MAY 10, 2020: “To His Mother: WHY?” …

MomnTO “HIS MOTHER”:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your “son” stopped living the day he was born, but it was a year ago today that the hands of Fate threw the very last spin of the wheel that ultimately led to not only his demise, but the end of the most beautiful chapter of my life. Looking back now, I can honestly say that the very first hint of change in him was June 5, 2014, as that was truly the day the “rock” that was our Zachariah began crumbling inside himself. Slowly, subtly, yet ever so steadily, he began slipping down the black, dead hole that devoured him alive, but it wasn’t really until May 12th last year that he started coming apart at the seams. I remember that morning as if it were now, right down to exactly where he was standing, the look of angst upon his face, what he was saying, the tears falling from his eyes, what he was wearing, and even how he smelled. Sufficed to say though, indeed it was “Mother’s Day 2019” that earmarked the beginning of his end.

So, with that, today is bittersweet, as not a Mother’s Day had passed since he walked into my life eleven years ago that I wasn’t cherished, celebrated, and placed so high upon the pedestal he built for only me there are literally just no words. It was no secret to anyone that knew us well that your “son” was hell bent on making sure that I was abundantly aware of exactly what my role in all of their lives meant to him, especially on Mother’s Day! As I’ve also said before, when we first met, he appeared to be a solid rock. He’d told me about his past and how not just you, but his entire “blood family” abandoned and rejected him (for what reason only God knows). He was so matter of fact about the awful things you’d all done to him, which was always so perplexing to me because even I couldn’t wrap my own head around it all. It angered and outraged me to the core of my being to not only hear the stories of his maternal abandonment and fucked up beyond reason childhood, but to have watch, live and experience the abundance of bullshit his “family” did to and put him through which was unacceptable, gross and disgusting. As for those other “Williamsons” you spat upon this Earth who still live here in the city where their “brother” slipped right through the void? If any random stranger were to meet a single one of them and not know who they really are they’d be more than impressed with the charming personas they present. But his truth is the truth, he spoke it, I witnessed it, and God Himself was watching IT ALL! Congratulations dear “mother”! You made self-consumed narcissists who get all dressed up with the plastic smiles and shallow hearts only you could possibly be proud of!

On the surface he seemed to have made peace with it all as he moved on down the road. We met, fell in love, made our own little family, and he left you all behind in his dust. “Their loss, not mine”, he would say, and he couldn’t have been more right, as none of you were ever good enough to be graced by my husband’s presence. Trust me when I tell you that because of our professions we knew plenty of people who “know them”. The general consensus about your other Williamson children? You know, the ones you actually managed to want? Selfish, shallow and greedy social climbing, wanna-be’s in one of the greatest shows on Earth. Everything about his character was so far removed from and above all of theirs that no one that realized their connection could fathom it. Those were amongst the highest compliments he received, and he absolutely reveled in them. But I’ve digressed. Sufficed to say, it was “every Mother’s Day” that hurt him the most, even more so than all the birthdays you forgot as he waited for you year after year, phone in hand, checking to see “if she’ll remember and just show up”. There is still much to say about my husband’s final descent and all the ways he was driven to insanity, not the least of how he hurt Gia.

In the meantime, all you REALLY need to know, “Mother” Of My Fallen King, is this:

It’s Mother’s Day 2020 and 264 days ago your “son” shot himself in the head with a Springfield handgun and a hollow point bullet at just before midnight on August 22, 2019. To him you were a stranger, and what a shame that you will never know what a truly amazing man you threw away and the priceless gift he was to this world (though unfortunately he never believed it).

Only God knows what was going through his mind in the very last moments of his life, and yes, “what that may have been” will break my heart forever. Alas, he’s at rest now, finally at peace after the “legacy of abandonment” you knowingly chose to burden him with. But here’s what I do know in concrete fact “was going through his mind” in the years I was lucky enough to give him the only real home he ever had and the only real love from a woman (other than his Grandma) he’d ever known …

Your “son” hurt us all with a broken mind and heart that were jaded beyond human comprehension. “He must have had mommy issues” is what some will surely say, and sadly? That was true! He wasn’t quite two when you left him behind, him, and only him, and not your “other babies”, because for what good reason he could never understand you just didn’t want him like the others! Then you never turned back to see the tears that burned through his heart every day for the rest of his life.

When your “son” was just a boy he had to sit with all his classmates making “macaroni Mother’s Days cards” that he never knew what to do with, so he would tear them all up and put them in the garbage as he was leaving the school grounds watching all the other kids being greeted by their mommies as he walked home to nothing all alone!

When your “son” was just a boy he would go to his friends’ birthdays while his heart physically ached because you apparently couldn’t remember the day he was born. It was October 5, 1982, in case you forgot!

When your “son” was just a boy Mother’s Day broke his heart into little tiny pieces that none of us who really loved him could ever put back together. He cried for you. Ached for you. Longed for you. Dreamt about you. He disappeared inside himself just waiting for you to want him!

Despite these words and my more than apparent anger, I have forgiven you and yours for all the ways you destroyed my beautiful husband. But never will I forget the last ten years watching him try so hard not to break because none of you gave a FUCK about “the Zack of shit”, your “son”, their “brother”. So, with that, happy Mother’s Day to you, “mother” of my fallen king. May you sleep well this and every Mother’s Day going forward that you’re able to enjoy the Williamsons you somehow managed to “mother”! Hold your hand over your chest now and breathe in what you feel … it’s the still beating heart of the one woman in this world that was supposed to love my husband forever.

Signed truly … “Daughter-In-Law”

Mother

metal background with rivets

NOVEMBER 28, 2019: “Family Don’t End With Blood” …

"It's Okay To Mourn The Child You Never Got To Be"
~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

… because if I’ve learned anything in 50 years, and in tribute to one of the BEST sayings ever from my baby girl’s FAVORITE show of all times, it’s that “family don’t end with blood”! Happy Thanksgiving everyone and if YOUR family didn’t “end with blood” today, then maybe it’s time for your OWN “Second Chance” …

Family

IMG_E8348

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

NOVEMBER 1, 2019: “In Loving Memory” …

usThis will be my last “sad post” for a while, as tomorrow I start a new chapter of my life and will wake up with the positive perspective I know he’d want me to have as I endeavor onto a path I’ve been heading towards for years. Today was rough, I’m not gonna lie. I haven’t cried so much since I lost my daughter 15 years ago – almost constantly since waking at 7:05am. That being said, I had an epiphany on the way home from my “anniversary dinner” with the only real parents my husband ever had, Rick and Dee, who for the record are the ONLY people with whom I would have chosen to spend this first anniversary without him.

RingsWe got married on a Monday in our friends’ theatre room around 8:30pm, nine years ago tonight. We there “married” but clueless as to what the future held. We didn’t have much to start with, and in fact, it was right around “this time” that night we were sitting in a fast food parking lot in Murphy eating our drive-thru meals, SO happy and in completely in love. We had NOTHING but faith in one another, and that was all! Coincidently, we had very little support from anyone at that time. Zack had no real family to speak of. I mean, he had a “family of origin” – a father, some siblings and this “thing” that gave birth to him as he would always say. But with the exception of just one of his brothers, they couldn’t be bothered with him. But that’s a different story for another time. As for my family? But for my sister and kids, they just couldn’t understand why in the HELL I would marry the poor guy with the ugly truck and commit myself and Gia to what they believed was a life destined to nothing more than an apartment and hand to mouth foolish dreams. “We” were a joke to everyone for the most part, and no one, and I mean NO ONE took us seriously. There were a handful of people however that did support us from the onset, and irony of all ironies, today, my “first anniversary without him”, it so happened that three of those very same people were the people I spent my day with. It wasn’t planned this way, it just “was”. I am so thankful because honestly, it almost seemed cosmically purposed this way. Rick was the “dad” that stepped up for my husband when the father he “got” couldn’t be bothered to do much of anything for him in his lifetime. Rick was the one who stood beside my husband all these years and Rick was the one who stood beside my husband on our “wedding day”, while “father” sat in the audience. That means something, wouldn’t you say? IT SAYS EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS BE SAID WITHOUT WORDS!

I’ve heard NOTHING in 67 days from my “father in law” by the way. Zero! I never saw him again after the service, he hasn’t called once to check on me, and worse yet? HE NEVER CAME TO GET HIS SON’S ASHES, and now that I think of it, neither did his “one brother”. Nope. Both sets of ashes I had preserved for them are still sitting in my closet, as forgotten in death as he was in his life. But I digress. You know, now that I think of it, I don’t think “father” even knew when our wedding day was our what that day meant in the big scheme of things to his son. Certainly not very “fatherly”, but also not very surprising. That’s who and what he was, still is, and probably always will be – a foolish loser who pissed away an amazing son and even abandonded him in his death. At any rate, good night folks. I’m gonna be okay. Just, tomorrow.

frog

In Loving Memory Of “The Frog & The Butterfly”

“Thanks for all you’ve done. I’ve missed you for so long. I can’t believe you’re gone. You still live in me. I feel you in the wind. You guide me constantly. I never knew what it was to be alone. ‘Cause you were always there for me. You were always home waiting. But now I come home and I miss your face. Smiling down on me. I close my eyes to see. And I know you’re a part of me. And it’s your song that sets me free. I sing it while I feel, I can’t hold on. I sing tonight ’cause it comforts me. I carry the things that remind me of you. In loving memory of the one that was so true. You were as kind as you could be. And even though you’re gone you still mean the world to me. And you’ll be here with me still. All you did you did with feeling. And you always found a meaning. And you always will. And you always will. And you always will.” ~ Alter Bridge

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

OCTOBER 20, 2019: “My Rescue Story” …

Rescue Story… that moment your friend of a million years, who’s known you through some of your darkest hours, finds and sends you THE SONG OF YOUR LIFE. I’m literally thanking God right now for the very kind strangers who picked me up off the floor after losing it in the middle of my workout. LOOK AT THE NAME OF THE ARTIST! It’s like this song was written just for me – AND for my husband. Regardless of how he left us and what many people believe about suicide, I know the merciful God I serve did NOT forsake him in his last breath and was waiting with His hand reached out to finally rescue and take him “Home”. Thank you Dee Holley. I love you!

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

OCTOBER 9, 2019: “SOLITARY: Life Behind A Mask” …

ArthurSo, here’s what’s on my mind today. After my sister’s birthday dinner last night, she wanted to go see The Joker. We’d both assumed it was just a Batman prequel, and in a roundabout way it was, inasmuch as it was set in Gotham City and the Wayne’s were front and present. I haven’t been to the movies much lately and was completely uninformed as to the plot, but I’m a “Batgirl” so we went with it.

This was NO superhero commentary. Was there a connection? Absolutely. But within seconds of the opening scene I began to wonder, “Do I stay, or do I go?” Every alarm in my psyche was screaming that this movie could potentially level me. He was “painting on a mask” but behind his eyes you could clearly see that whatever road he’d walked until that moment he had lost connection to both the world and himself. Yet I was compelled to watch this six degrees of separated version of not only Zack’s story, but at times mine and SO many other people I’ve known. As we cringed our way through Joker’s “Hell on Earth” I watched him bring a gun to his head six times, and if that weren’t bad enough, though we’d all anticipated him blowing his OWN brains out in the end, brains indeed were blown out on the screen. And I just sat there like an iron wall. I could see my sister panic every time the gun went to his head as she’d lean over and ask if we needed to leave, but I kept assuring her I was okay, because I was. I don’t know what in my own “Hell on Earth” this says about me, but wait, I think I do …

darknessI AM ONE STRONG BITCH! “Warrior. Motivator. SURVIVOR!” The longer I sat there the LESS I wanted to cry and shake my fists all up to the Heavens screaming “WHY?” I already know why ALL too well and no amount of screaming or fist shaking will change my own plot line or erase the things I’ve “gotten to learn” so far. Do I still cry? Every. Fucking. Day! I’m only human after all. But I believe that every tear I shed is being counted by a Power INFINITELY higher than me and I absolutely trust it. So, I welcome those tears, then simply “let them go”, as my most effective form of mental health therapy.

Here’s my takeaway from both the show and my visceral reaction to it: Much like my husband who often felt isolated in even the most crowded spaces, The Joker eventually lost connection with not only himself but humanity as well. He’d been stepped on, overlooked and bullied by life in general, which process led him to an internal mental madness that most people couldn’t fathom. Like The Joker (and many of us) my husband wore two faces: The very happy “I’m okay” mask he dawned outwardly each day while secretly living inside the invisible, solitary prison where he wore the other “sick, dark, tragic one” that led him to his fate.

One of the most poignant scenes in the movie found the mentally ill Joker sitting in front of “a system” letting him down, just as pretty much everything and one he’d ever known had done, and he said something to the effect of, “Have you even listened to a SINGLE thing I’ve said? All these times I’ve sat in front of you – have you EVER really seen or heard me?” Such is the story of so many of our lives and then we too “slip through the void” into our own darkness. Which is why I think I could NOT bring myself to leave the one movie I probably should NOT have seen in the first place. Last night, sitting through that show like the ROCK I know I’ve become? I did NOT crumble. I did NOT cry. I only became further convicted in my desperate need to touch as many “Joker’s” lives as possible with what time I have left here on Earth. Self-pity, sorrow, screaming and “fist shaking” will accomplish ZERO but “reaching the unreachable” just might. Okay, that’s all. Thanks for listening. ~ Cat ❤️

JKR_DAY034_103118_0762417.dng

img_2499

Can

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

OCTOBER 5, 2019: “37 Years Ago Today” …

IMG_8124

… to this very day and minute, October 5, 1982, 9:51am, not only I and my children, but this world as a whole received one of the most beautiful gifts I never knew I would have until that moment our eyes locked so many years later in October 2008. “It was written in the stars, on the pages of my heart, oh that someday I would find the love I feel for you … On the ocean of our dreams, like a prayer you came to me. And the longing that had been found its ending in your eyes …”. There are no words to describe the bittersweet emotions I am raw with at this moment. “One man’s trash really IS another man’s treasure”, and God Himself knows this is true. She may have thrown you away, but you were indeed my greatest treasure, other than those I have given birth to myself. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZACHARIAH.  Your battle is finally over.

Until your in my arms again …

Zack

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

SEPTEMBER 25, 2019: “Things That Matter” …

1

I remember this post so well. We closed our eyes that night feeling so grateful for all the ways we had learned the very hard way which “things” mattered, and which did not. The bittersweet irony is that today the principal behind this post still rings true, and in fact, resonates even louder. On “August 22nd at just before midnight” he had every “thing” a man could ever want and had positioned us such that not a single dream was out of reach. But as you can see, no number of “things” could fill the gaping hole in his heart left by “the thing” that gave birth to him that he ultimately ended up drowning in. It’s a sad and sobering truth. “Things” are nice, I’m not gonna lie, and as of this moment I too have more than an abundance of “things” in my possession. BUT I WOULD GIVE IT ALL AWAY IN A SECOND IF I COULD GO BACK AND CHANGE THE WAY OUR STORY ENDED! I’ve said it before and will say it again: I could have lived in that little apartment in Fairview with him forever … that’s how much he meant to me. It wasn’t about all the “things” we got; it was about the life we made. The heart, soul, love and devotion he put into everything he did for us without any strings or conditions for the first time in my entire existence. No amount of money in the world can buy such a treasure as that. It was priceless. 

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

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 (which as you know didn’t happen) 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 thing I’ve ”earned” through it all it is in knowing that at the end of the day? It’s all about forgiveness. And acceptance, empathy, understanding and grace. Not to mention those four other most precious rules that I’ve tried so hard to live by to the best of my ability since first reading them some years ago: (1) Be Impeccable With Your Word. (2) Don’t Take Anything Personally. (3) Don’t Make Assumptions. (4) ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST! My husband hurt me and my kids 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 will be revealed throughout the course of time in both my and Gia’s journey that may surprise, confuse and anger 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 HURT AND 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. And what I mean in adding this is that so many times in life we are put in positions wherein there is “forgiveness that needs to be given”, but for whatever reason the circumstances are such that 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 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. In our case? Some could argue (and probably have) that what he 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 VERY BEST YEARS WITH US, and knowing that he lived each day with that constant ache inside his heart tortured me too. There is a line from one of my “top five movies of all times” that has been resonating in my mind daily since I lost my husband: “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.

One thing I want to say before wrapping up this morning and getting Gia up and ready for what we are going to try to make as good a day as possible in this life “that we get to live today” with people who genuinely love and care about us both is that last night while at dinner with a dear, true friend of mine 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 probably the most absolute and defining moment of this whole process of HERS. As time goes by it is becoming very clear to me that somehow she too is going to forgive him FOR EVERYTHING HE DID! The bond they shared? The daddy that he “was” before he lost his fucking mind? Nothing is going to erase it! SHE IS HER MOTHER’S DAUGHTER and so I guess with that something I must be doing is working. I know exactly what I want my own legacy to be one day when I too have to leave, and from what I can now clearly see, it is already living out loud through her. It’s one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.

Have a good day everyone and PLEASE take a moment to stop and look around you at everything and EVERYONE. What you are looking at could all be gone tomorrow so please go and live your best lives. AGREEMENT NUMBER FOUR: “Always Do Your Best”!

~ Love Cat

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

SEPTEMBER 15, 2019: “One Road Leads To Another” …

Highway 82So a friend of mine of 20 years urged me to get out and meet her at Choctaw in Durant last night. I spent all day going back and forth as to whether I was going or not and must have picked my phone up at least a dozen times throughout the course of the day and started texts that looked like, “Hey, I’m not sure I’m going to make it …”, but then kept deleting them and walking away from the phone.

Eventually I made the decision to go for what I thought would be overnight, so I packed my bag, took Walter to my mom and headed north up 75. The quiet drive was nice and I hadn’t really cried yet all day, as I was planning on trying not to. But right around the Highway 82 exit in Sherman I just about lost it. Zack and I had this whole “Highway 82” thing that I won’t go in to, but let’s just say that if you’ve ever heard the song “Take Me There” by Rascal Flatts, that road was a part of his story, and thus ours too. So yes, it was a moment, and yes as I began remembering all the times we’d taken that exit for our Oklahoma adventures I was flooded with emotions. I swear I could feel the “one, two, three” squeeze (I-Love-You) that we would always share to quietly express the deep connection between us, and EVERY time we made that exit? He always squeezed my hand.

It was an out of body experience drifting through that venue without my husband, and my friend didn’t arrive for a while so I was solo for 30 minutes. Several times I looked up and whispered, “Umm hello? You of all people KNOW how much I fucking hate this! What are you doing to me Williamson?” I kinda wanted to kick his ass, but not in a violent way. It was more so, “This is ANNOYING and it kinda really sucks and I wish I could punch you in the face”. It seemed like people were staring at me, which was probably all in my head, but it was just so extremely uncomfortable. I haven’t taken my wedding rings off by the way, and don’t foresee that happening any time in the near future. To be quite honest, I don’t know that I ever will. First of all, even though “death has parted us”, in my heart we are bonded for life, and also, I just don’t see how it’s possible that any other man on the face of this planet could possibly live with the immensely profound shadow that Zack has cast behind me eternally. No one will EVER be able to fill his shoes. Zero. Not that it’s a competition, and not that it’s even of relevance at this point because the thought of giving “all of me” to another man ever again makes me want to vomit. Aside from Christian and Gia there has been no other person who has had 100% of all I am. It was only him, and maybe it was only EVER supposed to be him, just as I was HIS “one and only everything”. I was Zack’s first love, and his last love, and everything in between. We were eachother’s miracles and the answers to the prayers we’d both been praying since probably before we were born. So what are the chances that a love like ours could happen twice in a lifetime? Right now I just can’t see that happening, but whatever. My focus at this point is my kids, me, and my steadfast determination to take whatever steps are necessary in the direction of improving the human condition. I’ve decided to become a life coach people. It happened on the drive BACK from Oklahoma, right around that Highway 82 exit. It just hit me. Not like a ton of bricks, but a mountain of them. I’m GOING to become a life coach, and I’m GOING to get out there and start talking to people about all the things I’ve been through and all the ways I’ve survived.

Now I remember where I was going when I started this post. So let’s go back to the end of the night when we were sitting in Gilley’s listening to the band. Two guys walked up to check out our situation and asked to buy us drinks. I rolled my eyes SO far in the back of my head that I’m still not sure how I couldn’t read the signs on the wall behind me. I said to myself, “Oh God, here we go. I FUCKING HATE THIS! I don’t want this guy, that guy, or any guy EVER to buy me a drink EVER! I just want to go home, and for my husband to be waiting for me when I get there, and for this to all not be real!” My poor friend was doing all that she could to protect me from this scenario. After all, her intention in getting me out was never to get someone to buy me a drink, only to get me out of my head. And I’m glad she did because THIS is what led me to my “Highway 82” life decision …

So the one guy asks about the drink, I was rolling my eyes, and my friend put her arms around me and turned to look at him and said these EXACT words: “Look, we sure do appreciate you but I’m going to kindly ask that you give us some space. Without going into details, my sweet friend here just lost her husband and I needed to get her out for the night which is the only reason we’re sitting here. This week is her birthday, it’s just not a good time for her, and I need you to leave us alone now.” “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that” he said then he turned to me. “Do you mind if I ask what happened?” Really? Ummm, yes, I do mind, but since he had the nerve to ask, I turned to look him straight in the eyes. “He shot himself in the head 23 days ago.” Then I turned back around and rolled my eyes again. To which, he then replied, after five or so awkward seconds of silence, “Oh wow. Just wow. How could he do that to you? Why would he? I just don’t GET IT! Such a permanent solution to a temporary situation. It’s just so selfish when people go and kill themselves. Man that’s just a shame. I’m so sorry for you darlin’. Really. Good night.” Then he left. Thank. GOD.

So here’s what’s wrong with what that guy said: ALL OF IT! Honestly, for a split second I really wanted to punch him in the face, like, violently, not the other kind of “funny” way I wanted to punch Zack earlier that night. And I wanted to scream at him, “NO! YOU’RE WRONG! He didn’t DO THIS to me. He didn’t even DO THIS to himself! He was sick. And in pain. He’d been seeing things. And hearing voices. He had split apart at the seams. He was suffering. And tormented. AND WAY TOO MANY THINGS YOU COULD EVER POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND BECAUSE YOU NEVER WALKED IN HIS SHOES!” But selfish? HE WAS NOT! And I refuse to let that be his legacy. Yet therein lies the problem. The stigma. The misgiving. The untrue truth that so many have to speak to make “the S word” easier to digest.

And thus my “Highway 82 Life Coaching” decision! So many people just don’t get it. THEY SIMPLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND! Because unless you’ve lived it, survived it, or have watched someone dying this way out loud? You CAN’T! It’s “only been 24 days” since my husband died by suicide, and by no means am I professing to be an expert. But I know what I know, and frankly, I’ve BEEN down that dark road Zachariah never made it off of. so I’m GOING to help people understand.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

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

lucerne

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2019: At 8am this morning we were supposed to be taking off on our flight to tour Switzerland for my 50th birthday. Lucerne was to be our first night, and our last, and one of the things I was most looking forward to sharing with him was ”the lion in the wall”. The very one that I myself stood before some 14 years prior while having the first of my many to follow “moments”. At that time, I too was trapped inside the dark and lonely prison of my own mind, a secluded chasm where I was alive but not quite living. So many of my realities back then were nothing more than lies and I but a walking farce. I vividly remember that day as the group I was with headed up this tree-lined path towards something magnanimous our guide was excited to show us. I was looking down at my schedule, not paying much attention, and almost ran in to the person standing in front of me when the group suddenly stopped and turned to look across the pond at “him”. My Lion.

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

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

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

img_9138

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

SEPTEMBER 13, 2019: “Until The Day He Died” …

zack

UNTIL THE DAY I DIE

The waters rise. The light declines. But I’m not turning back from here. Voices are crying. Corpses remind that most don’t make it to the end. Look to the sky. Take back what’s mine. This life can be a cemetery. This life can be a shallow grave. I’ll never be a casualty. I’ll never bow before I break. I’ll stand and fight. Until the day I die. I left the known to walk alone ’cause to remain was suicide. The “could’ve been”. Stood up again ’cause not to try was just to die. Maybe I’m wrong. But it’s my right. I’ll face the night. I’ll find the light. Look to the sky. Take back what’s mine. I’ll stand and fight. Until the day I die.” – Like A Storm

As you can see I am desperately trying to be as transparent as possible as I journey through this nightmare I’m living out loud, as I refuse to sit back and let the broken roads each member of this family have traveled thus far have been in vain. My story? HIS story? Gia’s? My son’s? They WILL have made a difference somehow in the life of least one other broken human soul that is lingering in this world somewhere if it takes my own last dying breath to do it. People. Matter.

rOBINI have often likened Zack’s personality to that of Robin Williams, one of my favorite comedic actors and icons. Like Robin, my husband was so much larger than life itself. Always smiling. Always positive. Always the biggest presence in the room! He couldn’t stand to see anyone sad, so, he would make us laugh until our effing sides hurt. Yes, he was the biggest clown I’ve ever met! At the same time though, he was “all in serious” about everything he tackled in life, and as witty as he could be, his timing was always perfect. With him? There was a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to play, a time to dig in deep and get to work, but always a time to just “Good Morning Vietnam” it! 

Thursday, August 8th, 2019 things truly seemed to be looking up. It was Zack’s day off, but we’d decided to split for the afternoon so that I could take Gia for school shopping and lunch while he went and ran some errands of his own. When he walked out the door he seemed to be in genuinely good spirits, and as you can see from our credit card statement we’d had a productive day. Me? Shopping. Having lunch with our daughter. Living life in the moment and excited for the double date later that night with our sweethearts. We were happy. We had a family. A home. And a daddy and king waiting for us back at that home who loved us more than words could say. He was. Our everything. Our ROCK.

But what about him that day? What DON’T we see in this picture of him smiling at Pinstack? “Our rock” was crumbling right before our eyes and had already made the decision to end his life. The charge you see at “CAB STORE ALLEN”? While we were eating lunch he was at Cabella’s buying the Springfield he put to his head 14 days later. The Parker police have it on video … 

cab

So, there you have it. What you see hiding behind another one’s smile isn’t always joy, peace and happiness and these two pictures are a sobering example of this truth. Although we knew he was struggling, no one knew JUST how close to the end of the story he really was. He was dying a slow, painful, agonizing death within the confines of his mind … we just couldn’t see it. He tried not to fall, trust me when I say this, and I’m sorry, not sorry, if this post upsets anyone because perhaps it’s “too transparent”. But there’s a poignant statement being made in these pictures that I felt was too important not to share. “The saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy. Because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anybody else to feel like that”.

ROBIN WILLIAMS

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

SEPTEMBER 12, 2019: “The Power Of Tribal Abandonment” …

IMG_1496

So, you’re wondering, “How is Gia”? Well I’m sitting in front of her new school waiting for her to come out, and if today is anything like the first three days this week, she’ll have a smile on her face from ear to ear. The entrance ramp you see in the picture is the same one Zack traversed when he too went to Bowman! The little house he grew up in is just beyond the park in my rearview mirror, and as I sit here now, I can see the faint traces of a younger Zachariah barreling out those doors headed straight for that park. A sweet, innocent, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy lost deep in a world of solitude, ever so unaware that the feet that were carrying him were already set upon a dark and broken path of “left solely to his own defenses”. But I digress.

Despite the nine plus years we had him “healthy, happy and somewhat whole”, Zack’s spiral descent truly began here at Bowman two years ago when we were searching for proof he’d existed on paper as a child so as to finally get him a birth certificate and passport to travel abroad.

THIS PLACE? Sitting in the very office where Gia and I sat last Friday to “fake enroll her” (with the intention of online school to finish her 8th grade year) was where Zack and I sat waiting to find that, no there was no record of him there. And although we were lucky to find two pictures of him later that day at Memorial Elementary, the brutal reality burned like salt on his soul. But still, the irony. The very place he began falling apart as an adult is where she is coming together as a child. We didn’t choose Bowman intentionally. It just happens that this is the Plano ISD middle school our address feeds to. It was mere coincidence. Or was it? He’s with her here now, I just know it!

Gia’s decision to leave St. Marks wasn’t difficult. It wasn’t the school itself; it’s a great school and I’m proud that both my kids have that legacy. And although I won’t go into the dramatics of it all because honestly, THAT STORY will be an entire chapter to itself, let me say this: The particular class she was with year after year (most notably, the girls) bears the distinction as having one the cruelest and hateful lot of mean kids in the school’s history. To make matters worse, “real dad” began dating the mother of her best friend, which mother and daughter proceeded to embark upon a campaign to quite literally destroy both mine and Gia’s reputations through words and deeds tantamount only to assault: Bullying, belittling, degrading, socially isolating, controlling, threatening, manipulating and even blackmailing and slander. Yes, all true. (PS. “Real dad” is still dating this woman despite the trauma she and her spawn bestowed upon my daughter. But again, I digress.) Gia spent the last five years feeling very alone on that campus, hard pressed to find but a handful of real friends (and thank GOD for those). For the most part, her “friends” saw her as a revolving door, taking or leaving her to best suit their own social needs such that through it all, on her birthday this year? She was checking her phone every ten minutes to see if any of “her people remembered the day she was born (much like every October 5th when Zack would check his phone every ten minutes to see if any of his people remembered him).

Before he killed himself and hurt her VERY BADLY, she was already in such a damaged and fragile state there are no words. Her “tribe”? Those girls she stood by loyally and faithfully, never fail? The ones she always showed up for? Stood up for? Stood behind? The ones whose lockers she made sure were jam packed with treats on their special days? They showed her just what she meant to them on July 18th: NOTHING! No texts. No calls. No cards. NO. THING! Then on the first day of school this year? She cried her fucking eyes out when she got in the car. “Still nothing mom.” You see, she’d decided to err towards the benefit of doubt: “Well, it was summer, maybe that’s why they forgot. Surely they’ll say happy belated birthday when they see me on the first day of school?” You haven’t LIVED until you’ve seen such a beautiful face and equally beautifully heart reduced to such pain at the hands of the people she thought she mattered to. After all they KNEW she’d already been through and after ALL the storms she weathered for and with them? They threw her away like yesterday’s trash and shattered her glass heart into pieces. So, when she was finally released from the hospital and the school decision had to be made, there was NO doubt in her mind: “Mom, I don’t belong there anymore and you know it. Please don’t make me go back.”

So today? I just know she’s coming out smiling. SHE LOVES IT HERE! It’s only been three days and she’s had offers to sit at seven lunch tables. SHE HAS FRIENDS! I. Just. Can’t. I’m telling you people … HE’S WITH HER IN THOSE HALLWAYS, I can feel it in my soul!

(PS) To My Daughter’s “Tribe” AND Their “Trees That The Apples Fall From” Mothers:

Not one of you was EVER good enough for her and thank GOD she finally saw it because QUEENS DON’T TAKE SCRAPS FROM ANYONE! I’d say I’m sorry that her overwhelming shadow kept the light off your bottom-feeder faces, but yah, not so much. She has FORGIVEN YOU FOR EVERYTHING but WILL NOT EVER FORGET! I promise we won’t both be laughing from her perch at the top of EVERYTHING as you desperately flail on the SURFACE LEVEL of the ground as you’re looking UP trying SO hard to escape THIS truth: YOUR GIRLS NEVER DESERVED HER IN THE FIRST PLACE! 😘

img_8844

kind

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

 

SEPTEMBER 12, 2019: “Still So Far From Home” …

IMG_8304

FAR FROM HOME

“Another day in this carnival of souls. Another nights end ends as quickly as it goes. The memories are shadows, ink on the page. And I can’t seem to find my way home. And it’s almost like. Your heaven’s trying everything. Your heaven’s trying everything to keep me out. All the places I’ve been and things I’ve seen. A million stories that made up a million shattered dreams. The faces of people I’ll never see again and I can’t seem to find my way home.’Cause it’s almost like your heaven’s trying everything to break me down. ‘Cause it’s almost like your heaven’s trying everything to keep me out. To break me down.” ~ Five Finger Death Punch

Dear “Brother”:

I understand that you are upset right now and maybe a little with me too. All I am asking you at this point for HIS sake and for the sake of all that he went through while he was here on this Earth is that you please try to come to terms with his truths. His realities. His last wishes and decisions. That note he left us was a gift. IT WAS FOR US, NOT FOR THEM! You, me, Gia and Rick? We were “his family”! No one else! Those words he wrote in his suicide note were not intended for either the general public, the world at large and most ESPECIALLY the “family” that threw him away like garbage! I will always consider you my family D. And in my journey to speak his truths I will never fail to credit you for being the only brother he had because that is how he saw it! That’s how he spoke of you and that’s what he made painfully clear to anyone that paid attention. He always felt that you were “caught in a void” between “all of them and the truth” because maybe copping to the sobering facts was going to be as painful for you to bear as it was for him. When Zack made the decision to excise them and the “thought of them” from his heart it was a bittersweet and painful gift to unto himself.

So that’s all there is to it. Rick and I are here for you when you’re ready to talk true facts. I truly hope you can be well someday. He worried about you incessantly and I cannot say it enough! It always bothered the fuck out of him how you let them treat you like a revolving door, only using you as they needed you, in and out, in and out, and there was nothing he could do or say to convince you to stand up for yourself and say ENOUGH and walk away like he did! He kept praying you’d find a family of your own one day, a nice, safe, loving woman to finally give you a real home and some joy and healing and peace so that you’d finally “not need to accept their bullshit scraps and leftovers”. Your brother’s legacy “before he got sick” will carry on somehow – I’LL MAKE SURE OF IT! You need to do everything you can to honor him and all that has happened here and start finding a way to, in fact, say the words: NO MORE SCRAPS AND LEFTOVERS!

And for the record, regardless of how it appears on the surface there is no “hatred” in my heart for anyone involved here. I feel nothing for the people that destroyed my beautiful husband from the cradle to the grave! Nothing! Absolutely NOTHING! They aren’t worth my energy! If anything, I feel sorry for them all because they missed out on REALLY knowing one THE BEST human souls that ever walked this planet. They missed out on his “best 10 years” and getting to see him flourish. Smile. Succeed. Grow. Be fearless. Courageous. Change. Become self-aware and strong (much stronger than he even knew). Experience joy. Laughter. Happiness. They missed out on getting to know what an amazing human being, husband, brother, friend and DAD he was to Gia! We got the BEST of him. Everything good he ever did, was or could have possibly been, WE GOT TO HAVE AND WITNESS IT. He was a fucking miracle and you can’t not know it’s true. With all the odds stacked against him, statistically the last 10 years should probably have never happened. He was the frog who turned into a prince and then eventually into a king – he just needed love, and a home and a family to get there. And? HE FINALLY HAD IT! It’s just that the holes your mother left inside his broken heart were deeper than any of us know and he couldn’t find his way out of them anymore. He got too tired and fell. THEY ALL FAILED HIM MISERABLY AND YOU KNOW IT! I’m sorry if this upsets you. I just want you to help me honor, validate and hold ALL his many painful truths and realities up to the light. It’s the right thing to do and I WILL NOT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!

********************************

NOTE: As of the night I posted this entry, December 28, 2019, neither of the only two “blood family” he’d ever believed he could rely on to be there when his cards were down bothered to “come and get him”! These are the keepsake urns that Rick and I had made for each of them, somehow foolishly believing that for once in his life OR his death they would FINALLY JUST SHOW UP FOR HIM! “Taking him home” is no longer an option for either of them at this point as I would rather spread these ashes amongst the footsteps of his ancestors in all the places he dreamed of going than to let ANYONE ever treat him as “scrap” again!

ANDANDONED

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

AUGUST 28, 2019: “Farewell. Godspeed. And Goodbye.” …

Godspeed

In Tribute To

~ ZACHARIAH LUCAS WILLIAMSON ~

David Bishop …

Rick Scauzillo …

Catherine Williamson …

David Bishop …

us

*************************

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LIFELONG AND OFTEN IRREVERSIBLE EFFECTS OF BOTH MATERNAL AND FAMILIAL ABANDONMENT:

Abandonded Child Syndrome

Effects Of Maternal Abandonment On Men

What Happens To Sons Of Unloving Mothers

When Mothers Leave

Understanding The Pain Of Abandonment

The Abandoned Child

Neglectful Parents And Older Siblings

SIBLING ABUSE IS A REAL THING

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

AUGUST 22, 2019 (Just Before Midnight): “Dear Agony” …

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

DEAR AGONY …

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

~ Breaking Benjamin

********************

NOTE: Although his death certificate says “FOUND AUGUST 23, 2019”, I physically “felt him leave” at just before midnight on August 22, 2019 when in that moment I became physically ill, felt a sharp pain in my stomach and literally could not breathe. When the police captain notified me the next morning that they had indeed found his body at around 8:30am that day, he indeed confirmed that my physical manifestation of his death the prior night was correct: The coronor guestimated that he’d been dead approximately 8 to 10 hours. Someday I will explain to you about the movie that is clipped in the video below, “Seven Pounds”. It was his favorite movie of all times.

IMG_8322

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

AUGUST 22, 2019 (Sometime Between 8PM And 11:30): “He Refused” …

img_8548

I REFUSE

“I don’t wanna die alone. I don’t wanna live forsaken. I refuse to let this go. Because my soul is breaking. I don’t wanna let you know that my heart is just so jaded. I refuse to let it show. I refuse to let it go. Wake me up when this is over. I’m tired of living life like it’s a dream. Please wake me up when it’s all over. I’m tired of living right here in between I refuse. I’ve always walked alone. I chose the path less taken. I refuse to let you win. Life’s a bitch and I’ve been shaken. It’s not a joke at all. Inside my spirits fading. I refuse to take the fall ’cause no one cares at all. Wake me up when this is over. I’m tired of living life like it’s a dream. Please wake me up when it’s all over. I’m tired of living right here in between. I refuse. ‘Cause at the end of the day I’m not you. I refuse. Wake me up when this is over. I’m tired of living life like it’s a dream. Please wake me up when it’s all over. I’m tired of living right here in between. Wake me up when this is over. I’m tired of living life like it’s a dream. Please wake me up when it’s all over. I’m tired of living right here in between.”

~ Five Finger Death Punch

Zack

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg

OCTOBER 5, 2016: “MY Birthday Miracle” …

myMany years ago a very selfish woman gave birth to one of the most beautiful human beings the rest of the world would ever know, only to throw him away like a valuless piece of garbage (as did all but one of his “blood relatives” thus far). We’ve spent the last two years searching for evidence of his birth, and God forbid a single person kept or took any photos or records of his existence. And GOD forbid his “family” would help him.

Thursday, Sep. 1, 2016 . 12:23 PM:

“Hey (big brother) can you give me a call. I have a favor to ask. We need a copy of your birth certificate to help me get a passport because of my jacked up birth certificate. I’ll explain.”

IMG_7830Take a guess what “big brother’s” response was? Umm, yah, not so much. Couldn’t. Be. Bothered. It was a cut, a gut and SLAP IN HIS FACE, and he was actually reduced to tears over it. “Catherine, he STILL can’t be bothered to help me. It’s as if I don’t matter or even exist. I guess some things will never change.” As of today we now have the only three childhood pictures of him that appear to actually exist of him. Meanwhile, a very kind US Congressman who has become aware of his abandonment and accomanying lack of identity is now intervening so that he may finally have official recognition as a citizen and hopefully even a Passport! My husband is our hero and there are no words to describe how lucky we are that “they” all forsook him, because HE BELONGS TO US NOW and their loss is our EVERYTHING! He’s a man on a pedestal as long as he roams this Earth (and surely after he leaves it), and thank you GOD that he chose me and my children to finally call “his home”. HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILLIAMSON! The world is a better place with you in it!zack

“MIRACLE”

Say it once. Tell me twice. Are you certain I’m alright? Just a sign to remind me tomorrow’s worth the fight. Ever changing – the story line that keeps me alive. So make a wish and say: Give me life. Give me love. Star lit angel from above. Not so low. Not so high. Keep it perfectly disguised. Ever changing – the story line that keeps me alive. My Mona Lisa’s making me smile right before my eyes. Take another look. Take a look around. Its you and me, it’s here and now. As you sparkle in the sky I’ll catch you while I can ’cause all we are is all I am. I just want you to see what I’ve always believed … You are the miracle in me. Show me faith like you do. I’m amazed at how you move. Side to side, front to back – you know how to make it last. Ever changing – the story line that keeps us alive. My Mona Lisa’s making me smile …” – Shinedown

cropped-cats-metal-signature-logo.jpg