it.

APRIL 2, 2022: “The Day Of The Epic Schnitzel Sandwich” …

Indeed, it’s been a “brighter side” kinda day, and THIS little beacon of light shining on an intersection between me and Him was beyond powerful.

Jean-Claude Van Damn NOPE, my kids’ father has done way too many things to count over the years that made me literally think about running him over with my car. And FYI, I wouldn’t actually run anyone over with my car all you people, so simmer down if you’re freaking out right now and thinking about calling the Dateline NBC hotline. Lol. At “fifty-TWO-good-to-be-true” years old and not that far from “fifty-THREE-it’s-SO-good-to-be-me”, if I’d been capable of actually running someone over with my car, I’m fairly certain it would have happened by now. But I’ve digressed!

My point is that this very German man who I’ve loved to hate so many times really has pissed me off during the course of our lifetime with our kids together (because after all, I’m such a perfect mom, lol). But guess what, people? Even after all the “way too many things to count” fucked up things he’s pulled, THESE are the moments and stories I desperately want our daughter to remember and tell her own kids down the road.

Hey, BRATS! I mean “Crazy Grandma Cat’s grandkids“! Let me tell you a super cool story about your Grandpa and “the day of the epic schnitzel sandwich”!

So, with that, to any “co-parenting” parents out there reading this right now, please remember that no matter how many times you’ve ever thought about running YOUR baby’s momma or daddy over with your car, or HOW many fucked up, jacked up, AWFUL things they may have done to you and yours, if and when they do something epic and powerfully right, be sure to give them the props and credit they are due and tell your kids the same. While no parent is perfect, and some of us can and have been nightmares, sometimes we CAN do things that are incredibly redeeming, so if and when that happens, what could be the harm in telling each other, “Good job”!

Keep looking for the brighter side of ALL the fucked-up greys, my co-parenting friends. EMBRACE IT when you find it and do whatever you must to try and change the toxic narratives that are being fed to your children’s psyches. Trust me when I tell you that not only will they likely look back and thank you for it, “nuggets like these” will serve their mental wealth and memories so much better than, “I’m pretty sure my mom might have wanted to run my dad over with her car”. Just sayin’!

APRIL 1, 2022: “Show Me A Sign” …

… because when you see a random picture then immediately hear one of your “Top 10” favorite life songs playing in your head, you know that the picture wasn’t really random:

Show me a sign to a light that shines one direction into another … sheltered peace of mind.

This isn’t just a random picture of a rockstar hugging his daughter. It’s a message of hope and healing to every parent in this jacked up fucking world who is hell bent on changing the generational curses and narratives that have haunted their family tree for years.

This picture represents the unconditional love between a parent and their child that refuses to give up, and the possibility of better things to come for families like mine that have been broken by mental illness, addiction demons, and toxic cycles of their own. If you know, YOU KNOW … if you don’t, YOU DON’T … and if you don’t, you should literally get down on your knees and thank The Heavens and Stars.

Somewhere I lost a piece of memory, but somehow, I know my legs will carry me. Searching for circle’s end, hoping the wounds will mend.

Yes, it’s true. Somewhere I have lost so many pieces of my memory. But then again, no, I really haven’t. You see, it’s all the little jacked up, fucked up, and also very beautiful mental nuggets I keep stored in this rabbit-hole head of mine that keep me safely anchored to my own soul while I’m out there perpetually searching for the circle’s end. It’s also why I’m cosmically drawn to otherapostrophes” in this world who somehow manage to crash my pity parties with signs like these of positivity and optimism right on cue when my burgeoning pessimism needs to be redirected into better and more constructive thinking. It’s how I’ve managed to become the “nothing, everything, and all of it” that I am, and truth being told, I wouldn’t have it any other fucking way.

Today has been a very good day, and I’m SO beyond thankful for this moment of “light in the dark”. Truth being told, I’ve been kinda struggling with some tired old, familial demons of my own as of late, so I really needed to see this picture and the video that inspired it to remind me, once again, to keep on keeping the faith, leaning on my own resilience, looking for the signs of hope, and forging ahead as my legs carry me forward as the living embodiment of power and grace that I know I’ve truly become.

As and aside, if you ever actually read this Ivan, please know that I am so beyond proud to know you, my Phoenix friend, even prouder of your “little girl”, and forever grateful for the many unintentional ways your journey has intersected with mine as my paths keep changing from one direction into another and I cross all these bridges alone (but never lonely). If that voice of yours was only ever meant to reach just one other person’s ears and make their internal voices a little less loud and messy, then I’d say you’re doing a bang up job you giant fucker! I hear you, see you, and feel you LOUD AND CLEAR, and I know I’m not the only one who feels the same. Much love to you, my friend. Just keep on keeping your faith – one day and “little nugget” at a time. ❤️

INTO ANOTHER

Slowly I heal the love that’s found its way on to another path in times of change. Crossing that bridge alone, hoping our strength will hold. Should they let go then let me lay. Let me lay. Show me a sign to a light that shines one direction into another – sheltered peace of mind. Somewhere I lost a piece of memory, but somehow I know my legs will carry me. Searching for circle’s end, hoping the wounds will mend. Should this scar, then it was meant to be. {Skid Row}

MARCH 23, 2022: “Change The Channel PLEASE!” …

I’ve said it before,

and I’ll say it again …

This ever-lovin’ man bashing biz is getting about as old as the crotchety, hate-filled, unkind women who will surely only grow as old and bitter as their toxic minds, tongues, hearts, and souls that are stuck on this same old tired channel.

REMEMBER

It really does take two to tango, and umm, the last time I checked, Jesus’ beloved and truly saintly mother, Mary, is no longer here on the face of this Earth, so unless and until some crotchety and bitter man-hating bitch can show me the perfect human woman, I’m not standing for this “ALL MEN ARE” complete and total BULLSHIT narrative anymore. It’s getting tired, and old, and the horse is beaten and dead now. Mmmmkay? Thanks!

MARCH 19, 2022: “New York! New York!” …

NEW YORK!

NEW YORK!

Over Spring Break, I was both privileged and honored to have chaperoned a week-long trip to New York City sponsored by the art department at Gia’s high school. Fifteen teenagers, four museums, three Broadway shows, all five boroughs, and a lifetime of beautiful memories for she and I to add to our ever-growing adventure passport.

Of course, it goes without saying that given the less-than-optimal circumstances we could have been left in with Zack’s way too early departure, not only might I not have been able to even afford to send her on this trip, but I also probably wouldn’t have been able to chaperone it, either. With that, she and I were both ever mindful of the abundant blessings in our life courtesy of him, and rather than being said that he wasn’t actually there with us, we reveled in the pure joy of knowing that if, as we suspect, he can still see what we are doing, he was smiling ear to ear watching us live out our dreams and the many wishes he had for her. I didn’t take as many pictures as I could of, because I wanted to live this experience through my OWN lens and not the camera’s. These are just some highlights.

As and aside, I absolutely love New England, always have, always will, and being uprooted and whisked away LITERALLY overnight from my home, my childhood, grandfather, aunts, uncles, family, cousins, and one of the most beautiful places in this country was, indeed, my first true childhood “trauma”.

Meanwhile, it looks as though Gia is hooked, lined, and SINKERED, and will be going to art and design school somewhere on the east coast! I find no irony in this … just a beautiful, bittersweet circle in my life which a GAPING hole in it that will be coming into its full completion.

After everything this child has had to endure in life thus far, seeing the pure joy and true love for the overall New England vibe and aesthetic made my heart so happy. I believe with everything in my soul that New England is where she truly belongs. Only time will tell, I suppose, but now IS the time for her to start touring campuses. I’m down with that plan and also very excited for her!

MARCH 19, 2022: “The Price We Pay To Play” …

Useless news flash for all of you: Today is both “World Monopoly Dayand it’s 81st birthday! Yes, my friends, it was on this day eight decades ago that the iconic, monocle sporting, sharp dressed little dude we all know and love, “Rich Uncle Penny Bags” was born!

So, in keeping with the game play theme, I want to share something kinda poignant I’ve learned about playing games over the years … that is … there is a price to pay for rolling the dice. And no, I’m not necessarily talking about the metaphorical life games we play with peoples’ hearts and minds, I’m talking about the actual games we play for fun and jest like our beloved Monopoly.

You really can learn a lot about not just other people, but yourself as well, when playing recreational “games” with them. Watch how a person plays any kind of game, be them board games, cards, video games, and even sports, and you’ll catch a fairly authentic glimpse of not just their personality, but how they handle and present themselves in everyday, social, and business settings as well. If you pay close enough attention, you’ll likely be able to see their:

  • Ethics.
  • Morality.
  • Honesty.
  • Integrity.
  • Patience.
  • Humility.
  • Priorities.
  • Coping skills.
  • Jealousy.
  • Generosity.

If you pay even closer enough attention, you may be able to see their:

  • Ability to hold random conversations.
  • Sense of entitlement if there is one.
  • Ability to compromise and be flexible.
  • Ability to collaborate.
  • Ability to share.
  • Overall life goals and motivation.
  • Attitude about people in general.

Ya wanna know what kind of person you’re really dealing with in “real life”? Challenge them to a game of Monopoly, pop some popcorn, and observe! Of all the things you can garner about a person’s personality, many of which aren’t even listed above, perhaps the most telltale sign of who and what they really are is their attitude whether they win or lose. Do they accept defeat with anger, resentment, jealously, and tantrum, or do they accept it with a “win some or lose some” grain of salt”? Or if they win, do they become a pompous in your face ASSHOLE, or just stay humble and thankful that “this time” they won because “sometimes they don’t”?

Truth being told, I myself have learned a great many things about my own children, God love them both, having both watched and played play board games with them over the years. As it turns out, I’ve raised one shark and one saint, neither of whom I’ll identify by name to either protect their guilt or save their face, lol.

Meanwhile, one of my darlings has been known to literally flip the Monopoly board upside down in a fit of rage when the game isn’t going their way and takes great personal offense when they can’t manage to con someone into selling them ALL the prime real estate on the bougie block of the board. That’s also the same child who shows no mercy whatsoever when people land on their Boardwalk hotel and have to forfeit the game. Meanwhile, much like me, my other one simply walks away from lost board games like, “So what, I lost, but DAMN that was fun!” That’s the same one who feels awful and shares more than an abundance of grace, often to their own demise, when someone lands on their Boardwalk and is on the brink of their own demise.

I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN telling you people – BOARD GAMES are the “real deal” when it comes to reading people. And by the way, as I said at the beginning, this “game playing test” also works for ourselves. As I’ve gotten older and really homed in on the process of self-discovery, awareness, and accountability, I, too, have “checked and balanced myself” when I was playing a game by really thinking about “why” I either did or didn’t react in certain ways or think, say, or do certain things:

Damn, girl, why’d you do that? It’s JUST a game?”

… or …

Damn, girl, why’d you do that? Don you even WANT to win this game?

As far as I’m concerned, and in case you haven’t already figured this out by now in reading through my Diary, there really is a message in every moment and something to be learned in the process and outcome of every single thing in which we endeavor. EVEN SILLY BOARD GAMES! Yes, there sure is a price to pay for “playing games” with the truly discerning amongst us, that being the risk of showing who you really are. By the time the game is over though, the end will have justified the means, ’cause let’s be honest, folks, these days it’s getting harder to tell the difference between real and make believe. Whether or not we like it or will admit it, so many people are hiding from even themselves and pretending to be someone they’re not, so if Monopoly is what it takes to get someone to speak their truth with the simple roll of a dice, let the games begin!

PRICE TO PLAY

Fail to see how destructive we can be. Taking without giving back ’til the damage can be seen. Can you see? Can you see? The more you take, the more you blame, but everything still feels the same. The more you hurt the more you scream. The price you pay to play the game. Then all you see and all you gave and all you step on with no shame. There are no rules, no one to blame. The price to play the game. Empathy, the chosen way to be. Blindly look the other way while you waste away with me. Can you see? Can you see? The more you take, the more you blame, but everything still feels the same. The more you hurt the more you scream. The price you pay to play the game. {Staind}

MARCH 13, 2022: “Like Water In A Cup” …

… that moment she sends you the screen shots of a conversation she had with a friend who’s in the midst of a struggle with her truly and insidiously toxic mother, only to read it and discover once again that yes, she really is listening to you, and yes, your dream for her really is coming true.

If you’ve been around this Diary long enough, by now you know I have a song for every moment, and in every one of my moments there’s a song. If you had a dollar for the countless number of times I’ve listened to and belted this one out loud to myself as a battle cry of sorts to remind me of exactly what I’m fighting for, then you would be very rich.

Do you want me to just listen, give you my thoughts, or offer advice? What would help you the most right now?

Pray GOD, how many times have I said those very words to her?

Everyone’s love is like water in a cup. The water in their cup is what they have to give …

And how many times have I said THOSE very words to her, too? I’m not gonna lie, folks, not 2.5 milliseconds after reading those words, “like water in a cup”, the waterworks began and I swear to HEAVEN that the first thought that came to my mind was “the dream” in the words of this song.

Yes, it is true, my Mona Lisa made very much made me smile today, because after all that has been said and done it’s becoming clearer to me each day that everything I’ve been praying for, fighting for, and dreaming about for her is coming to fruition.

As and aside, my daughter is far from perfect, just like her perfectly IMPERFECTLY mom, and by no means am I attempting to canonize her into sainthood. She’s a hormonal teenage girl, my friends, and truth being told, there are days when that sarcastic little brat takes me toe to toe and drives me up literal walls. But if only you knew just exactly what she has been through in this lifetime thus far and the actual demons she has had to slay, you, like me, would be more inclined to expect that she’d have not only become a demon herself by now, but an extra miserable and hate-filled one at that. She’s been broken in ways that no women should ever have to fathom, yet here she is spewing love, light, empathy, patience, understanding, and validation for another human being’s condition instead of the jaded toxicity that often accompanies the victims of the unfathomable crimes against her.

And nope, likewise I am not a perfect parent. I have admittedly made WAY MORE than my fair share of mistakes, fails, and blunders. But this girl? My “Mona Lisa” masterpiece? Although I have often felt that I don’t deserve her, evidently God believed I did and charged me with her care even despite myself. She is every diamond in my jewel encrusted crown and exactly who I hope to be if and when I grow up.

SHE is my utmost achievement. SHE is the voice that will surely linger on as she continues lighting fires of her own with not just my words, but the brave and wise words of her own yet to come. SHE is the living expression of my life’s every song, and I am so blessed to call her my daughter. Today, as always, my “cup of water” truly runneth over.

TO MY DAUGHTER,

If you wanna lead, be a leader. If you wanna dream, be a dreamer. Climb to the top of that mountain and SCREAM IT, but remember when you get to the top … everything you say is gonna matter … everything you do is gonna add up. It’s what I’ve asked for. So, don’t lose heart when it’s not what you thought. Careful now, girl – avoid those Jezebel ways. Don’t wear a crown on your head, but be a queen of clichés. Soon you’ll be playing with the big girls, so make sure that you’re ready when it comes around!

If you wanna preach, be a preacher. If you wanna teach, be a teacher. Remember that the footprints you’re leaving will tell us all who you really are. Never forget to remember your worth … instead of spreading your legs, please just use your words. Character is shown by the things that we do. The one thing you’re never gonna hide is the truth. ‘Cause anyone can sell when they’re selling out, and anyone can fly when they’re falling down.

I had a dream that YOU were born a generation to behold! Lighting fires with your words instead of useless smoke that blurs the lines of right and wrong; expression that lives on; my army with a song that will linger when I’m gone. I had a dream!

{Adaptation of “I Had A Dream” by Kelly Clarkson}

MARCH 6, 2022: “I’m A Bitch, I’m A (Fill In The Blank)” …

Why yes,

Yes, it’s true …

I really am THE nicest bitch on the face of this planet, and this is me taking a moment for glorious pause, to loudly, proudly, and somewhat bitchily say …

Dear World,

Sometimes I hate the world today. It’s been so good to me, I know, but I won’t change. I’ve tried to tell you, but you look at me like maybe I’m an angel underneath, but I’m not so innocent and sweet.

Yesterday I cried. You must have been relieved to see the softer side. I can understand how you’d be so confused. I don’t envy you. I’m a little bit of everything all rolled into one.

I’m a bitch. I’m a lover. I’m a child. I’m a mother. I’m a sinner. I’m a saint, and I do not feel ashamed. I’m your hell. I’m your dream. I’m nothing in between. You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

So, take me as I am. This may mean you’ll have to be a stronger person. Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous and I’m going to extremes, tomorrow I will change and today won’t mean a thing.

Just when you think you’ve got me figured out, the season’s already changin’. I think it’s cool you do what you do, but please don’t try to save me.

{Words Adapted by “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks}

Lol! I’m an experience, that’s for sure. To truly know me is to truly love me, but only the worthiest of the worthy will ever get to say I truly love them back. If you know, you know. If you don’t, you don’t. If you did, but then pissed your chance away to stay on the much brighter side of all my blacks and greys, well, sorry, but I’m not that damn sorry aboutcha at all. You snooze, you lose, and so the story goes.

For the record, there’s literal angel dust beneath my feet that are very much planted both on the ground and above it both at once, and just enough fire and ash to keep me perfectly imperfectly balanced and always soaring and balanced above this sea of madness I temporarily call home.

I’m truly amnothing, everything, and ALL OF IT“, but hey, at least I know EXACTLY who I fuck am and I own it – sometimes raving BITCH AND ALL! Riddle me this, my friends … exactly how many people in this world have you or will you ever know who will happily and proudly admit that there the most worthless, useless, AND valuable commodity anyone could ever have the privilege of knowing? I’m guessing the answer is, “Yah, maybe not so much.”

So, with that … I bid you adieu … ’cause this temporary bitch session is now over.

MARCH 1, 2022: “Nothing. Everything. ALL OF IT!” …

I am EVERYTHING …

because I’m NOTHING!

I know, I know … I’ve already said it so many times before, but PLEASE just let me say it once again so that we’re good and clear …

It wasn’t until I become aware of the mind-numbing fact that in the big picture of this all I am literally nothing more than the smallest grain of sand that in a boundless desert, a minuscule pebble in a shoreless ocean, and a singular blip on life’s radar of infinite sights, sounds, echoes, and discoveries, that I realized just how truly magnificent I am. Not one of us ever can become “everything and ALL OF IT” unless we first become “nothing whatsoever”. To me, it is one of the greatest paradoxes of our meaningless yet profound existences.

For the record …

I wholeheartedly believe that every little grain of sand, every tiny pebble, and every singular blip on life’s radar is purposed and destined for something much more powerful than even the wisest mortal mind that’s existed could ever know. There’s magic in accepting and embracing our all but invisible yet infinity powerful place in “all of this”.

Look at me … I’m really am like the Sun. I’ll blind your eyes and get under your skin then blow out your eardrums with my words. I SPEAK THE TRUTH DAMNIT, love me or hate me, ’cause I don’t really care. Nothing about me is anyone else’s concern, unless I so choose it to be, just as NOTHING anyone thinks about me is mine. I’m the FIRST of me, and the last of me, ’cause there’s never gonna be another one like me, and I’m still the luckiest girl on this planet.

{“Who I Am“}

Sounds crazy, right? Well, then fit for me a straight-jacket and send me back to the psyche ward. My blind faith and vision in someONE and someTHING way more significant and valuable than me have been a concern for many, and it’s not at all uncommon for people to laugh at me and my simple, child-like, unfounded beliefs and ideals. BEEN THERE! DON’T CARE! At least I know my place in all of this, and trust me when I tell you, it’s both pointless AND powerful all at once. As far as I’m concerned, only time will tell the tale. I guess we’ll just have to see who’ll be laughing in the end.

In the meantime, and as I said on Valentine’s Day just a couple of weeks ago:

Nevertheless, always remember that my last singular blip on this life’s radar will never truly be my last, as I, too, will travel the distance in your eyes … Interstellar … light years from you. Like a Supernova, we’ll fuse when we collide, awaking in the Light of all the stars aligned. You see, love really is the one thing that transcends time and space, and I know this with every shred of my being, because even though I cannot see Him, I feel the unyielding love and presence of the Supernova of all Supernovas … God … the one Who is always watching over me across the sky through the greatest telescope of all.

{“Telescope“}

… but in keeping more with this Diary entry, I also say this:

So, say the word and I’ll be running back to find you. A thousand armies won’t stop me. I’ll break through. I’ll soar the endless skies for only one sight of your starlight.

That’s when you’ll realize just how truly magnificent I really was!

STARLIGHT

Stardust in you and in me. Fuse us into unity. Primeval, we’re coupled, born from the Universe. Farewell. The void is calling. Don’t fear, for futures and dreams – they’re fleeting, retreating. It’s ok, I promise. I don’t know what to say, but I’m going to want you till the stars evaporate. We’re only here for just a moment in the Light. One day it shines for us the next we’re in the night. So, say the word and I’ll be running back to find you. A thousand armies won’t stop me. I’ll break through. I’ll soar the endless skies for only one sight of your starlight. Tell me. Just tell me to stay. I’ll turn. I won’t look away. I’ll stay here. I’ll never go, but you don’t feel the same. Farewell. Farewell and Godspeed. Light years between you and me. I’m fading. Your beauty conquers the darkness. At night the Earth will rise and I’ll think of you each time I watch from distant skies. Whenever stars go down and galaxies ignite, I’ll think of you each time they wash me in their Light and fall in love with you again and I will find you. A thousand armies won’t stop me I’ll break through. I’ll soar the endless skies for only one sight of your starlight. Don’t leave me lost here forever. Show me your starlight and pull me through. Don’t leave me lost here forever. I need your starlight and pull me through. Bring me back to you. {Starset}

FEBRUARY 24, 2022: “A Message To The Moon” …

… because some cryptic tales really aren’t all that cryptic after all:

Dear Moon,

I will run alone tonight without you by my side. I guess you had a place you had to get to. I knew your eyes. I knew inside the walls you hid behind, and we saw the truth inside the real you. Because I knew you were lost when you’d run away into the same black holes and black mistakes. It’s taking all our will just to run alone. When are you coming home?

Even if the sky does fall … even if they take it all … I know there’s no pain that you wouldn’t go through, even if you had to die for us. And when all the fires were burning … when everything was overturning … there was no thing that you wouldn’t go through, even if you had to die for us.

One day the Earth will open wide, and I’ll follow you inside, ’cause the only hell I’ve known is without you. Some day when galaxies collide, we’ll be lost on different skies, then I’ll send my rocket ship to find you.

And though the Sun grew cold for you along the way and the stars didn’t align to light our way … and though you fell away and crashed back down below … I’ll always search the skies for you, and I’ll follow … I’ll be in your afterglow … and until I go back Home.

I love you, and I miss you, and even though I’m NOT really lost without you, I’m really AM lost HERE without you.

~ Sun

{Words Adapted from “Die For You” by Starset}

FEBRUARY 22, 2022: “The Nut Job” …

At first, I wasn’t sure whether this little nut was a gift from a crow …

… but THEN …

… upon further examination, it became more than crystal clear that, indeed, one of my beautiful, beautiful crows FINALLY brought me a gift after nearly two years of patiently forging a relationship with them. I know this because there are NO pecan trees either near or behind my property (I found this directly my back door). The closest grouping of pecan trees bearing fruit this big are clear across a 2-acre field on the FRONT side of my property. This was clearly a NUT job from one of my feathered friends!

If they keep bringing me enough of them, I’m GOING to make a nut necklace (shut up all you filthy animals) and wear it EVERY damn where I go! Meanwhile, it sure does pay to be nice to the birds, my friends, ’cause umm … THE NUT!

As and aside, as I was contemplating the perfect song to pair with this Diary entry, I quickly remembered to go back and look on one of my hands-down favorite movie soundtracks of all times, “The Crow“. In being honest, although I had definitely heard this song before in another lifetime many years ago, I had completely forgotten it existed.

Even though it doesn’t really apply to the fact that one of my crows brought me a present, in a very round-about way, it actually kinda does. See also, “The Day Of The Crow“, then work your way forward from there. In true Real Cat style, I have once again taken the liberty to adapt the words to this beautiful song and send them up to The Heavens …

IT WON’T RAIN ALL THE TIME

We walked the narrow path beneath the smoking skies, but even so, it’s not that hard for me to tell the difference between the darkness and the light. I still have faith in what we believed, and the truest test is when I cannot see. I hear pounding feet in the streets below, and the women crying, and the children know that there’s something wrong, and it’s hard to believe that love will prevail. Oh, it won’t rain all the time. The sky won’t fall forever. And though the night seems long, my tears won’t fall forever. Oh, when I’m lonely I lie awake at night, and I wish you were here. I miss you. Can you tell me … is there something more to believe, or is this all there is? (Oh, wait, I know I already know.) In the pounding feet, in the streets below, and the window breaks, and a woman falls, there’s something wrong, but it’s still not so hard to believe that love will prevail. It won’t rain all the time. The sky won’t fall forever. And though the night seems long, my tears won’t fall forever. Last night I had a dream. You came into my room. You took me into your arms. Whispering and kissing me and telling me to still believe. But then the emptiness of a burning sea against which we saw our darkest of sadness somehow made me feel safe and warm. I fell asleep in your arms. When I awoke, I cried again. For you were gone, but I know that you can hear. It won’t rain all the time. The sky won’t fall forever. And though the night seems long, my tears won’t fall forever. It won’t rain all the time. The sky won’t fall forever. And though the night seems long, pray that your tears have finally stopped falling, too. I love you, Zachariah.

{Words Adapted from Jane Silberry’s “It Can’t Rain All The Time”}

FEBRUARY 20, 2022: “The Chronicles Of McHoovery” …

At this point, the “Chronicles Of McHoovery” are getting kinda funny. Be it known, however, that although this Diary entry is dated February 20, 2022, because that’s when the little fucker called me yet again, I didn’t find it on my phone until a week later.

Why is that you ask? Well, my friends, “Catherine Marie” (throwing up in my own mouth) has left the building, Satan is BLOCKED and DISREGARDED, and long gone are the days that I go digging through the refuse for things I can trash to treasure.

Well, wait! I take that back. In case you didn’t already know this, rebirthing and reinventing “useless things” back to purposeful, fabulous, “phoenixed” lives is one of my utmost favorite past times, but only if the garbage I decide to invest in is truly worth my time and attention.

Meanwhile …

Yah. I Jean-Claude Van Damn BET you’d “enjoy visiting with me”, this living queen no longer associates herself with the devil’s spawn. So, no, THANK YOU you inglorius LITTLE bastard, ’cause I’m not gonna lie, I’m probably enjoying this game a little too much now.

HEY, MCHOOVERY:

I WIN.

YOU LOSE.

K, bye!

FEBRUARY 17, 2022: “Talking To Girls” …

My son has been “on the market” for going on fifteen years now if you count back to age 16, lol. One of them – and ONLY one of them – I loved dearly (and still very much do) …

but umm …

Jean-Claude Van DAMN she was definitely NOT “the one” for him. Those two took “toxic” to a totally ‘nother level, not to mention the fact that they were both literally just kids.

Here we are fifteen years later and I’m sittin’ here praying that he’s finally learning to talk to girls, because God Himself knows he didn’t always have the best examples. When Zack came along, he literally flipped the game board of our lives upside down for the better, “talking to girls” took on a whole different meaning, and Christian finally had a good example.

This one is turning him inside out in a good way and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t actually kill him if he lets her get away. A mother can dream, right? I guess only time will tell.

FEBRUARY 16, 2022: “You Can Come To MY House, Too!” …

First of all, and not that it matters, but NO, I’m not gay. I do, however, know, support, and dearly love many people who are. Second of all, dare I say how ironic the hopefully now iconic words I “quoted” above are after having heard them spoken by one of “The Real Housewives” are? Why is it that, you ask? Well, my rather non-dramatical, polar opposite of me daughter has always laughed at, if not shuddered in disbelief over the fact that I even watch those shows in the first place.

Really, mother? You’re watching the NOT so real housewives AGAIN?

No … but daughter … you JUST don’t understand why I watch them! I know that none of those bitches are “real” and that it’s all just made for TV ratings drama and chaos. I don’t watch them because I like them, I watch them because they’re HILARIOUS and generally speaking MOST of those women just make me feel so much BETTER about who I am as a REAL person! The way I see it, if I just do the complete opposite of 95% of them – I’M GOOD!

Meanwhile, tonight I caught this conversation between Heather “Fancy Pants” Dubrow and her daughter, Kat, which conversation literally reduced me to tears:

If only you knew how many times I’ve had broken children literally sobbing in my arms because their own parents just can’t fuckin’ deal. It’s gross and heartbreaking and unacceptable and NOPE – not on my watch Jesus. Wait! Did I just say “fuckin'” and Jesus in the same sentence? Why yes, yes I did. Have I told any of you that I’m ever the work in process? I’ve already tried washing my own mouth out with soap, but the only thing that happens is I just keep burping bubbles. MEANWHILE, I’ve digressed, but sufficed to say that this momma don’t play the hate game like that, nor will she ever turn her back on a child who needs to hear these words:

I hear you.

I see you.

I accept you.

I LOVE YOU.

You are SAFE here!

So, with that, to ANY child whose parents DON’T accept them AS they are:

You can come to MY house, too!

My heart literally aches every night as I close my eyes knowing that there are kids in this world who are crying every night because their very own parents are the ones are driving the biggest knives through their hearts of all.

Look, at the end of the day …

👉🏼 We all bleed red.

👉🏼 We all poop brown.

👉🏼 We all breathe air.

👉🏼 We all deserve TO LOVE and BE LOVED in ANY damn color of the rainbow we want!

Just for the record to all you asshole SHITTY moms and dads out there who would refuse your own flesh and blood because their “color” isn’t quite working for you:

GOD IS WATCHING!

Love them as they are or they’ll end up at my house where they’re 2,000% free to be, speak, feel, and express themselves, no questions asked and without judgment, so long as they’re not hurting themselves or anyone else. I’ll be the one who gets to enjoy the miracles of their moments and YOU won’t! As parents and HUMAN BEINGS in general, our job isn’t to JUDGE – it’s to love one another without condition. Love will always win, and parents who love with conditions will always lose!

I’m kinda thinking that Hell, fire, and damnation are best left to The Pro, my friends, and I’m Jean-Claude Van DAMN sorry NOT SORRY to tell ya that I think some of you are gonna be very surprised to see how it’s all gonna play out in the end. But hey, that’s a different Diary entry for a totally different day.

So, with that, if you don’t like me now or if you’re a racist, a bigot, or a homophobe, get the eff out of my Diary and my atmosphere in general ’cause I promise, promise, PROMISE I am not the Cat for you! In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m not here to win any popularity contestsI’m ONLY here to keep it REAL!

Oh, one more thing. After you’ve hit that unfollow button, please DO let the giant rainbow painted on my otherwise usually Earth-toned, black, or grey colored door hit you in the ever-lovin’ ass. K thanks bye now!

LOVE WINS

A stray bullet and a momma cries – her baby won’t be coming home tonight. Sirens screaming down the avenue – just another story on the evening news, oh. Whoa! Politics and prejudice. How the hell it’d ever come to this? When everybody’s gotta pick a side? It don’t matter if you’re wrong or right, no. And so it goes, but I hold onto hope, and I won’t let go ’cause I believe you and me are sisters and brothers. And I, I believe we’re made to be here for each other. And we’ll never fall if we walk hand in hand. Put a world that seems broken together again. Yeah, I believe in the end love wins. Sometimes it takes a lot of faith to keep believing there will come a day when the tears and the sadness … the pain and the hate … the struggle … this madness … will all fade away, yeah. I, I believe you and me are sisters and brothers. And I, I believe we’re made to be here for each other. And we’ll never fall if we walk hand in hand. Put a world that seems broken together again. Yeah, I believe in the end love wins. Love is power. Love is a smile. Love reaches out. Love is the remedy. Love is the answer. Love’s an open door. Love is the only thing worth fighting for, yeah. {Carrie Underwood}

FEBRUARY 14, 2022: “Supernova Telescopes” …

Valentine’s Day 2022.

It’s my third one without him, yet despite the sobering fact that his physical being is no longer here, I have never felt closer to every infinite piece of who and what he was and all that he left behind. My God, I couldn’t even make myself cry today if I wanted to, because the unbelievably beautiful truth is that I have never felt more loved and connected to every single part of not just him, but this Universe as well:

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

{“The Tragic Truth Revisited“}

Sometimes it worries me that some of you may think my relationship with Death tends to make me seem somewhat pessimistic, morbid, and macabre, but rest assured that even as much as I clearly and loudly speak the truths I’ve come to believe about dying, in no way do I find it nefarious, gruesome, or horrifying. To me, not only is Death a peaceful release from the pain and heartache that often comes with our mere existence and survival in humanity, but it is indeed still trulynothing at all“. Although of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish his physical body was still here with me, his essence, soul, and spirit are literally everywhere around me:

He’s out there. I hear him calling from behind the star fields. I feel him radiating energy like eternal northern lights. I see him watching over me across the sky. Overcoming, projected on my eyes eternally. I find him in the night. Far from the Sun where no one knows. He’s watching from his telescope as he travels the distance in my eyes … Interstellar … light years from me. Like a Supernova … we’ll fuse when we collide … awaking in The Light of all the stars aligned.

{“Telescope” … by Starset}

With that, now let me just say this to any and all of my loved ones who are now or ever will be reading this in the future …

When that bittersweet day comes that I have finally crossed over to the brighter side of all this grey, rest assured knowing that I will be that zephyr blowing gently over your shoulder, just as Zack is now the ever-present breeze I feel blowing over mine. PLEASE don’t get me wrong, though … I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, ’cause umm, there’s still so much left for me to do here with all these little pebbles in my hand.

Nevertheless, always remember that my last singular blip on this life’s radar will never truly be my last, as I, too, will travel the distance in your eyes … Interstellar … light years from you. Like a Supernova, we’ll fuse when we collide again, awaking in the Light of all the stars aligned. You see, love really is the one thing that transcends time and space, and I know this with every shred of my being. Even though I can’t still see Him, I feel the unyielding love and presence of the Supernova of all Supernovas … God … the one Who is always watching over me across the sky through the greatest telescope of all.

Happy Valentine’s Day you beautiful people!

(from “God’s Favorite Daughter” … Real Cat)

FEBRUARY 1, 2022: “The Bent Garage Doors Of Our Lives” …

Dear Cat:

You, my dear, are an actual frigging idiot of magnanimous proportion sometimes, but guess what? I kinda love ya anyway, ’cause the very patient man who bought you that garage door in the first place who was probably laughing his ass off when you pulled yet another “Catherine” was right when he said:

Catherine, it’s fine. It’s just a garage door. It’s just a car. It’ll be fine. It’ll get fixed.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Garage doors, dents in cars, and most of human goof ups and accidents can be fixed, and you of all people know too well that the damage that comes from some of the words that come out of peoples’ mouths in anger isn’t always so easily patched up.

DO YOU REMEMBER

… that night in the very beginning of “The Frog & The Butterfly” story when you texted him this song because you wanted desperately to know that no matter how long or how far you kept falling along with way, he’d still be there to pick you up and dust you off, and that if you got too tired to make it, he’d be your breath so you could walk? You were so scared you’d never EVER get put back together, but alas, you were, and now here you are, painted much better off as the true QUEEN he always intended for you to see when you stood in front of the mirror.

That’s the magic of unconditional love and yet another bright side in all this grey. You, my dear, were blessed to have met a human being that chose NOT to beat you up for being a living, breathing, chaos bus sometimes, so never forget to remember that when other people are driving around in chaos busses of their own! But Jean-Claude Van DAMNIT woman – LEARN HOW TO DRIVE!

~ Love, ME!

BENT

If I fall along the way, pick me up and dust me off. And if I get too tired to make it, be my breath so I can walk. If I need some other love, give me more than I can stand. And when my smile gets old and faded, wait around I’ll smile again. Shouldn’t be so complicated. Just hold me and then, just hold me again. Can you help me? I’m bent. I’m so scared that I’ll never get put back together. You’re breaking me in and this is how we will end – with you and me bent. If I couldn’t sleep, could you sleep? Could you paint me better off? Could you sympathize with my needs? I know you think I need a lot. I started out clean, but I’m jaded. Just phoning it in. Just breaking the skin. Can you help me? I’m bent. I’m so scared that I’ll never get put back together. Yah, you’re breaking me in, and this is how we will end – with you and me bent. Start bending me. It’s never enough. I feel all your pieces. Start bending me. Keep bending me until I’m completely broken in. Shouldn’t be so complicated. Just touch me and then just touch me again. Can you help me? I’m bent. I’m so scared that I’ll never get put back together. Yah, you’re breaking me in and this is how we will end – with you and me landing without understanding. Can I go there again? Can you help me? I’m bent. {Matchbox Twenty}

JANUARY 30, 2022: “Always. Keep. Fighting.” …

{The Girl Talking To Misha Is My Gia!}

Just over two and a half years ago tonight, we had just returned home and were all winding down from the “Supernatural” experience of a lifetime that Zack had gifted Gia. Little did we know that exactly two months later he’d be leaving us behind and turning our world completely upside down in the most egregious way possible after a nightmare battle with one of the most complicated cocktails of mental illness one could imagine.

What most people don’t know is that the demons that devoured his soul almost took my daughter, too, and be it not for these three literal angels on Earth, I might not have her here anymore.

We were so beyond blessed to be able to return to the “Supernatural of it all” once again over the weekend, courtesy of Gia’s dad, only this time it was even more supernatural!

Much like Gia, there are countless numbers of often “wayward” sons and daughters in this world who are hanging on every single word these literal stars in their sky speak. These boys are creating a faction of warriors who are hell bent on following their lead in all the best directions. Jared, Jensen, and Misha, or “J2M” as we say in the family biz, are using the platform their worldwide mega stardom has propelled them from to leave this place much better than they found it by “hunting mental illness”, saving lives, and making damn good and sure that the young and impressionable ears that are listening to them know that they are never alone in the midst of the darkness.

Always Keep Fighting!

Always Keep Fighting!

Always,

Keep,

Fighting!

The three most powerful words of both our lives, because she did … and she willALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING (just like me, her “Wonder Woman” momma)! Still, how can I ever repay these stellar men for the countless things they’ve done, the powerful messages they’ve shared, and the courageous walks they’ve walked and talked in their collective fight against depression, mental illness, and suicide awareness? How about just thank you, “J2M”, because even with all the endless words I often have, THANK YOU is all I’ve got right now. Indeed, this world is a MUCH better place with her in it, so we’ll just keep on carrying on like the phoenix queens we both truly are.

JANUARY 24, 2022: “Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Know When To SHUT UP!” …

Have you ever wondered how to spot the most truly intelligent person in the room? Well, I’ll tell ya! In my personal experience, the most intelligent people in any space are usually the ones who don’t have much to say. In fact, studies have shown that the more introverted a person is, the higher their IQ seems to be. A true intellect in a room full of people is typically just listening, digesting, and formulating their own carefully thought and not impulsive answers to any and every question that could possibly be pondered, and depending on the crowd, they may still not say a word, opting instead to keep their pearls of wisdom to themselves rather than throwing them before all the swine.

MY POINT BEING …

Be careful of all the bullshit you’re slinging in front of those super quiet “sleeper cell” geniuses. You never know if they’re just sitting back, sizing you up, silently calling you out on your idiocy, and laughing their own really “smart asses” off as they watch not only you hang yourself with the snake oil that you’re peddling, but all the other “not so know it all dumbasses” who are actually buying what you’re selling.

Trust me when I tell you that what I’m saying is true. Not only was I married to a “sleeper cell genius”, but I’ve given birth to two. Zack Williamson’s IQ was 147, and although they haven’t been tested, I know that both my kids are somewhere in that realm as well! I couldn’t so much as pass a cat-sized TURD of bullshit past Zack, lest I end up eating it, and my kids are the same damn way.

I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN telling you, people. Watch out for those quiet ones that don’t have much to say! When they finally do decide to engage with you in a conversation, they’ll drop a smart bomb on ya the size of the Atlantic Ocean that you’ll never see coming and won’t even have to say the words “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” to make SHUT YOU THE FUCK UP and walk away in shame! Just thought I’d share!

JANUARY 15, 2022: “The Miracles Of My Moments” …

Little does this beautiful child who doesn’t belong to me know how much her powerful words meant to me and the truly small miracle they brought to “my moment” when I received them earlier this afternoon.

Look, I may not be perfect, and I’m SO not a perfect mom – BUT – every single one of the kids who have ever graced my doorstep have done so knowing that they were seen, heard, loved, and valued for exactly WHO they are and WHERE they are without fear of judgment, disrespect, or disdain.

So many teenagers have their heads up their own clouds, and Saturdays are typically their days to just kick back, relax, check out, and think of nothing but themselves and their own moments. The mere fact that a 15-year-old girl lingering elsewhere in this world who, PS, has a STELLAR momma of her own, was thinking of me and took the time to send this message says everything I already know, but never hate to be reminded about who I AM and how much I’m “seen, loved, heard and valued”.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and not only could I not agree more, but I’m HONORED to even BE in the village in the first place. I’m not quite sure exactly what I’ve done to deserve the abundant joy and blessings that enrich my life on a daily basis, but nope, I’m not complaining about it either.

If there really was a time machine that could take me back to some other place and time so I could start this whole story over again, would I really want to use it? NO! No I wouldn’t! I wouldn’t trade a single one of the moments I’ve gotten to have, be them good, bad, indifferent, or bittersweet for any other place and time in existence.

Even on my darkest of nights and amidst the mountains of losses I’ve suffered, at the end of each day all that really matters to me is the wonder in everyhere and now” and that I don’t want to miss a single one of them. If you’ve been around this Diary long enough, you’ve heard about the chair in my room where I’ve done a lot of panicking, praying, crying, breathing, and thinking. This little message sent me straight to it this afternoon for “breathing in and breathing out” the miracle of a moment that some people may find insignificant. Nope, not me. As I sat down in my chair and held the phone up to my chest, I felt my own heartbeat as the silly tears I was shedding softened my heart even more than I thought it could be softened. I’m telling you people – I really AM God’s favorite daughter! No one will ever be able to convince me otherwise because of moments like these and the countless treasures He’s bestowed on me with every single one of them!

MIRACLE OF THE MOMENT

It’s time for letting go of all of our “if only’s”, ’cause we don’t have a time machine. And even if we did, would we really want to use it? Would we really want to go change everything? ‘Cause we are who and where and what we are for now, and this is the only moment we can do anything about. So, breathe it in and breathe it out and listen to your heartbeat. There’s a wonder in the here and now – it’s right there in front of you. I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment. There’s only One who knows what’s really out there waiting in all the moments yet to be. And all we need to know is He’s out there waiting – to Him the future’s history. And He has given us a treasure called right now. And this is the only moment we can do anything about. So, breathe it in and breathe it out and listen to your heartbeat. There’s a wonder in the here and now – it’s right there in front of you. I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment. And if it brings you tears, then taste them as they fall and let them soften your heart. And if it brings you laughter, then throw your head back and let it go, let it go, yeah. You gotta let it go. {Steven Curtis Chapman}

JANUARY 11, 2022: “The Time Of My Life” …

TIME OF MY LIFE

I’ve been waiting for my dreams to turn into something I could believe in and looking for that magic rainbow on the horizon. I couldn’t see it until I let go, gave into love, and watched all the bitterness burn. Now I’m coming alive, body and soul, feelin’ my world start to turn. And I’ll taste every moment and live it out loud. I know this is the time – this is the time to be more than a name or a face in the crowd. I know this is the time – this is the time of my life. The time of my life. Holding onto things that vanished into the air left me in pieces. But now I’m rising from the ashes, finding my wings, and all that I needed was there all along within my reach as close as the beat of my heart. So I’ll taste every moment and live it out loud. I know this is the time – this is the time to be more than a name or a face in the crowd. I know this is the time – this is the time of my life. The time of my life.And I’m out on the edge of forever ready to run. I’m keeping my feet on the ground, my arms open wide, my face to the Sun. I’ll taste every moment and live it out loud. I know this is the time – this is the time to be more than a name or a face in the crowd. I know this is the time of my life! {David Cook}

I wasn’t exactly in the best state of mind when I first heard this song back in 2008. I was only months away from a total nervous breakdown, living a life of farce, being hunted by a dragon, and literally begging God to just wave His magic wand:

God? I need to talk to You. Or rather, I have some questions, so please just be perfectly honest. You’re not done with me, are You? Is my bright destiny just up ahead? Is it happening even as I write this? The future’s gonna be good, right? Things are gonna start getting better? Those two babies you sent need their mom to be okay so that I can help them reach their own destinies, so can’t You just wave Your magic wand?

Do You ever hear me crying, and if so, does it even bother You? And what about that “Sea Of Forgetfulness”? The one where YOU forgive and WE forget then move on about our way. It’s just not working with all these ghosts inside my head. Can’t You just make them go away? That memory of me on the front bench of that old truck? The smell of the beer on his breath? Can’t You just erase it? Or how about that boy who hit the wall and cracked his skull open? I could definitely do without THAT one. And what about the day You dropped that tiny girl in the palm of my hands JUST so I could watch her suffocate? You know? That same tiny girl who TRIED to hold my hand, but couldn’t even grasp my finger. I’m NOT loving that. It’s not working for me at all! I get it, she’s gone. I was there, don’t You know? Help me understand why I had to give her back. It’s just not natural. That’s NOT how it’s supposed to go. MOMMIES AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BURY THEIR BABIES! It’s enough. I’VE HAD ENOUGH! Please can You take this away?

Am I still Your daughter, or did You forget me? Surely You remember how it felt to watch Your Son die? Well, I’m dying, too, and I’ve had ALL that I can handle. PLEASE won’t You help me? You’re God. You can fix anything! Are You mad at me? What did I do? Oh, wait, I think I know. Well, can’t You just forgive me for that now?

{“Away From The Sun“}

“Time Of My Life” had a much different meaning to me way back then and hearing it only crushed my spirit. I’d been aching for my hopes and dreams to turn into something I could believe in and longing for a magic rainbow. No, God couldn’t just “zap” it all away, and no, time didn’t heal my wounds. It’s what I’ve done with all the time that I’ve been blessed enough to be alive that worked the “magic”. If only I’d known that a song that once made me cry was actually foreshadowing all the bittersweet but beautiful times of my life that were then and still are yet to come, perhaps I wouldn’t have spent so many tears and hopeless prayers just waiting for “time” to mend my broken heart. You see, not only did He know things that I didn’t back then, but He also still knows things that I don’t about a future I no longer need to understand.

From the moment I was born, God has been preparing me to fly over the fires that were only ever meant to raise my wings and lead me back home to my soul. Time doesn’t even exist in the space where I dwell with Him … only unconditional love and the peaceful bliss that carries me through all the times of my life.

It’s been 6,567 days since the day she was born, and if God is the God I blindly believe He is, she’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey with Zack when it’s time for me to finally cross over. Today is her 18th birthday, and this is her birthday basket, because even though it really was one of the hardest days of my life, it’s a day that is truly worth celebrating. The once gaping wound her footprints left across my heart has healed and is PROOF that what I’ve done with my time is “the magic”. Believe it or not, Gina Marie is one of the best parts of my story and a precious reminder of all the extraordinary things I’ve gotten to hold on to that have vanished but not left me in pieces. When I take this basket to her grave later on, I’ll keep my face to the Sun, let the shadows fall behind me, and know her death was nothing at all.

DECEMBER 28, 2021: “Looking Through My Eyes” …

“Apparently” my Lock Screen is an extraction from a personal inscription from one of my favorite people in this entire world. It makes me so happy every time I see it to know that not only have I made friends with a ROCK STAR, said rock star correlates ME to “power and grace”! It’s the ULTIMATE compliment, because the last time I checked there are almost 8 billion people on this Earth, and not everyone has “power and grace”!

“Apparently” my Home Screen is very organized, purposeful, and practical. PS, there are only twelve other app buttons on the next page over. Yup, I’m a Virgo who “apparently” can’t stand clutter or chaos of any proportion. This is how my house looks, too, by the way. VERY neat, orderly, OCD, and “ahhhhh”.

“Apparently” my Insta Exploration is pretty much ALWAYS in the greys, the forests, the woods, and the cookies. Welcome to all the places I really want to go and the sugar I’m either proudly or not proudly addicted to!

“Apparently” I have no interest in “Pinterest”! Lol, there are enough random thoughts and ideas running around this crazy little head of mine during the waking hours, and sometimes even while I sleep, so if I need to be reminded of the many things I “like” or have an interest in, I just say my prayers, tuck myself in to bed, fall asleep, and BOOM there it all is in my dreams!

“Apparently” I listened to The Brighter Side Of Grey again last night. WOW! Isn’t THAT a shocker! Umm, in case you didn’t know this, I listen to it at least once a day, and it’s usually the last thing I hear every night after I’ve written in this Diary, which in keeping with the song, and in case you didn’t know, is an extremely long love note and legacy to my kids, and THEIR kids, and even THEIR kids and THEIR kids. It’s the song of my life, and by the way, if you haven’t ever heard it yet, you need to at least once before you cross over.

“Apparently” I don’t keep a lot of pictures on my phone. Again, I DON’T LIKE CLUTTER! Unlike the countless people I’ve known who keep literally hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures stored on their phone. You see, once I’ve sent the pictures I’ve taken to the people or places they need to go, I delete them. It’s par for the course with another disorder I’ve coined that runs in tangent with my “OCD”. It’s my “ECD”, or “Electronic Clutter Dysfunction”, ’cause NOPE, I can’t have any “virtual” clutter floating around my atmosphere either. Wait! Did I just digress again? Wow! GO FIGURE! Umm, have ya read the other four hundred sixty-something entries in this Diary? Anyway, and as I was saying, I’m one of those silly people who’s doing everything I can to live IN all my moments now and not behind a camera as I watch everyone else LIVING in them.

I’m not gonna lie, folks, this fun little “InstaVibe” game was not only fun, but also very telling. Seeing this “Cat’s eye” view of my overall “vibe” in life was not too awful or wretched! Looking through my eyes at the way my mind spends energy just reminded me that I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN amazing woman. It’s no wonder that I’m my own best friend, ‘cuz I freaking LOVE all the things that I “like”.

Goodnight everyone, and might I suggest that you, too, take a look at your “vibe” through your own eyes! You may just discover that YOU are an incredibly amazing person, also! Just sayin’.

LOOK THROUGH MY EYES

There are things in life you’ll learn and, oh, in time you’ll see. ‘Cause out there somewhere it’s all waiting, if you keep believing. So don’t run, don’t hide, it will be all right. You’ll see, trust me, I’ll be there watching over you. Just take a look through my eyes. There’s a better place somewhere out there. Ooh, just take a look through my eyes (Look through my eyes). Everything changes, you’ll be amazed what you’ll find. If you look through my eyes. There will be times on this journey. All you see is darkness, but out there somewhere daylight finds you if you keep believing. So don’t run, don’t hide, it will be all right, you’ll see. Trust me, I’ll be there watching over you. Just take a look through my eyes. If you look through my eyes, all the things that you can change. There’s a meaning in everything, and you will find all you need. There’s so much to understand. Take a look through my eyes. There’s a better place somewhere out there. {Phil Collins}

DECEMBER 18, 2021: “The Panic Chair That Lit The Darkness” …

Wait! WHAT? “The Panic Chair That Lit The Darkness”? Before you watch the Instagram video below, go back and refer to this Diary entry I wrote last year and “the panic chair” situation will all make sense:

If you’ve ever seen The Blind Side, you know exactly what I’m talking about. (PS. It’s one of the top 10 favorite movies of my life!) It was that moment in the movie right after she finds out Michael had never had a bed of his own and became overwhelmed with emotions that she didn’t want him to see, at which point she had to go to her room, sit quietly in her chair, and just “allow herself to cry for a minute”. For all all her seemingly endless and stoic strength, even she realized the importance of “allowing herself” whatever self-care was necessary to enable her to take care of her family. The funny thing is that I didn’t even realize I was “doing this chair thing” until he began noticing that whenever I was “flooding” with emotions I would disappear back into our room then reappear a few minutes later. One night when we were watching the movie for like, the umteenth time in our decade together, he finally pointed it out: “You know honey, you do that too — the sitting in a chair thing!

{“Blindsided With Rhapsody” … October 11, 2020}

DECEMBER 10, 2021: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!” …

This Diary entry wasn’t planned for today, yet here I am writing it at just before midnight. You see, I’d been lounging around in my pajamas all day (well at least that was the plan), and by “lounging” I mean I was taking a three-minute break from my hell-bent FURY to finish the “Christmasing” of Williamson Manor. “SURPRISE! Mommy Christmased!” is one of her favorite days of each year, and since she’d been at her dad’s for a few days I’d decided it was NOW or never! I’m not gonna lie, I usually start this gig the week before Thanksgiving, so at this stage in the game I’m, like, three weeks behind, so a three-minute nap it was! Never the worry, though, because once I’m finally finished, I’ll be keeping this place decked out in lights and trimmings until probably the middle of March. Wow! Did I digress already? Go figure!

Meanwhile, it was half past noon when I finally sat down to have my second cup of coffee and prop up my hooves for a minute. Gone are the days of my energy and youth when I could transform the castle into North Pole 2.0 in the 24-hour Mrs. Clause Of It All streaks of the past. These days, “Christmasing” is now a week-long, somewhat harrowing event that literally breaks my back. Now, instead of pushing myself to whip up a holiday extravaganza with a magic wand I no longer have, I opt to take my time and just, “Do a little today. Do a little tomorrow. OMG, I need to rest for a minute! OMG, I’m about to pass out! OMG, I need some more coffee! OMG, I keep getting distracted! OMG, what’s on TV? OMG, I have something to blog! OMG, WHY DOES IT TAKE ME SIX DAYS TO WHIP THIS HOUSE INTO WINTER WONDERLAND?” But OMG I’ve digressed AGAIN!

The next thing I know, a text arrives from the princess. “Hey momma” is always a cue that she’s either about to ask me for something or tell me that she needs me for something very important. Trust me when I tell you that because my Mona Lisa is even more resilient and independent than her dear old phoenix of a mom could ever dream to be, she isn’t one to ask for much unless she really has no other choice. Keep in mind, too, that she’s not one to complain about anything that’s physically ailing her unless or until she’s all but keeling over, so when she says the words “it’s hurting really bad”, that means that something truly is “hurting her really bad”.

Truth be told, she hadn’t even finished sending the second and third parts of her text message before I was already headed to my closet to get my purse and keys. I was literally at her school parking lot less than 30 minutes later dressed to the nines in my rattiest Christmas pajamas and favorite little falling apart slippers with duct tape patching a hole on one of the bottoms.

My point in all this being …

How blessed am I to be in this place where virtually everything I do is not only because of her, but fully revolved around and for her? My fortunate position in life is never lost on me, and there isn’t a moment that passes by that I am not aware of the fact that not every widowed single mom is afforded this luxury. As I was speeding to the school in my pajamas and slippers, I was literally, and not metaphorically, thanking the king profusely for having taken care not leave us in any more of a mess than he did at the onset of his leaving and making damn good and sure that his many wishes for not just her, but me, as her mother, as well, would remain true even in his absence. Be I any other widow on any other day, I may not have been able to just drop EVERYTHING, hop in my beautiful car, and focus on my daughter full-time, and have a single care in the world otherwise.

I know, I know! If you’ve been around this Diary enough, you’ve already heard me say it before, but please let me say it again … I am truly the most blessed living queen on the face of this planet, God’s favorite daughter, and one very extremely lucky woman. It’s days like today that only deepen my propensity to not only honor, but revel in only the best parts of his legacy and leave out all the rest.

NOVEMBER 23, 2021: “Rise Up To YOU!” …

You.

It’s ONLY you! It’s only YOU who can fill those cracks in your broken heart with the most magical healing compound of them all: YOU! No, I take that back. What I meant to say is YOU AND GOD! Not you and someone else. Not you and somewhere else. Not you and strangers, or money, or fame, or fortune, or stuff, or drugs, or alcohol. Just you, yourself, and that beautiful reflection standing in your mirror that you’ve been refusing to make peace with and fall in love the way that God fell in love with you about two billions eons before you were even born. He never meant for us to seek the pleasures of this world … that’s the trick the devil did. God wants to be the One to bring you happiness and peace, because if anyone besides us knows how this world keeps on disappointing us, it’s Him. He wants us to turn to HIM, and then back to ourselves, so that we don’t hurt US or anyone else anymore.

Let’s face it folks, there’s always gonna be some kind of darkness lying in wait just ahead of us. I mean, ‘cmon, have you seen this world we’re living in? No matter how bright the artificial lights we flip on and off to navigate ourselves through it all, or how many steps ahead of all the bullshit we try to stay, there’s always gonna be a bottomless pit of EMPTY just waiting to swallow us alive. Guess what? That internal spotlight we often hide from is the exact same one that emits the true power and grace from our soul that allows us to see the beauty of our own reflection.

The more we stray, the less we fear, and the more we reach, the more we fade away.

Umm, can’t you just smell the paradox? This whole self-love dealio seems to contradict itself, does it not? We need to find our light. We were meant to find our light. Our light is both ourselves and God. You know? GOD – the One Who is to be feared and not feared all at once? He WANTS us to shine that light on ourselves – SHINE HIS LIGHT ON OURSELVES – but that light can be super scary. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Now those are some scary words, too. Truth be told, some people don’t want the responsibility that comes with such a powerful force, so they opt for the easy way out of all they were meant to be, leave themselves behind, head into the world to find themselves in “someone or something else”, then wonder why they feel so lost, and empty, and lonely.

Unless and until you take hold of all that power and wield it like a beacon in the night, you will always be hoping for “other indications” of who you really are and seeking “higher elevations” from the outside world you were never meant to seek. Trust me when I say this, ’cause I’ve been there and done that, but if you aren’t capable of being at absolute peace in the company of your own solitude, any other person, place, or thing you attempt to have a relationship with is nothing more than a cruel trick that you’re playing on yourself to avoid facing the gaping hole in your heart left by this world. Why don’t you try giving yourself as much time, love, and attention as you give to other people and see what kind of MAGIC happens to that reflection in your mirror. Just rise up, STAY RISEN, and go back home to YOU!

RISE UP!

I was hoping for an indication. I was seeking higher elevation. I’ve been shaken, waking in the night light. I’ve been breaking, hiding from the spotlight. 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. I was always up for making changes. Walking down the street meeting strangers. Flipping through my life turning pages. Like a prayer that only needs a reason. Like a hunter waiting for the season. I was there, but I was always leaving. I’ve been living, but I was never breathing. Flipping through my life turning pages. I’m bursting like the fourth 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. I would always open up the door. Always looking up at higher floors. Want to see it all give me more. {Imagine Dragons}

NOVEMBER 7, 2021: “The Stranger In The Mirror” …

DEFLECTION: Loosely defined, “attempting to draw attention away from oneself and put that attention onto another person.” GOT IT!

PROJECTION: Also loosely defined, “a defensive mechanism by which we displace our feelings onto a person, animal, or object.” This is one of Sigmund Freud’s ‘lil nuggets, by the way, about how some people deal with their lack of self-esteem and feelings of insecurity and adequacy. GOT THAT, TOO!

PERCEPTION:

Either “loosely defined”, or not so “loosely defined”, depending on where you are in my “Understanding People For Dummies 101” process. This right here is one of “Life According To Real Cat’s” ‘lil nuggets, by the way …

At the end of the day, neither projection, deflection, or any other clinical words, phrases, or diagnoses mean a damn hill of beans. PERCEPTION, my friends, is everything, and aside from our faith, is really the only thing we need to understand to navigate this whole life and “peopling” dealio. Perception is our ability to hear, see, become aware, and conceptualize things by using our senses.

What have any of you heard me say about what other people think of us? In case you’ve forgotten, let me remind you :: WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF US IS ABSOLUTELY NONE OF OUR BUSINESS! We are NOT what people think of us, we are what people think of THEMSELVES! So, please try to remember this the next time you think about letting the opinions of other people control your life or define you. Someone else’s opinion of you is merely a reflection of their own personal experiences, beliefs, and realities, and sometimes a reflection of a war that their battling within themselves. Only take what is useful and valuable from other peoples’ words, thoughts, and “opinions”. NOTHING MORE. NOTHING LESS. Only YOU know the size and shape of the shoes you’ve been walking in every single day since the minute you were born, and only YOU know how the comfort, fit, and style of those shoes have shaped YOU!

Now then, here’s yet another one of my tweaked-up renditions of one of my favorite songs. Listen to it as though you’re singing it to yourself, and let it wash right over you, lest you remember that although not a single one of them damn peoples’ nasty, misperceived opinions of you matters, YOUR SELF-REFLECTION DOES! In being honest and taking this even a step further, for me, personally, it’s only my self-reflection through God’s eyes that matters to me. But hey, you know what? My faith journey is my faith journey, and although I do so wish you ALL well on your own faith journeys, that’s a totally different Diary entry for another day. In the meantime, you just do whatever it takes to make friends with that person you see standing in the mirror , because like it or not, that beautiful creature looking back at you is your ride or die from this day ’til eternity! How you feel and what you think of YOU is EVERYTHING …

Are you looking for some validation like everyone else? Are you going through a transformation and losing yourself? Have you ever tried to make the pieces fit when you knew it wasn’t you? Are all the eyes looking in on you now making you unable to see?

Did you give off the wrong impression of somebody else? Have you made some bad decisions you’ll regret? Is that all you have left? Are you afraid of who you are? Can you be satisfied? If there’s a way to take it back, who will you find?

Who’s that stranger in the mirror looking back at you now? Are the illusions getting clearer? Are you lost and cannot be found? Do you even recognize your face, or are you just so out of place? Who have you become? Is there a stranger in the mirror? You’ve got to find a way out!

Stop running … running … RUNNING from you. You forgot who you once were. There’s a stranger in the mirror and you can’t be something you know that you’re not!

{“Real Cat” Adaptation to “Stranger In the Mirror” by Trapt}

NOVEMBER 1, 2021: “Sorry For Now” …

My Dearest Butterfly:

Today is our anniversary, and I’m watching the wings cut through the clouds. Watching the raindrops blinking red and white. Thinking, “are you back on the ground there with a fire burning in your eyes?” I only halfway apologize. And I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. There will be a day that you will understand. You will understand. After a while you may forget, but just in case the memories cross your mind. You couldn’t know this when I left under the fire angry eyes. I never wanted to say goodbye. So I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. There will be a day that you will understand. You will understand. Yeah, I’ll keep telling Him to pump the bass up. I’ll try to call home when everyone is wide awake. Wish I could switch the time zones – so we can pick the bass up. But you’re passed out by every time I am awake. Best things come to those who wait and it’s time to get pumped on any road you take. Don’t ever have a problem – make no mistake. I can’t wait to for you to come to where I had to go away.

My Dearest Frog:

I’m watching the wings cut through the clouds. Watching the raindrops blinking red and white. Thinking, “are you up there with a fire burning in your eyes?” I only halfway apologize. And I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. I want you to know that I already understand. I already understand. After a while I’ll WON’T forget, but just in case the memories cross my mind. You couldn’t know this when you left under the fire of everyone’s very angry eyes. I never wanted you to have to say goodbye. So I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. There will be a day that they will understand. They will understand. Yeah, keep telling Him to pump the bass up. We always try to reach you where you already are. Switch your time zones – so we can pick the bass up. I just passed out by the time you wake up. Best things come to those who wait, and I promise I’ll be pumped on any road I take. Don’t ever have a problem – make no mistake. I can’t wait to go to where you went away.

I want you to know that I really do promise to be everything I loved most about you, and all the very best things you brought out in me. In between our first hello and our last goodbye was so much love it was unfathomable. You were ours, and only ever ours – and we belonged to YOU! For those reasons, and too many more to count, you will remain the last reigning king of my heart even despite the sickened darkness your demons brought into our lives. I love you Zachariah. Happy Anniversary.

OCTOBER 31, 2021: “… of Blood, Tears, Power & Grace” …

A wise man once said that a wise man once said:

You know, I’ve been asked a couple times why I always write “power and grace” and “love and respect” … It takes two things to make it in this world: Power and grace. Being powerful enough to project and to be assertive and stand for what you stand for, but have it be graceful at the same time, and having gratitude for those that, you know, come in contact with you, and so on and so forth. Love and respect, he said, was the second half of that, because to have power, you have to show those two things ~ love and respect. To have grace, you have to own both of those things ~ love and respect.

{Ivan Moody}

I think I’ve always known that I was the epitome of “Power & Grace“, it just took me a hot minute to figure it out. I’ve never been a fan of being defined by other peoples’ reflections, because God Himself knows that for far too long it was all the words, labels, and black and white BOXES people who never really knew me used to mangle and clip my wings. Thankfully, however, now that I’ve grown into my beautiful skin, I no longer give credence to anyone else’s reflection of me but my own. Yet, as I sit and ponder the magnitude of these two most powerful words, I fall back to these words from one of my favorite songs that I’ve now tweaked to apply and sing to myself the way that I always do:

It was all those days my world’s gone wrong. I’ve screamed until my voice was gone and watched through the tears as everything came crashing down. Slowly panic turned to pain as I awoke to what remained and sifted through the ashes that were left. But buried deep beneath all my broken dreams, I had this hope that out of these ashes beauty would rise and I would dance among the ruins and I would know the joy had come.

I took another breath until now and let the tears come washing down, and when I couldn’t believe, He believed for me and had the signs of spring for me to watch and see! Then I heard it in the distance! It wasn’t too far away! It was the music and the laughter of a wedding and a feast! I could almost feel the hand of God reaching for my face to wipe the tears away and say, “It’s time to make everything new”, and then He made it all new and took my breath away with the power, grace, and beauty that He made of me from out of the ashes.

{“Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman}

I am truly thankful to see myself through this person’s words, as he’s someone I’ve obviously grown to love and respect for reasons that most people simply wouldn’t understand. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … he really doesput the phoenix in phoenix“. I mean, the man literally came back from the dead! He, like me, has been “woven in a black and white tapestry sewn with blood and tears”, and I will treasure both this book and his words to me forever.

As and aside, I am thoroughly enjoying “Dirty Poetry” and have been through it cover to cover seven times now. Just as I’d long suspected they’d be, having listened to the messages in his music and heard him speak to his fans, his words are a rabbit hole of his twisted thoughts and dreams. To me, he’s a modern day Kafka, who up until now was the only writer with whom I could truly relate. I’m not gonna lie, I never really thought that anyone could out-Kafkaesque the “Die Verwandlung” creeping through my mind, but damn he’s gone and done it! There are so many pieces of not just me living inside the pages of this book, but as well the pieces of the very few people I’ve truly loved in this world, not the least of which was my husband.

OCTOBER 28, 2021: “Peopling” …

Look, it’s not as though I’m that hard to get along with, it’s just that I’m very extremely particular about who I let into my bubble, and even more particular about the strings I allow to attach to my soul. For those who get it right, being “too close” to me is a veritable wonderland. For those who don’t, umm, maybe not so much, because more so than not, I’ve usually already left the party before I even get there. It still doesn’t change the fact that, INDEED IT IS TRUE, if and when I am truly comfortable with someone, I literally NEVER shut up the eff up!

Am I proud of this either fatal or God given flaw and it’s accompanying elusiveness and silent exits? Hmm. Maybe, maybe not. You see, at this point in the game I’m not even remotely interested in trying to understand all of the ways that I am, because as I’ve said before, some things just aren’t meant to be understood, and my “you don’t ever wanna get too close” personality is one of them. What I do know by now is that indeed I am the consummate INFJ “door slammer”:

INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judgment. The INFJ is believed to be the rarest of all types, making up only 1-2 percent of the U.S. population — which explains why this personality type frequently feels isolated and misunderstood.”

{“What Is the INFJ Door Slam, and Why Do INFJs Do It? … by Introvert Dear}

Keep in mind that no one ever gets the same me twice. Once I’ve decided that something isn’t working, although I may coexist in the same world and sometimes even the same space with them, the “me” that comes after I’ve realized I’m too close to something that isn’t in my wheelhouse usually doesn’t come with emotion. As you can imagine, this tends to make me seem like a cold and emotionless bitch, and it definitely hasn’t won me any popularity contests.

Trust me when I say that my dance card is never full, and hell NO I’m not that girl who is inundated with girls’ nights out or invitations to anything. Rather, I’m that girl who teases the masses with the chance of touching my soul, but then when they try to get too close, I slap there hand away and run for the fucking hills! It is what it is, I am who I am, and I’m pretty damn okay with it. On the rare occasion that I do get included in a social gathering where there are people I truly feel connected to, Jean Claude Van DAMN I’m frigging delightful! “Peopling” either brings out the best in me – OR NOTHING AT ALL – as ZERO interest have I in surface level anything. I’d much rather be “alone, but not lonely” than in an ocean chock full of way too many fish who aren’t really transmitting to my motherboard.

Hi everyone, it’s me, Cat! While I can indeed be overly sensitive, at least I’m in touch with my feelings and allow myself to have them. I suppose I am rather difficult to get to know, because yes I do have WICKED high expectations, but umm, have you met me? I’m a queen, and not only can queens not be friends with everyone, why would they want to anyway? So, with that, congratu-fucking-lations to anyone who’s had the privilege and honor of knowing me, and even more so to the few who ever will. My uber-selective inner sanctum is one of THE best places to GET to be. At the end of the day, although the light from my halo is loving, warm and endearing, it will burn your fucking eyes out if you’re not strong enough to stand near it. Please ONLY bring your A-game … I’ll settle for NOTHING less … I’ll see right your bullshit AND throw it back in your face, ’cause (PS) not only am I not afraid to be alone, I rather much enjoy it. To know me is to love me, but ONLY if you’re lucky!

{JANUARY 31, 2021: “I’m A Freak Of The World“}

Step right up and enjoy the freakshow, or don’t, ’cause either way I’m good. I no longer feel the need to apologize for my, err, “uniqueness”, and all but fucking embrace my very private world and the precious peace that shrouds and protects it. So, with that, there’s the door all you “people”, and unless we’re gonna do this “peopling” thing for REAL, you might want to run as far away from that door as possible lest it hit you in the face!

The bottom line is this …

The only ones who have understand the secret language of my soul are those few who knew how to read it before I even spoke a word. You know, kinda like that time I fell head over heels in love with a man whose very first meaningful conversation with me started with, Umm, do you even own a hairbrush?” That’s the REAL connection stuff that brings out the best in me. NO surface level necessary, just, “Wow, you look like shit!”

It seems that more and more these days, people are merely staring at and sizing each other up with their eyes and not their souls. BEHOLD! It’s the grand illusion of dress up and pretend where no one is ever really who or what they seem, and umm, I’m so not down with living a life of farce anymore, and trust me when I tell you, this Cat ain’t going backwards! God Himself knows it even took me more than four decades to learn how to crack my own code.

At the end of the day, only genuine connection makes me feel at home in an unfamiliar places, and now that I’ve realized that my most genuine connection is right here with good ole me, I guess I’ll just be sticking close to “home” here in my ‘lil Queendom unless or until there’s anyone else out there who can ignite the energy of my fire with a spark from theirs. Until then, Imma stay up here on the mountain and just watch all the “peopling” going on down below and thanking God that I don’t have to do it. If I’ve learned anything whatsoever in my “Fifty-TWO-Good-To-Be-True” years, it’s that nothing feels as lonely as being in a room full of people that you don’t belong with. Been there. Done that. Peaceful solitude works best for me.

TOO CLOSE

Checking out so soon? How long you been planning this? Is it something that I missed? I really thought that I was breaking through to you. Did you run out of room? You said that you would take the risk, and now you can’t handle it? You took what you can get and now you’re through. I can tell by the look on your face that it’s time for you to make an escape. It’s my mistake. I never listened when you said, “Don’t ever get too close, too close, too close to me. You don’t want to get too close, too close, too close to me. Don’t ever get too close, too close, too close to me. I had to find out – find out for myself. I always knew I’d be the one to take the hit, but I guess I just can’t resist all the mystery surrounding you. I’m so confused. There are just too many twists. I’ll never get away from it. I should’ve known you were too good to be true. I can tell by the look on your face that it’s time for you to make an escape. Why do you keep me at a distance? Why are you always so resistant? Don’t want to wonder any longer – wonder when you’ll say, “Don’t never get too close, too close, too close for me. I guess I’ll have to find out – find out for myself. {Trapt}

OCTOBER 20, 2021: “The Bucket List Item I Never Knew I Needed” …

Yesterday afternoon, one of my “life partners” of sorts, who has now become a dear friend, called me up and basically insisted that I “find myself a cocktail dress, slap on some make up, and get to downtown Dallas” for a once in a lifetime chance to see an actual living masterpiece, Andrea Bocelli. As I had adamantly planned not to see any post pandemic concerts until it could be Ivan Moody and Five Finger Death Punch, I almost backed out after I’d already agreed to go, because I didn’t want to break the deal I’d made with myself to hold out for Death Punch with both the kids so that hopefully they’d finally get to hear “The Brighter Side Of Grey” live on stage.

In being honest, even as much as I love all genres of music, opera has never really been my thing – but – it was Zack’s, and seeing Bocelli in concert had long been on his Bucket List before he left. Knowing him the way that I did, if he were still alive, we’d have had front row center seats at any cost, because that’s how much he loved Andrea Bocelli. Meanwhile, I did decide to go after all – not for me but more so to honor one of his dreams. I’M SO GLAD I DIDN’T BAIL!

I cried most of the night, all but lost it at Amazing Grace, and I’ll never be the same again after this night. Of note, when Andrea and his daughter sang Ave Maria, my friend turned me and said, “Cat, Zack is here right now. Can’t explain it. I just know it and feel it in my soul. I believe in my heart of hearts that she was right.

Let’s face it – not many people will ever have the chance to see a true “living masterpiece” in concert, and I am firmly convinced that I was very much supposed to be at that performance. Hearing Andrea Bocelli tonight was no different to me than if I had been given the chance to sit down beside Leonardo DaVinci while he was giving birth to the Mona Lisa.

Once again, I am blessed beyond words, thankful beyond thankfulness, and forever changed for the better. How could I have possibly known that within the course of less than 36 hours I’d be adding then scratching off an item from my own Bucket List that I never even knew was meant to be on it? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I truly am God’s own favorite daughter and the luckiest queen on the face of this entire planet.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2021: “I Know” …

Today is one of those days when my own words wouldn’t do a bit of justice to the message I’m urgently trying to convey. Except, that is, to say that the best day of my life so far really was that day I finally understood that there are some things I will never need to understand and even more things I don’t care to “know”. Once I stopped trying to figure all this stuff out and trying to outthink all the things I cannot possibly ever fathom, I became as deaf, dumb, and blind as a bat, but as wise as the wisest sage.

“All I know” is “what I know“, nothing more, and nothing less. The rest of the details and heavy hitting of worrying I’m just leaving up to The Pro. At the end of the day, perhaps one of my most powerful and precious “life nuggets” of wisdom is having finally learned is that my internal peace is much more important than literally driving myself insane trying to understand why some things happen they way they do and knowing when it’s time to just let some of that overthinking that I do GO!

Where do I begin with what to say? I’ve played this conversation in my head so many times. I’m certainly not claiming to know everything, but what I do will save your life. I know, I know that God is able. I know, I know that He still reigns. I know, I know that Love has found a way. No matter what it is you’re going through – even if you think you’re far beyond where hope can see. I know there is a hand that’s reaching out for you – because He did the same for me. I know, I know that God is able. I know, I know that He still reigns. I know, I know that Love has found a way. It wasn’t that long ago when my own world fell apart, and everything inside of me said to let go … I found myself crying out to the One who knows my heart … and holding tight to the few things that I know. I know …

{“I Know” ~ Mercy Me}

SEPTEMBER 26, 2021: “We’re Not Gonna Take It!” …

Just A Friendly Reminder …

… that there’s only so much being taken for granted that people will take. Sooner or later, even the weakest objects of someone’s disregard will bolt, and let me tell you WHY …

We’re living in a time when more and more people are getting themselves into therapy. Mental health conversations are coming out of the darkness and finding their way to the light, and “mental wealth” is fast becoming the NEW BLACK! Thank you JESUS for that!

Meanwhile, the inhumane treatment of others by toxic wasteland excuses for people are not being tolerated or swept under the rugs of oblivion and non-confrontation any longer. “Boundaries” are the flavor of the day, people are sick to DEATH of being shit on, and assholes are being bitch-slapped by the slamming doors of KARMA left and right.

Bottom line here? Be careful who you take for granted! You just never know who’s got a really great therapist and a “mental wealth support team” on speed dial full time making damn good and sure they know they’re self-worth and value. “Forgive them but FORGET THEM!” It’s the best medicine EVER, and more people are taking it than you know!

AND REMEMBER …

While you’re out there doing you’re very best to show up for all the others, don’t forget to show up for YOU! Be patient, be kind, be gracious, and forgiving, but DON’T be so stupid that you let anything and anyone slide. Erect strong boundaries and protect them at all cost, even if it means walking away! The one you should be most loyal to is YOU!

DELETE, REMOVE, ERASE, UNFOLLOW, UNFRIEND, DISCONNECT AND BLOCK anything and anyone who drains your peace or happiness. Not just on social media, IN REAL LIFE TOO! Life is too short to spend your time or energy on people who don’t see your value or who treat you like a revolving door.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2021: “The First Of You” …

Hi everyone! It’s me. JUST ME! Nope, I’m not perfect, but Jean Claude Van DAMN I’m still me! I screw stuff up ALL the damn time, but I’m still me. I’ve said good things, bad things, right things, wrong things, and really, really, REALLY stupid things, but at the end of the day, guess who said ’em? ME! I’d be lying if I said I’m proud of every single thing I’ve ever done, because nope – I’M AM NOT – but hey, it’s still ME that ever did ’em. There’s my dark side, and my light side, and my ridiculously, ridiculous “out there” side, but all those sides are, ME! I’m a work in progress every minute of every day, and the end result of all of that work will still, just, be, ME!

But guess what the really cool part about “being me” is? I’m the FIRST of me, not the second, not the last – I’M THE FIRST! I’m not a carbon copy, I cannot be reproduced, besides who in the hell would want to, but yes, I’M THE FIRST OF ME! No one else can do that. No one else can be that. I find that to be spectacular!

I hear a voice inside. It’s grown into a scream. I’m not the next of them. I am the first of me. ‘Cause I can’t live the lie. I am just what you see. I’m not the next of them. I am the first of me.

These days, it seems that “FAKE” really IS the new “REAL”, and society has become SO fake anymore that the truth actually bothers and offends people. Hell to the NO, that won’t work for me! Being an original is always the best thing to do, although sometimes it takes some work to learn how to be ourselves, and only ourselves. The reward is worth the struggle! If you haven’t already tried this “being me” thing (oh, wait, I mean, “being YOU”), you should. Oh, and by the way, this Hoobastank song is one of the favorites of my life, one of the most underrated songs ever, and everyone should have to memorize these words about five seconds after they learn to talk. But hey, what do I know, right? Just thought I’d share!

THE FIRST OF ME

I must make a choice – a tough decision. Listen to my voice – should I give in to temptation? Admiration? One leads to myself – the other someone else – just an empty shell. Just an empty shell. It’s harder than it seems when you’re told that all your hopes and dreams are yours to hold if you just give them what’s expected – something they can sell or put upon a shelf. But I am not for sale. I am not for sale. I hear a voice inside. It’s grown into a scream. I’m not the next of them – I am the first of me. ‘Cause I can’t live the lie. I am just what you see. I’m not the next of them – I am the first of me. If I can’t refuse the price they offer, I am sure to lose and I will suffer. Sell my soul to make a profit? All I have to do is make believe it’s true. That’s something I can’t do. That’s something I can’t do. So, when the waiting’s done and it’s time to face the truth. You know you’re good enough deep down inside of you. You’ve finally woken up if only just to prove you are born to lead the way and be the first of you. {Hoobastank}

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021: “As They Are” …

I ran across a conversation amongst some parents on social media the other day about “how they were dealing with the fact that their children didn’t turn out as they’d hoped”. It was perplexing and after reading the various insights, I had to take a moment and pause. So, I asked myself that question, and here is where I landed:

I was blessed with three babies.

One of them is already in Heaven, which of course is not what I’d “hoped” for her. Although I was only blessed with her physical presence for a handful of fleeting hours, there have been moments that I’ve actually thanked God for getting her out of this wretched mortal world the rest of us are shackled too sooner rather than later. Let’s be honest folks – regardless of the hope, joy, beauty and laughter there are to be found in this temporary Earthly home, “humanity” is not for the faint of heart and it takes an immense amount of courage, faith, and suffering to survive it.

So, yes, I’m thankful she never had to endure the gauntlet of simply existing. I know where she is now. She’s safe, loved, and treasured beyond comprehension by a Love even greater than mine, and for that I am truly grateful. I believe that when I myself get to the brighter side of all this grey, she’ll be there waiting for me right beside my husband, who too is eternally safe and free from the suffering he knew here on Earth.

Then, there are the two still here with me. If I’ve learned anything in my journey thus far, it’s that as their mom, nothing is more crucial for their mental wealth then my unconditional love and acceptance of them just as they are and just as they aren’t.

Due in part to the extreme dysfunction of my own childhood, wherein my parents (who were also raised in dysfunction) perpetuated the “works and deeds” system of parenting cyclically bequeathed them, I spent the first 39 years of my life void of a reflection in the mirror. “Love, affection, praise, and reward” were earned, not freely given, and even the smallest perceived failure or disappointment in their eyes would often cost me everything.

I cannot tell you how many times they “washed their hands of me” over the years for screwing things up and falling short of their expectations. I was guilted and shamed for “not being good” too many times to count, which eventually cost me my sanity, and almost cost me my life. Meanwhile, here I am. I’ve made peace with my past, my present, and my future, and am fully connected back to that elusive younger me who was missing from the mirror all those years.

This is how I deal with the fact that my children aren’t turning out “as I’d hoped”: I DON’T, BECAUSE THEY ARE! Their mental health and happiness are all I ever hope for. Their lives are their lives, and the only human beings they need to be accountable to when setting their personal achievement bars is themselves! No matter how high or low they set them, they will never be failures in my eyes. If they want to grow up and sell lemonade from a bus, so be it, as long as they’re selling the BEST damn lemonade they can possibly sell and they sleep peacefully at night after doing so.

I believe with every shred of my being that the moment these kids became a part of my blood and bones, my job as the mother who was blessed enough to be blessed by their presence on my path was to relearn and reteach “life” according to their own unique terms and being and to prepare them for flight on their own unique paths – not mine!

My kids don’t owe me a single thing – not even love and respect. Do they love and respect me? Indeed, I think they do. Yet, as oxymoronical as it seems, both love and respect are the consequence of free will and cannot be forced or commanded. My babies are not extensions of me – they’re their own, autonomous beings. I want them to love and respect me because they want to love and respect me, not because I demand it. They ‘re people, not machines, with thoughts and feelings of their own.The best that I can do is to keep freely giving what I “hope” to receive in return, regardless of their reciprocation.

There is nothing they can do or say that will keep me from being proud of them, and all I ever ask for is their best in all they do, that they grow from their mistakes, learn from all of mine, and treat themselves and others kindly. Neither of them is perfect, and each has had some challenges courtesy of their own dysfunctional childhood and me. It took me a minute to pull my head out of my own ass, get the help I needed to become whole, and stop acting like the consummate victim. But I did, and they know it, and we are all in this thing together separately.

At the end of the day, my job as their mom will be a true success if they learn to see themselves in their mirrors as the impeccably flawed masterpieces they are – lemonade stands and all. My son is a KING in the making, and my daughter a warrior QUEEN just like me. All three of us are battle born SURVIVORS who’ve “gotten” to learn the hard way that nothing here matters without true and unconditional love and acceptance, which they will always have from their mom, and we ALL have from our God. I will always love them as they are – nothing more, nothing less.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2021: “A Love Note To My Body!” …

DEAR “ME”:

Today is your birthday – “Fifty-TWO-Good-To-True” – so, what better way to celebrate the insanely beautiful life you still get to live than to read this “love letter” to the body you still get to occupy despite your best attempts to ever so passively, yet ever so aggressively murder it for too many years to count?

When you saw this woman’s words posted on social media recently, they leveled you in the most bittersweet ways. Since that day, you’ve read them to yourself over and over and over again, and knowing you the way I do, I suspect you’ll continue to do so for the remainder of your journey here on Earth. They’re impeccable and powerful to us both!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU once again, thank you JESUS, and Amen! Indeed, you ARE “The REAL Cat Williamson” … a Warrior, Motivator, Survivor, and CREATURE SLAYING QUEEN!

~ Love, “ME”

To anyone reading this, yes, this is one of those songs that has impacted my life in such a profound way that it’s earned a repost in my Diary. Only this time I’ve changed up the words:

Never again! Never give in! Never give in! I wouldn’t have wished that on just anyone, but she seemed to share my impulse. I wouldn’t have taken that from just anyone, but she seemed to like the result. So, I connected the dots and I told her when to stop. I chose to keep on going rather and NOT be something that I’m not. We were creatures of habit. We couldn’t live without it. We didn’t have to answer to anyone. We were chasing the rabbit, like creatures of habit, and no one else knew where we were coming from. And everything has changed, ’cause I didn’t fucking run away. There’s no need to panic, ’cause it’s no longer tragic.

{ Adapted from “Creatures” ~ by Shinedown}

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction of any sort, PLEASE pick up your sword and fight your way out of that darkness. Both you AND YOUR BODY deserve so much fucking better than “creatures” trying to destroy you.