FEBRUARY 27, 2021: “Falling Down In The Fog” …

… yes, my friends, we’re all decked out in grey here at The Manor, and I couldn’t be any happier. You cannot really know me without first understanding the “grey” of it all, why it is my mantra, how I earned the endearing title of “Miss Red Hook 1922“, and why FOG is my other favorite color“.

Faith And Perspective.

The fog doesn’t scare me. It’s neither ominous, nor looming, nor haunting. I feel the mist as a cosmic hug from every moment and Creation that ever was or will be. It’s cryptic, and ethereal, and POWERFUL – just like The One Who charged me in the first place to solve the greatest mystery of all: “Why?” Why do we suffer? Why is there pain? Why is there heartache and death? Indeed I’ve discovered the answer to that question, and here it is my friends: THERE ISN’T ONE! Not NEEDING to understand is the understanding.

Amidst all the fog is the Nirvana I’ve achieved as I’m free-falling off this cliff with truly blind faith that everything’s gonna be okay, not having to worry about all the details, and believing with EVERY fiber of my mortal being that The Cosmos WILL catch me in the end. It’s “nothing”, and “everything”, and “ALL OF IT” at once, like the oxymoronic carnival of joy that is my INSANELY BEAUTIFUL LIFE!

My truest prayer for anyone reading this is that if you haven’t reached this pinnacle yet, before your journey here is over – you will. When that day comes, you will never be falling DOWN again – you’ll only be falling UP – and the fog will whisper the silent rhapsody of God singing these words to you

I wept as I saw you aching, I broke as I watched you falling, and I suffered as I watched you struggling to get back up and find your way to Me through through the fog. You couldn’t always see me, BUT I NEVER LEFT YOUR SIDE, and now that you finally understand that you DON’T have to understand “everything, nothing, and ALL OF IT”, you’re standing at My High Cathedral walls where nothing about your journey was meaningless or small. I love you. You are Home – warm, well fed and at peace.

WE FALL DOWN

Cursing every step of the way, he bore a heavy load to the market ten miles away, the journey took its toll. And every day he passed a monastery’s high cathedral walls, and it made his life seem meaningless and small. And he wondered how it would be to live in such a place – to be warm, well fed and at peace, to shut the world away. So when he saw a priest who walked, for once, beyond the iron gate, he said, “tell me of your life inside the place”. And the priest replied, “We fall down, we get up … and the saints are just the sinners who fall down and get up”. Disappointment followed him home, he’d hoped for so much more, but he saw himself in a light he had never seen before, ’cause if the priest who fell could find the Grace of God to be enough, then there must be some hope for the rest of us. There must be some hope left for us, ’cause e fall down, we get up …”. {Bob Carlisle}

SEPTEMBER 15, 2020: “The Dark Knight Of LIGHT” …

This morning I intersected with another mom who has also buried a child, which turned out to be fascinating! By now I hope you realize that my intention with this Diary is never to make you sad. “Sad” just isn’t for me, and although like anyone else, I have had more than my fair share of “sad”, I have chosen to walk a road wherein I do not to dwell in … or on … “sad” for too long.

With that, my intention now and as always is to remind you yet again that within each one of us is the propensity to EARN our very own “invisible cloak” just like that beautiful, flowy black one my favorite “not REALLY a superhero SUPERHERO” dons! You KNOW who I’m talking about … RIGHT?

Batman!

Just Batman.

Always, EVER, BATMAN!

We are ALL SUPERHEROES my friends … some of us just don’t know it! I mean, let’s be honest … NO parent should EVER have to bury a child. It’s just not natural. None of us should have to bury anyone! But having done so myself, then lived, survived, RISEN and THRIVED to tell about it? I’m here to tell you that although I didn’t quite realize it at the time, my tiny angel’s death was the catalyst to all the best and most endearing parts of what my human spirit could truly withstand and become.

I’m a living, breathing “Dark Knight Of LIGHT” who’s found the strength, courage and determination to rise above the demons, challenges, conflicts and chaos I’ve internalized at different points that tried to take me down, which for the record, is exactly what makes Batman so relatable to me. He’s the only superhero of the historic thousands whose secret identity IS his mask. Whereas, Clark Kent and Peter Parker “wear the masks” of Superman and Spider-Man? Bruce Wayne is the mask for his true identity, “Batman”. He’s a mortal super human hiding in plain site, with a list a mile long of perfectly matched villains that took him to the rails against personal weaknesses that eventually became his strengths. Two-Face challenged the duality of his personality and the two different paths Fate offered. Poison Ivy challenged his struggle with lust and temptation. Scarecrow challenged his struggle with fear. The Riddler challenged the power of his mind. And Joker? Fuhgettabout it! The greatest fictional anarchist of all times held Batman for ransom against his longing for justice and order.

So, with that, I end with this …

How awesome is it that a cosmic collision with another “grieving mom” not only made me smile, but also reminded of how effing proud I am of the cloak I wear that no one sees!

The “Dark Knight Of Light” … That’s me … AND you!

Never forget to remind yourself that YOU’RE a bad ass superhero who has triumphed over SO many things – regardless of whether anyone’s ever noticed or acknowledged it! We gotta keep shining our OWN Lights over our OWN heads … because … it’s the right thing to do and we’re allowed to!

… and besides …

The God I serve doesn’t make anything less than “super-humans”. It’s our job to find the hero hiding within ourselves, lest we become the antithesis of all we truly stand for. THAT’S why He has to let us fall — so we can learn to pick ourselves back up!

AUGUST 24, 2020: “The First Year In Focus” …

I did it people!

I SURVIVED!

Thank you SO much for all of the love and support! I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on!

JUNE 16, 2020: “Day 300, And, Death Is STILL Nothing At All” …

Death

Death Is Nothing At All

 

FEBRUARY 5, 2020: “Can Childhood Trauma Be Reversed?” …

Quora Question
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Quora Answer

Although I do believe it’s “possible” for childhood trauma to be reversed, I do not believe that the resulting residual or collateral damage can ever be truly reversed. Under optimal circumstances, and with a healthy support system, if a person can first revisit, acknowledge and accept the trauma itself, they can then attain the coping skills and mechanisms necessary to carry them through their adulthood “if and when” the trauma rears it’s head. “You can forgive, accept, acknowledge and even make peace with it ”, but, “you can never forget or erase it”. As an adult survivor of childhood trauma of my own, I speak from experience in this regard. It took me 40 years to overcome my childhood demons. Thankfully, however, I did.

Unfortunately, I also have first-hand experience on the flip side of this coin; that is, “irreversible childhood trauma”. My husband (who I recently lost to suicide this past August 22, 2019) suffered from extreme childhood trauma that sadly proved to be the death of him. He was larger than life with a heart the size of an ocean, but had been thrown away like garbage by his mother at birth. She abandoned him permanently at 18 months, and although his father did the best he could, he was and still is nothing but a child himself. He was left alone frequently from a very young age and his basic needs were never properly attended to.

Unfortunately, he never even realized that his “Abandoned Child Syndrome” existed until five years into our marriage, but once he was faced with the sobering truths of his traumatic childhood, every bit of strength and fortitude he’d managed to muster and thus survive with in his “life of solitude” before finally finding us, the first and only real home and family he’d ever had, began to slip right out from under him. The abandonment issues that led to his mental illness were further complicated by the fact that not just his mother, but his entire family abandoned him; a father and three adult siblings who couldn’t be bothered with him whatsoever. The entirety of this selfish, heartless and cruel brood of human beings literally broke his heart into pieces that could never fully be put back together.

There were demons living inside of the hole the “mother” left inside his soul that he tried desperately to swim out of it. We both tried keeping him from drowning in it. In the end, the demons won. The last few months of his life it appeared as though he was in the early stages of psychosis, if not schizophrenia. He’d been hearing voices. Seeing things. Missing tremendous “blocks of time” and ultimately ended up disappearing inside himself. He said “he couldn’t feel anything anymore”, and honestly, we lost him months before he put that gun to his head. It was a living nightmare to watch and the worst kind of heartbreak to witness. I appreciate any of you who are reading this by the way. It’s tough to digest, much less conceive. But it’s the truth nonetheless. His “traumatic childhood” indeed broke his heart.

To View The Original “Quora Q&A” Click HERE!

FEBRUARY 1, 2020: “Crazy Grandma Cat” …

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TO FIND OUT “WHAT HAPPENED” THE NIGHT BEFORE I MADE THIS VIDEO <<CLICK HERE>>!

DECEMBER 3, 2019: “We Survive With Humor” …

… because sometimes you have just have to find the humor in the middle of your darkest hours. AND THAT’S OKAY! We. Survive. With humor! My daughter is a phoenix. Never forget it! Just keep watching to see what she will do! Enjoy her silly “rant” my friends! Forever the happy cynic … Lol!

MAY 2, 2017: “How A Rainy Night And A Doll Dress Enriched My Life” …

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I wasn’t sure if I was going to share this, because I honestly didn’t want to make anyone sad. After all, no one likes a Debbie downer, and at first glance, this precious treasure of mine may lead some to think, “OMG, how sad”. Let me to explain …

Our daughter had her friends here for a sleepover recently. Giggles and silliness ensued above our bedroom, which we did not mind in the least. Those sounds of silliness are not only music to our ears but even more so a sign that we must be doing something right! We’ve always said that we want our home to be where our daughter and her friends want to be. (Much like those days so very long ago raising my Christian that I fondly recall very similar sounds of boys camped happily at my home. They were “my boys” too, and some still are to this day, but I digress.) When kids cross our threshold they are welcomed, embraced, esteemed, heard, respected, validated, loved and cared for as if they were our own. For us? It’s the highest of honors: “The house full of silly girls”.

But I’ve digressed. That night it was storming terribly. Pouring rain, crashing thunder, cracks of lightening and even some hail. Williamson and I were settled down in our room watching a movie while the girls upstairs were engaged in some pretty serious shenanigans. One hellacious “BAM” of thunder and lightning and our peaceful movie night quickly turned into a slumber party in our room! There we were surrounded by two cats, a trembling dog, then within seconds of hearing eight little feet trampling down the stairway, four 11-year-olds who jumped onto our bed. “Guess what, you’re stuck with us now people, bwa ha ha ha ha!” Of course, this was to be expected and perfectly okay. Soon they were all giggling and wouldn’t shut up, so Williamson hit the pause button and we just let them do their thing!

It was all fun and games, until that is, one of the girls who hadn’t been in our bedroom before noticed a tiny dress I have displayed in a curio along with many other keepsakes and trinkets that were either gifts pending a long-awaited arrival or keepsakes given in remembrance of a brief and bittersweet life . You see, it’s “her shelf” – my daughter Gina Marie, the miniscule human who was given to share her time with me for only a matter of hours. Some day when I’m ready I will share her story in greater expanse, but for now what I can say is this …

Amid the giggles the girl noticing the dress immediately jumped out of the bed and ran to the cabinet. “Miss Cat, what is that little dress for and whose little footprints are those?” Ugh. My heart all but seized as I contemplated what to say so that her innocent young mind could understand. But before I could find the words one of the other girls who had already seen the dress and knew all about our Gina interjected:

That’s an exact copy of the dress Gia’s sister was buried in when she died. It’s a doll dress and it’s so tiny because the baby was only ‘this big’ (as she cupped her hands together). She was born and died before Gia, so even though she was itty bitty, technically she was her big sister. Those are all the gifts Miss Cat was given when she was pregnant with her and then after she died and it’s all very special to her. And those footprints? They were the little baby’s. That’s how itty bitty her real little feet were.

As the girls continued talking amongst themselves my husband quickly grabbed my hand for the quick three squeeze “I love you”. He was certain I was crumbling inside and worried for what may be going on in my mind, but strangely that was not the case. I was intrigued. We listened intently to a heavy conversation between the girls and soon they were sharing stories and memories of not only their own births, but those of their siblings as well. Can I just say that my words alone are not enough to express the amount of love and tenderness in that room on an otherwise dreary night? They were connecting. Bonding. Sharing. Feeling. Listening. Caring. It brought such an intense warmth and peace to my body that my skin was almost tingling.

But that wasn’t the best part of this story. At one point the girl who had noticed the dress and thus sparked the conversation literally burst into sobbing tears. She had connected what happened with my daughter to a sibling her own mother had evidently lost by miscarriage before she was born, which, as you can imagine, troubled her.  But then she looked at me and said these unbelievable words:

Miss Cat, I am really, really sorry that happened to you. You must have been so sad. It must have been so hard for you to hold your tiny baby in your arms and watch her go away.

HER little heart was aching for me, I could see it in her eyes. Gia was also becoming emotional and we could all clearly see that she was breaking. One of the girls noticed and gently placed her hand on her back to comfort her, while the other girl was comforting the sobbing one.

Gia, we are so sorry for you too. But your sister is like an angel now and we wouldn’t have you if that horrible thing didn’t happen to your family. Right Miss Cat?

Then Gia spoke these unbelievable words … 

Don’t be sad for my mom you guys, she is the strongest and bravest woman I know. She believes that every single thing, person and moment in this life happens for a reason, even when my sister died, but instead of letting it destroy her it made her even stronger. My mother trusts God a lot and my sister’s tiny dress and footprints make her smile, not cry, because they remind her that she was here. Right mom?

And with that, I was stunned and speechless in all the best ways possible, because in that moment I realized that through “the dress” not only is my baby’s tiny little life remembered to have existed, but more than that, it DID mean something significant to someone other than myself. To those girls who have seen it, Gina Marie’s dress is a lesson in faith and “life, no matter how small”, and of course an example of how grownups can survive after loss. And by the way, how blessed am I to know that my daughter has instinctively surrounded herself with friends who are loving, kind, protective, empathetic and able to display true compassion and nurturing for others at such an early stage in life. These are character traits that I believe cannot be taught. They are learned by example (their parents are ALL doing something very right!) Silly they may surely be, ALL OF THEM! Silly, crazy, carefree 11-year old’s with innocent hearts that are kind. I’ve always believed that I am a lucky girl, truly, I have despite the many things that seem to contradict that. But after that night in our bedroom with those girls? I am even luckier all the more! That is all.

APRIL 18, 2017: “With Love, From The Spic” …

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SKIN

Paint yourself a picture of what you wish you looked like. Maybe then they just might feel an ounce of your pain. Come into focus. Step out of the shadows. It’s a losing battle. There’s no need to be ashamed. ‘Cause they don’t even know you, all they see is scars. They don’t see the angel living in your heart. Let them find the real you buried deep within.  Let them know with all you’ve got that you are not your skin. And when they start to judge you, show them your true colors and do on to others as you’d have done to you. Just rise above this. Kill them with your kindness. Ignorance is blindness. They’re the ones that stand to lose.” {Sixx AM}

This meme popped up on my feed today and then washed across my soul, because if I’ve learned anything on this blessed and broken road, it’s this: It’s not our or outward appearances that make us either ugly or beautiful ~ IT’S OUR SOULS THAT DO! Perhaps you’ve already ready my second post, “SUMMER OF 1979: “Under My Scars, where in one fateful moment a very cruel little girl who didn’t even know my name called me a “spic” in front of a gymnasium full of my peers and literally changed the direction of my life and self-esteem forever. You see, I was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where the darker, olive toned skins were the norm and my Native American / Italian coloring blended right in with everyone else’s. But I digress.

The day of the spic and Spann” was the day I began to despise myself and the dark brown skin I wore, and dare I remember the countless hours of my youth spent in a bathtub crying secretly to myself while literally trying to erase my beautiful color with my mom’s kitchen pot scrubbers!

Yup, I absolutely fucking did that! Meanwhile here I am, forty years later, and yes, I’ve finally made peace with the reflection I see in the mirror, the one that had gone missing during so many points of my life and during the darkest years of my life disappeared completely. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t find my image or paint the picture of myself I so desperately needed to connect with.

Well those days are over and guess what? Turns out I’m pretty freaking gorgeous! And no, I’m not being vein, let promise you that! I’m talking about who I really am. Inside. Outside. Brown skin. Tired skin. Worn skin. Inked up skin. Thick days. Skinny days. Happy days. Sad days. Grieving days. Angry days. “Damn, guess I screwed THAT up pretty good, but oh well, the world didn’t end, so I’ll forgive myself now and get over it” kind of days.

The scars under my skin eventually became the catalyst for all of the best parts of who I am … beautifully and wondrously formed … and I couldn’t be any prouder of either my scars or my skin if I tried! They delightfully shroud a fiercely courageous yet delicately empathetic soul that is connected to every point of light I’ve intersected with. I am perfectly imperfect and so are we ALL “beautiful disasters” in our own right. Beauty truly is in the eye of The Beholder my friends, and any eyes judging our books based solely on their covers do not deserve to read them! And oh, one last thing. That girl from the fifth grade? Her name was Lisa and wow did she miss out on getting to know one super cool chic. That would be me! I have long since forgiven her for all the years those careless words of hers carved from deepest parts of my psyche and if I ever see her one day maybe I should thank her. But let me tell you this: That ignorant girl would have been damn lucky to have had the privilege of knowing me! Spic. Lol! Thank you and drive through please. That is all.

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