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.

JANUARY 1, 2021: “Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful!” …

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

500. The number of days that have passed since Destiny took me by the hand and started leading me down a path I never saw coming. With that in mind, and in keeping with my “Fifty-ONE-Derful” years of life thus far, I have dubbed today as January 1st, “Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful”! Realizing, of course, that I am blessed beyond measure to find myself in a place that while on the surface seems dark and tragic, at it’s roots is nothing short of a miracle, wrapped in iridescence, and adorned with the most beautiful crown a queen could wear.

I once heard it said that fifty is the beginning of our golden years. As such, I find no coincidence with regard to the fact that as I’ve walked through the fog to the Brighter Side Of Grey, I’ve also managed to stumble upon The Golden Circle. Indeed I’ve come to bittersweet, endearing terms with “my why“, so from this point forward it’s just a matter of discovering “how” and “what”.

If I could have one wish right now, it would be that I really could just zap you all with “this thing” that’s coursing through my veins. It’s my super power, my ultimate peace, and absolute euphoria! It’s the simple yet overwhelming joy in finally realizing that not everything is about me, because I am nothing, which is why I am everything. The paradigm has shifted. The cycle is broken.

It is not in my nature to ask for anything from anyone, especially inasmuch as I not only have every “thing” a woman could ever want, likewise I have everything a human being will ever need. Still, here I am asking. First and foremost, if there is ever an opportunity for you share something poignant I’ve said or written that has touched you, will you please share it so that perhaps some of these pebbles I’m skipping across the pond can radiate even further? Second, sit with this beautiful song I love so much and really let it sink in. Let the words wash you clean, lift you up, and encourage you. Let them help you cry if you need to. Let them validate and give you the permission you may have been searching for to let go of some of your burdens and cut yourself some slack so that you too can discover “your why” and become an iridescent Light unto the masses. And last but not least, make it a beautiful, powerful, and epically life-changing year my friends …

“Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful!”

IRIDESCENT

When you were standing in the wake of devastation. When you were waiting on the edge of the unknown. And with the cataclysm raining down, insides crying, “Save me now”, you were there, impossibly alone. Do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known. Remember all the sadness and frustration – and let it go. Let it go. And in a burst of Light that blinded every angel, as if the sky had blown the heavens into stars. You felt the gravity of tempered grace falling into empty space. No one there to catch you in their arms. Do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known. Remember all the sadness and frustration – and let it go. Let it go! {Linkin’ Park}

DECEMBER 18, 2020: “128,000 Ripples” …

“128,000 RIPPLES AND COUNTING”

It’s been 498 days since Fate started spinning the wheel for our family and 484 days since the king fell off his throne, yet here I am STANDING STRONG with this beautiful tiara on my head, but more so than that I’m making waves! SO CAN YOU!

If you are reading this and have also been to HELL and back and are still alive to to tell about it … TELL ABOUT IT! Don’t let your own Survival Resume” have been in vain. You never know who’s listening and watching, or how far your ripples will reach into the future. LET YOUR OWN SURVIVAL STORY BE THE REASON SOMEONE ELSE MAKES THE DECISION TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES AND STICK AROUND!

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!

AUGUST 5, 2020: “Open Up Your Eyes” …

IMG_4652

Yesterday morning I woke up to another one of those magical music moments I have come to love and cherish wherein my son, Christian, communicates what he’s feeling by simply texting me a song. As I’ve said, his music messages are one of my greatest treasures, and ironically, Zack would often do the very same thing, which of course I treasured just as much. But once again I’ve digressed. Sufficed to say, today my own eyes are open wide and I’m beyond thankful that my beautiful King FINALLY found the peace he could never find.

But as they laid him in the ground, her heart would sing with out a sound :: For the first time you can open your eyes, and see the world without your sorrow when no one knows the pain you left behind …“.

I can only imagine what it was like for him that night, “August 22, 2019, “just before midnight, in that split second after he pulled the trigger and his eyes closed for the very last time.

WHAT did he see when at last he opened them?

HE SAW JESUS!

I JUST KNOW IT!

God had His hand on my husband’s beautiful head at all times, even while he was roaming this Earth like the motherless and forsaken “trash can boy” he always saw when he looked into a mirror. I am still the most blessed woman I have ever known to have roamed this Earth as well. How is that even possible? Because God has had His hand on MY head at all times as well, be it during my greatest triumphs and joys or darkest tragedies and traumas. And too, this …

MARK 2:17 :: When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Make it a good day everyone and always keep the faith! Remember, “this is our temporary home“, nothing more, nothing less. The best part of all of this is still yet to come!

MAY 30, 2020: “The Pain Is A Gift” …

THE DANCE

Looking back on the memory of the dance we shared ‘neath the stars above, for a moment, all the world was right. How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye? And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end – the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance. Holding you, I held everything. For a moment, wasn’t I a king? But if I’d only known how the king would fall? Hey who’s to say? You know I might have changed it all. {Garth Brooks}

MAY 10, 2020: “In His Remains” …

The fate of a mother is waiting for children. You wait for them while pregnant, you wait for them when they return from nursery. Wait for them when they leave school. You wait for them when they start their life when they come home after a party. You wait for them when they come back from work so they can always find a hot meal. You wait for them with love, with anxiety sometimes with anger that immediately passes when you see them and you can hug them. So make sure your elderly mom doesn’t have to wait any longer. Visit her, love her, hug the one who loved you like no one else ever will. Don’t ever make her wait. Because they age limbs but a mom’s heart never grows old. Love her as you can. No woman will love you like a mother.

{Author Unknown}

TO HIS

“MOTHER THING”:

I recently stumbled upon the most beautiful passage about “the fate of a mother”, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Stumble as I may have countless times in my motherhood journey thus far, the gift of all my children has been my highest calling and honor. But what do these words mean to you? You never waited for you son – he only ever waited for you – because you left him, like trash, to die in his own remains.

YOU LEFT HIM!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your “son” stopped living the day he was born, but it was one 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, I can 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 Zack began crumbling. Slowly, subtly, yet ever so steadily, he began slipping down the hole that devoured him on January 11th this year, 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 right now, down to exactly where he was standing, what he was wearing, the look of angst on his face, what he was saying, and the tears falling from his eyes. Sufficed to say though, it was “Mother’s Day 2019” that earmarked the beginning of his end.

Still, on the surface, he seemed to have made peace with it all, so he moved on down the road. We 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 worthy of his presence! Trust me when I tell you that because of our professions, we knew plenty of people who “know them”. The general consensus about all your other Williamsons? You know, the ones you actually managed to want? “They’re selfish, shallow, greedy, social climbing wanna-be’s in one of the greatest shows on Earth.” Everything about Zack’s character was so far removed from theirs that no one who realized the familial connection could fathom it. Watching random strangers literally scratch their heads and hearing the things people would say about them were amongst the highest compliments he ever received. He absolutely reveled in knowing that no one could begin to correlate him to “all of them”. But I’ve digressed. Sufficed to say, indeed it was “every Mother’s Day” that hurt him the most, even more so than all the birthdays you forgot as he waited year after year, phone in hand, for you to fucking remember him.

So, with that, today is bittersweet, as not a Mother’s Day had passed since he walked into my life that I wasn’t cherished, celebrated, and placed so high upon the pedestal he built for me that there literally are no words. It was no secret to anyone that your “son” was hell bent on making sure that I was abundantly aware of how revered my role was in not just his life, but my children’s as well, and especially on Mother’s Day. When we first met, he told me about his past and how not just you, but his entire “blood family”, abandoned him for what reason only God knows. He was so ambivalent about the things you people had done to him, but it still 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 abysmal things his “family” did to him, all of which were completely unacceptable. As for those other “Williamsons” you spat upon this Earth who still get to live and breathe in the very same city where their “brother” slipped through the void? If a stranger were to meet a single one of them and not know who they really are, they’d be so impressed with the personas they present. But his truth is the truth, he spoke it, I witnessed it, and God watched every single bit of it! So, congratulations “mother”! You made self-consumed, dressed up narcissists with the plastic smiles and shallow hearts that only a “mother THING” like you could possibly be proud of!

Here’s all you really need to know now …

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. You were nothing to him but a stranger, and what a shame you never knew what an amazing human being you threw away and the gift he was to this world.

Only God knows what was going through his mind in the very last moments of his life, and “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 chose to burden him with. But here’s what I do know was about the things that were in his mind during 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 had ever known:

Your “son” hurt us all with a broken mind and heart that were jaded beyond comprehension. “He must have had mommy issues” is what some will surely say, and sadly? IT WAS TRUE! He wasn’t quite two when you left him behind – him, and only him – but not your other kids, because for what good reason he could never understand you just didn’t want him like the others! 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 in classrooms making Mother’s Day cards that he never really knew what to do with, so, he would tear them 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, just in case you forgot, which by the way, I know you did, since you never once called him on his birthday.)

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 of himself waiting for you to want him!

Despite all these words and my more than apparent hostility, I have forgiven you and yours to the best of my ability for all the ways you destroyed my beautiful husband, especially given that I wholeheartedly believe that the entire lot of you are truly evil:

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”.

{“The Walk Amongst Us“}

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”. You know, now that I think of it, there were so many things I was prepared to do for your son over the course of our lifetime but having to pick out his urn was never one of them. It’s all good though, because his remains will forever be mine, and not yours, because as he famously and repeatedly said to me: “Catherine, if they couldn’t be bothered with me when I was alive, then they don’t get to have me when I’m dead!”

So, with that, Happy Mother’s Day to you, “mother THING” of my fallen king. May you sleep well this night and at the end of every Mother’s Day going forward that you’re able to enjoy with the other kids you did somehow manage to “mother”. Hold your hand over your chest now and breathe in all that you feel. It’s the still beating heart of the one woman in this world that was supposed to love my husband forever.

IN HIS REMAINS

Separate. He sifted through the wreckage. He couldn’t concentrate – searching for a message in the fear and pain. Broken down and waiting for the chance to feel alive. Now in his remains are promises that never came. Set the silence free to wash away the worst of him. Come apart. Falling in the cracks of every broken heart. Digging through the wreckage of your disregard. Sinking down and waiting for the chance, to feel alive. Now in his remains are promises that never came. Set the silence free to wash away the worst of him. Like an army, falling one by one by one. {Linkin’ Park}

Momn

FEBRUARY 25, 2020: “Changing Tomorrow” …

There is no way for me to properly express the depth of my gratitude for all of the love, support and faith all of you are pouring into me not only here in The Diary, but in other forums (such as Quora) where I am also sharing not only my journey, but the fallen king’s as well. My reach is growing stronger by the minute, and I’m consumed by a burning fire in my heart when I open my statistics every morning to find that people literally all over the world are reading my words. I’m getting messages daily, from again, all over the world, and what is resonating loudly is that people are relating to all the best and worst parts of my life and being inspired to try and make some changes of their own and step out of their own silent darkness. THAT’S ALL I’VE EVER WANTED … for other broken people to realize the power and potential of their own strong warrior hearts and find the courage to not only survive … but THRIVE!

“I can’t stay chained to my secrets” …

…and neither can you! The secret pain, anguish, heartache and trauma we keep buried within our hearts is nothing short of a 30,000 pound anchor that not only keeps our ships bound to the turbulent seas that some of us end up drowning in, but also keeps us from ever reaching safe harbor. As for me? My most life-altering, traumatic and darkest “secret” has still yet to be revealed by the way, because frankly, I’m just not ready to reveal it. I’m working with God directly on that one and together we will both know when it’s time for my “biggest reveal”. But in the meantime …

“I can change. I can change tomorrow!”

All of YOU are helping me do that and I pray that my words will help you change your own tomorrow if that’s what you need to do. Again, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR SUPPORTING ME. My best to everyone reading this … MAKE IT A POWERFUL DAY!

CHANGE TOMORROW

For the first time in years there’s a light up ahead. It’s calling. (It’s pulling me closer) Reborn within. Now I’m shedding my skin. It’s falling. (The weight off my shoulders) ‘Cause I can’t stay chained to my secrets. No, I can’t stay. I’m bound by my regrets. I can’t erase all of my errors. Those days are gone forever. I can change, I can change tomorrow. I can change, I can change tomorrow. On my knees in the rain with my head hung in shame, just crawling, stalling. (All alone in my ways) Memories I can’t erase. Faces I couldn’t face haunt me. (My life lay to waste). ‘Cause I can’t stay chained to my secrets. No, I can’t stay. I’m bound by my regrets. I need a break. It’s now or never. Yesterday’s gone forever. I can change, I can change tomorrow. I can change, I can change tomorrow. For all the years of emptiness. For all of my mistakes. For all the years I’ve thrown it all away. It’s not too late. {Like A Storm}

The Diary Thank You

JANUARY 29, 2020: “God Only Knows” …

This one’s for my fallen king. And my son. And my daughter. And myself. And anyone in my atmosphere who is now or has ever struggled just to keep your head above the water. It’s so hard to swim when the entire weight of the world seems to be resting upon your shoulders. This is I know too well! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If I can do this? YOU CAN DO THIS! So, with that: Chin up! Knuckles out! Head held high! Fight the good fight. Just. Keep. Breathing. And remember …

GOD ONLY KNOWS

Wide awake while the world is sound asleepin’. Too afraid of what might show up while you’re dreamin’. Nobody, nobody, nobody sees you. Nobody, nobody, nobody would believe you. Every day you try to pick up all the pieces. All the memories, they somehow never leave you. Nobody, nobody, nobody sees you. Nobody, nobody, nobody would believe you. God only knows what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows how it’s killing you. But there’s a kind of love that God only knows. God only knows what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows the real you. There’s a kind of love that God only knows. There’s a kind of love that. There’s a kind of love. You keep a cover over every single secret. So afraid if someone saw them, they would leave. But somebody, somebody, somebody sees you. Somebody, somebody will never leave you. God only knows what you’ve been through. For the lonely, for the ashamed. The misunderstood, and the ones to blame. What if we could start over? We could start over. We could start over. Oh, for the lonely, for the ashamed. {for King & Country}

OCTOBER 24, 2019: “No Easy Way Out” …

no easy

Yesterday I ran across a post that really struck me (and yes, that pun was very much intended, lol). It was a super cool canvas rendition of the fight between Rocky and Ivan Drago, and after having thought about it literally all day and night, this is what I’ve come up with …

Gia and I are huge Rocky fans, as was Zack. Rocky IV is my favorite, because in my mind I have always felt it’s been “me against the Devil” in both the brightest and darkest moments of my life, and he’s the one always saying to me, “I MUST BREAK YOU”! Yet, I absolutely refuse to let him take me down!

Consequently, one of my favorite songs, No Easy Way Out, is from the Rocky IV soundtrack. The Sunday night before he killed himself, it was playing in the car on our way home from the gym and he was crying as he squeezed my hand three times (“I – Love – You”). Five nights later he was gone. The mask came off and it was over. Meanwhile, I’ve listened to this song over and over and over in the last 62 days, just thinking, reflecting, remembering, and “wanting to know why”. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, does it? Zack’s fighting days are done. He lost. Went down. Tapped out. IT’S OVER! But mine are not, because I’M STILL HERE, and quite clearly, I’m still standing. Am I bruised? Sure. Fat lip? Bloody nose? Black eye and some scars here and there? Absolutely!

There have been so many days this last twenty years, even in my most broken, wandering aimlessly, bent out of shape, completely incoherent, mangled, and twisted of mindsets, that I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and said,

Good grief woman, how in the HELL are you still standing? Why HAVEN’T you given up yet? WHY HASN’T THAT FUCKIN’ DEVIL BROKEN YOU YET?”

The only answer I ever come up with is this one:

IT’S HIM … NOT ME!

Please understand that in no way do I believe that I am more special, gifted, blessed or talented than anyone else. IT’S GOD! I just know it. There IS no explanation as to why I haven’t taken the “easy way out”, other than: IT’S HIM! I just feel it. In my heart. In my bones. In my soul. All around me, everywhere, all the time. When I’m happy. When I’m sad. When I’m angry. When I’m grieving. When I’m crying, smiling, laughing, screaming, and even when I just feeling like punching someone in the face.

It’s … just … HIM!

God handed me this heavyweight belt I wear, for what reason I will never understand. Zero did I earn it. Zero do I deserve it. But damn am I honored to have it! It’s the most valuable thing I possess, that cost Him everything and me NOTHING, other than my completely blind faith in “the process”. I realize, of course, that some don’t understand this, and, in fact, may think its lunacy to believe in something I cannot touch or see. But I can’t touch or see the wind, can I? No, I sure can’t! It doesn’t make it any less real to me, much less are the effects of the wind very real to me. Look, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the damage a torrential windstorm or a tornado can do, now does it? So, with that, I am Rocky, the devil is Ivan Drago, the God I serve is the referee, and I … am … WINNING!

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 honing in on the fact that it could potentially level me. He was painting on a mask, but behind his eyes you could clearly see that the road he’d walked until that moment had cost him the connection to both the outside world and himself. Yet, I was still compelled to sit and watch this six degrees separated version of not only Zack’s story, but at times mine and SO many others 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 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 and 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 actually, I think I do …

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

darkness

Here’s my takeaway from both the show and my 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, all of which led him to an psychological 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 each day while secretly living inside the invisible 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, 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.

https://www.turrentinejacksonmorrow.com/obituaries/zachariah_williamson

Can

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019: “Lullabye” …

Can

LULLABYE

I know the feeling of finding yourself stuck out on the ledge. And there ain’t no healing from cuttin’ yourself with the jagged edge. I’m tellin’ you that it’s never that bad, and take it from someone who’s been where your at. You’re laid out on the floor and you’re not sure you can take this anymore. So just give it one more try with a lullaby and turn this up on the radio. If you can hear me now I’m reachin’ out to let you know that you’re not alone. And you can’t tell I’m scared as hell ’cause I can’t get you on the telephone. So just close your eyes … Well honey here comes a lullaby. Your very own lullaby. Please let me take you out of the darkness and into The Light. ‘Cause I have faith in you that you’re gonna make it through another night. Stop thinkin’ about the easy way out. There’s no need to go and blow the candle out. Because you’re not done, you’re far too young and the best is yet to come. Well everybody’s hit the bottom. And everybody’s been forgotten. Well everybody’s tired of being alone. Yeah everybody’s been abandoned. And left a little empty handed. So if you’re out there barely hangin’ on … just give it one more try with a lullaby and turn this up on the radio. {Nickelback}

… that fourth Friday night in eleven years without him and “God only knows how many Friday nights” since November 8, 1996 when I attempted suicide myself. There’s no telling “how many more Fridays” will have to pass by before my baby girl will be out of the danger zone with “ideations” of her own after the virtual Hell she is still living through for reasons I cannot say! From this point forward, I will be here for as many nights as I’m allowed to live to faithfully remind the masses THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE TO LISTEN by doing exactly as Zack would say:

Catherine, USE YOUR WORDS!

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

So, 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 walked away from my phone.

Eventually, I made the decision to go for what I thought would be overnight, so I packed my bag, took Walter Williamson to my mom, then headed up 75 north. The quiet drive was nice and I hadn’t really cried yet all day, and I was planning on just trying not to. But right around the Highway 82 exit in Sherman I just about frigging lost it. Zack and I had this whole “Highway 82” thing that I won’t go in to right now, but let’s just say that if you’ve ever heard the song “Take Me There” by Rascal Flatts, that road was such a big part of his story, and thus our story 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 overcome 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. EVERY single time we’d ever made that exit, he’d always squeeze my hand.

To say it was an out of body experience drifting through that venue without my husband would be an understatement, and since my friend didn’t arrive until after me, 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 am so proud to say that I was Zack’s first love, and his last love, and everything in between! We were literally each other’s miracles and the answers to the prayers we’d both been praying since probably before we were even born. What are the chances that a love like ours could happen again for the third time in this life? I honestly just don’t know. My focus at this point is just me and my kids and my steadfast determination to take whatever steps are necessary to make some positive ripples in the human condition. I THINK I’VE DECIDED TO BECOME A LIFE COACH! It happened on the drive BACK from Oklahoma right around that good ole Highway 82 exit. It just hit me. Not like a ton of bricks, but a mountain of them. I’m GOING to get out there and start talking to anyone who will listen about all the things I’ve learned about “peopling” and “mental wealth” so that maybe, just maybe, all this pain I’ve been gifted can become someone’s else’s gift, too!

Wow, did I ever digress? Lol. Now I remember where I was going when I started to write this entry. 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 thought to myself,

Oh my good GOD, I really hate this! I LITERALY 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, 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 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? Umm, yes, I kinda do mind, but since he had the nerve to ask, I turned to look him straight in the eyes and shocked valued him with, “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 go and do that to you? Why would he go and do that to you? I just don’t GET IT! It was such a permanent solution to a temporary situation. It’s just so selfish when people go and kill themselves like that. Man, that’s just a shame. I’m so sorry for you darlin’. Really, I am. Well, try and have a good birthday night.

Then he left, and oh my GOD, thank you JESUS for that!

So, here’s what’s wrong with what that guy said: ALL OF IT! In being perfectly honest, for more than a good split second I really wanted to punch him in the face, like, violently punch him in the face, not the other kind of “funny way” I’d wanted to punch Zack in the face earlier that night. I wanted to scream at him,

NO! YOU’RE FUCKING WRONG! He didn’t DO THIS to me. He didn’t even DO THIS to himself! He was sick, and in pain, and had been seeing things, and hearing voices, and he’d literally come 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!” Selfish? HE WAS NOT! HE WAS LITERALLY SICK IN THE HEAD, and I refuse to let “selfish” be his legacy!

Yet, therein lies the problem. THE STIGMA! The misgiving. The untrue truths that so many have to speak just to make that fucking “the S word” easier to digest. Thus my “Highway 82 Life Coaching” decision! So many people just don’t get itTHEY SIMPLY DON’T UNDERSTAND – because unless you’ve lived it, survived it, or have watched someone dying this way out loud? 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. I’m GOING to help people understand!

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019: “Doing The Best He Could” …

best

… when it’s been 21 days since the king of your heart fell off his throne and you’re finally able to open his phone for the first time looking for any answers you can find. Then, there it is, right in front of your sobbing eyes … his “daily affirmation”. He really was “doing the best that he could”. I know it in my heart. God please let him finally be resting in peace.

BEST I CAN

Tonight I feel like the world won’t miss me. So much to say but there’s no one listening. If we’re alone are we all together in that. I threw a penny in a well for wishing. Prayed for all the things I think I’m missing. A little time is all I really need. I am doing the best I can with everything I am. Don’t you know nobody’s perfect? Do you understand how hard I’m trying to do the best I can? A second chance to give you something. It takes a lifetime to come from nothing. I refuse to believe in running away. No, I am doing the best I can with everything I am.  Don’t you know nobody’s perfect? Do you understand how hard I’m trying for you? I am doing the best I can with everything I am. Don’t you know I think you’re worth it? Do you understand how hard I’m trying to do the best I can? I got a picture of what matters and I keep it close to my heart. It’s a little faded but so am I. ‘Cause I am doing the best I can with everything I am. Don’t you know nobody’s perfect. Do you understand how hard I’m trying for you?{The Art Of Dying}

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

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

DEAR AGONY …

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

~ Breaking Benjamin

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

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

IMG_8322

AUGUST 22, 2019 (11:30pm): “Achilles Come Down!” …

~ The Phoenix Collaborative ~

Achilles – Achilles – Achilles come down!

Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof? You’re scaring us, and all of us (some of us) love you. Achilles, it’s not much but there’s proof. You crazy ass cosmonaut, remember your virtue. Redemption lies plainly in truth. Just humor us Achilles. Achilles come down! Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof?

Achilles – Achilles – Achilles come down!

Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof? The self is not so weightless, nor whole and unbroken. Remember the pact of our youth? Where you go I’m going, so jump and I’m jumping since there is no me without you. Soldier on Achilles. Achilles come down! Won’t you get up off, get up off the roof?

Loathe the way they light candles in Rome, but love the sweet air of the votives. Hurt and grieve but don’t suffer alone. Engage with the pain as a motive. Today of all days see how the most dangerous thing is to love. How you will heal and you’ll rise above.

Achilles – Achilles – Achilles jump now!

You are absent of cause or excuse. So self-indulgent and self-referential. No audience could ever want you. You crave the applause yet hate the attention, then miss it. Your act is a ruse. It is empty Achilles, so end it all now. It’s a pointless resistance for you.

Achilles – Achilles – just put down the bottle!

Don’t listen to what you’ve consumed. It’s chaos, confusion, and wholly unworthy of feeding, and it’s wholly untrue. You may feel no purpose, nor a point for existing. It’s all just conjecture and gloom. And there may not be meaning, so find one and seize it. Do not waste yourself on this roof.

Hear those bells ring deep in the soul chiming away for a moment. Feel your breath course frankly below. See life as a worthy opponent! Today of all days, see how the most dangerous thing is to love. How you will heal and you’ll rise above. Crowned by an overture bold and beyond. Ah, it’s more courageous to overcome!

You want the acclaim, the mother of mothers. (It’s not worth it Achilles.)

More poignant than fame or the taste of another. (Don’t listen Achilles.)

But be real and just jump you dense motherfucker. (You’re worth more Achilles.)

You will not be more than a rat in the gutter. (So much more than a rat.)

You want my opinion, my opinion you’ve got. (No one asked your opinion.)

You asked for my counsel, I gave you my thoughts. (No one asked for your thoughts.)

Be done with this now and get off the roof! Can you hear me Achilles? I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you. Achilles come down! Achilles come down! Throw yourself into the unknown with pace and a fury defiant. Clothe yourself in beauty untold and see life as a means to a triumph. Today of all days, see how the most dangerous thing is to love. How you will heal and you’ll rise above. Crowned by an overture bold and beyond. Ah, it’s more courageous to overcome!

{Gang Of Youths}

~ The Bristol “Suicide Statue” ~

AUGUST 20, 2019: “The King Who Questioned Everything” …

IMG_0028He lives in darkness. There is no progress. He knows his demons – that lie within him. He has no vision. He has no sight. He hates perfection – it isn’t right. Who cares anymore, who’s there anymore? HE’S THE ME I WAS BEFORE HE HELPED ME BECOME WHO I AM HE QUESTIONS EVERYTHING! He lives behind a lie. He is so ashamed. He keeps insisting that he’s the one to blame. He cares no more. He can bare no more. He’ll say no more. He can’t give us anymore. HE QUESTIONS EVERYTHING. And we’re losing him.

AUGUST 8, 2019: “Until The Day He Died” …

zack

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.

rOBIN

I 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. We had a home. We had a king waiting for us back at that home who loved us more than words could say. He was our everything. HE WAS 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 Gia and I were eating lunch, he was at Cabella’s buying the Springfield he put to his head 14 days later.

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”.

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}

JANUARY 11, 2019: “In The Dying Light” …

Why does January 11th always have to be so fucking hard? It was one year ago today that he was standing at the window of our beautiful castle gazing at everything he’d built from NOTHING … literally NOTHING … after having spent a lifetime running from the pain of having been thrown away by his “mother”. I’d been taking down the Christmas decorations, and I’ll never forget it EVER. Especially in that we were just about ready to take Gina’s birthday flowers to her grave.

I remember like it was yesterday. I’d rounded the corner only to find him standing there just staring over the barren field behind our property with that one single tear rolling down his cheek. “Zack? What’s wrong?” … and then he turned to look at me … with a lost and hopeless look in his eyes that will haunt my mind forever. It leveled me at my core with an all too familiar adrenaline dump spilling right out the tips of my fingers that I’d come to know before in my moments of panic and fear.

Catherine, I can’t feel anything anymore.

I was so physically ill, because I knew just what he meant, despite those five seemingly simple words. Over the years, I’d gotten to know his language and understand the “words” that were being spoken on his face, in his eyes, and in his tears when he hadn’t even said a word.

Ever the stoic and what seemed to be a tower of strength, and although he would indeed talk to me, it was always so hard for him to recount all the things we both knew were eating him alive. Up until “us”, he wasn’t used to having his feelings matter to the people that he needed to matter to.

In the months that followed “that moment in the window” we fought desperately to keep his head above the water, but in the end, the demons hiding inside the hole she left in his heart devoured him. In being perfectly honest, that was the day I really lost him, as from that point on he was only “dead alive”, slowly headed towards the dying light that began pulling him into the darkness.

DYING LIGHT

Here we go again, it’s coming on just like before. The same old sinking feeling pulls me down an endless hole. Oh, the heavy lifting as I fret for what might be. If this is the beginning of the end, then let me dream. In the eye of the storm from the moment we’re born. In the dying light, we learn to live when we give in to the silent waves that crash inside. In the dying light, we can begin to live again when we wake up to eternal life. Let this be an exercise in how to face your fears. Step into the realm of madness if you dare my dear. We are lost in the swarm from the moment we’re born. All that we need passes by until we concede and resign this mortal coil into the dying light. {Alter Bridge}