MARCH 25, 2021: “86,400” …

PROJECT “FAMILY DINNER”?

SUCCESS!

This Cosmos and its Creator are so beyond good to me in every way, shape and form, and I cannot say it enough. This was the last thing I needed to rectify within my formerly “broken heart” so that when it’s my time to touch The Brighter Side Of Grey, I will do so with my soul completely healed and whole. From this point forward, it’s just a very GREY “86,400 seconds a day” for as many spins around the Sun I get to make just shining my Light in all this DARK.

TO ANYONE READING THIS WHO IS AT ODDS WITH YOURSELF OR “YOUR PEOPLE”:

It’s never to late to start again! Indeed it is true that forgiveness is for us, but the TRUEST power and grace are found in the forgiveness we extend to others.

“Hurt people” HURT people.

“Healed healed” HEAL people.

While no one REALLY knows what the end game here really is, I’m pretty dam sure that FORGIVENESS is the answer to the greatest cosmic mystery of all — “WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE?” You will never understand how much NONE OF US really deserves to be forgiven for ANY of the shit we manage to do until you’ve had to learn about it the way I have. I am here to tell you it’s EVERYTHING! Wherever you are on this globe right now, take a good look around at everything you see. IT COULD ALL BE GONE TOMORROW! Choose your battles well, and spend those seconds wisely, so that if you have to leave tomorrow, you’ll leave in “PEACE” … not “PIECES”!

MARCH 17, 2021: “The Hidden Message” …

… because maybe sometimes the meaning behind the message the Cosmos is trying to send us can only be received when we’re actually ready to hear them.

I’ve watched the “Bubbikins” episode of The Crown more than a dozen times, and if you’ve read my “Speaking Of Faith And Crowns” blog, you know it was a huge catalyst in connecting with the many messages my God has been sending me every step of the way. But did you know that I didn’t know there was, perhaps, a more important message in it that I’d missed entirely? I’d been watching it again on Friday night when Christian called me in tears saying, “Momma, PLEASE forgive Grandpa“? And THEN I couldn’t sleep. I got up and started wrote “Desperado“. THEN it hit THEN “the message hidden in the message” literally HIT ME like a ton of the most

What if everything we think we’ve known isn’t really what it was at all? Just as I pray that what ultimately awaits me on The Brighter Side Of Grey is my own children’s understanding of what was really going on “the day of The Circadian“, even more so do I pray that I remain steadfast in my conviction that, yes, “HURT people hurt PEOPLE”, and sometimes grace is the onlybig picture” we were ever meant to understand.

… and, with that, I am STILL the LUCKIEST Queen on the face of this beautiful planet, blessed far beyond anything my MANY sins of the past should have allowed. I love you, too, God. THANK YOU – for EVERYTHING! Your “messages” are coming through louder and clearer every step of the way.

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

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

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

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

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

IT’S NOT ME.

IT’S HIM!

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

LEAVE OUT ALL THE REST

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

SEPTEMBER 22, 2019: “Forgiven” …

Forgive

Exactly one year ago this morning Zack and I were sitting in a hotel lobby in Paris waiting for a shuttle to come schlep us to the airport for our flight home to Dallas. “So, where are we going next”, he asked me. One trip to Europe and literally could NOT wait to plan our next adventure. He was hooked! After having spent the entire morning considering the possibilities, we were split down the middle: Ireland? Switzerland? Kids? No kids? What to to do, what to do? BEFORE WE’D MADE IT TO THE AIRPORT he had already called Globus to book our trip to Switzerland for my 50th, and within a week of getting home he had the Ireland trip for “all of us” booked as well. My point is this: Life just threw us a curveball that no one ever “really” saw coming. And this my friends, IS LIFE. Each day, wait, no, each second we are allowed to spend here with our souls in these flesh and bone bodies just turning and burning, living like there’s no tomorrow and making plans for the future is a gift. So I beg you all: If what happened to our family hasn’t already made you “stop, look and listen” and take serious stock of your life, please, DO IT NOW! One month ago today? Although, yes, there had been signs, and yes, we had been fighting for months against the demons that were devouring him, I THOUGHT WE HAD MORE TIME!

Unfortunately, I have learned all too well by now that everything can change in an instant, but I think the most important wisdom I’ve ”earned” through it all is in knowing that at the end of the day, it really IS about forgiveness. And acceptance, and empathy, and understanding, and grace. Not to mention those four precious agreements I’ve tried so hard to live by since first reading them years ago:

My husband hurt us so badly. His actions spoke louder than the even the angriest words I’ve heard in my lifetime, and trust me, prior to “life with Zack” I’D HEARD MORE THAN MY FAIR SHARE OF ANGRY WORDS! There are things that may be revealed throughout the course of time in both mine and Gia’s journey that may surprise, confuse and outrage you. Zack wasn’t “Zack” the night he left us. He was someone else. Some “thing” else. Two beings in one body … an angel battling a demon. And as dramatic as that may sound, please understand me when I say this: Yes, I am telling you the truth. HIS CHOICES, ACTIONS AND FINAL BLOW DEVASTATED US IN UNFATHOMABLE WAYS! But in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I have forgiven him for everything, and did so within seconds of knowing he was gone, which for the record, although his death certificate reads “Found August 23, 2019”, I FELT HIS LIFE LEAVING MY OWN BODY on Thursday, August 22, 2019, at just before midnight. I know with every shred of my being, and will NEVER be convinced otherwise, that was the moment he pulled the trigger.

The forgiveness wasn’t just for me, by the way, it was also very much for him. So often in life we are put in positions wherein there is “forgiveness that needs to be given”, but for whatever reason the person that hurt us is either UNDESERVING OF OUR FORGIVENESS or otherwise “unavailable” for being forgiven (i.e., they are dead, in jail, otherwise absent from our life, OR, simply unwilling or incapable of validating or acknowledging even a SHRED of the pain or suffering they have caused us. In some cases, as in mine and Gia’s, it could be a little of all of the above. These are the times, therefore, when you may perhaps have heard it said, and, IT IS SO TRUE:

FORGIVENESS IS FOR US, NOT FOR THEM!

It releases us from a self-inflicted prison of anger, hate, toxicity and resentment when we become victims of the unkind acts of others.

Some have probably argued that what Zack did to us was indeed “unforgivable”. But you see, I have known all too well since the day that precious man’s eyes first met with mine that he was suffering within himself all the days of his life, EVEN DURING HIS BEST YEARS WITH US. Knowing that he lived each day with that gaping hole inside his heart tortured me too. There is a line from one of my favorite movies that has resonated in my mind since I lost him:

That boy, Frank, he lives inside of his own heart. That’s an awful big place to live in.

The movie was Slingblade, and we watched it together often. I cannot tell you how many times I saw tears rolling down his cheeks when he heard those words being said, as that is exactly where he lived the majority of HIS life – “inside of his own heart”. And, yes, it truly was an awful big place to live in. I am so thankful that my husband is finally at peace now, and I absolutely know that he is.

Last night while at dinner with a dear friend, a miracle started happening. Gia is starting to talk about him. Finally. For the first time since “that night”. Up until yesterday, SHE DIDN’T WANT TO HEAR HIS NAME! And not only was she talking about him, but my friend later pointed something out to me that I didn’t really pick up on until she said it:

Catherine, in all our conversation tonight, I couldn’t help but notice that she kept referring to Zack as her dad and her dad as her father.

And that my friends, is perhaps the defining moment of her process. The more time that passes, it is becoming very clear that she too is going to forgive him for everything he did, taking only the best parts of him into her future, and leaving out all the rest! The father-daughter bond they shared before he lost his mind? Nothing is going to erase it! SHE IS HER MOTHER’S DAUGHTER, so I guess something I’m doing with her is working. As for me? I know exactly what I want my own legacy to be one day when I too have to leave for The Brighter Side Of Grey, and from I am starting to see, it’s already living out loud through her.

Forgiveness. It’s one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.