JANUARY 26, 2023: “Feel What YOU Feel!” …

Now, read that again!

Wait, no! On second thought, go get it permanently inked on the inside of your forearm where my favorite “Secrets Make You Sick” tattoo is permanently etched onto my body in a place where I see it 24/7.

So, let’s think this through …

Close your eyes for a minute and think about something you don’t like. It can be anything from a person, place, or thing, to a fresh hot steamin’ bowl of lima beans (the mere sight of which make me PUKE). Now that you have that “thing” in the forefront of your mind …

I want you to LOVE IT!

Well? Did you do it? Do you “love it” now? Hmm. Why not? Let’s try this again. I am heretofore demanding that you …

LOVE that thing you HATE … NOW!

Did it work? Do you love it now? Umm, no! NO, YOU DON’T! No one can MAKE you “feel” anything unless we want to. It’s one of the perks of being a sentient being. There is freedom within within the confines of our own minds to do, say, think, and FEEL whatever the FUCK we want to. It’s our “this is where I END and YOU BEGIN” autonomy!

I personally have a first-hand perspective of having been programmed from birth to adhere to the thoughts, rules, and pathways that the “powers that be” tried to indoctrinate me with. Even so, there is a POWER within and available to us all to FEEL what we feel, and NOT feel what we DON’T. That POWER is mine! That POWER is yours! NO ONE CAN TAKE IT AWAY FROM US! So, why do we just GIVE it away? No one, and I mean NO ONE, can MAKE you “feel inferior” unless you LET them!

If someone is trying to make you FEEL “inferior”, well, that’s about them, not about you, and, umm, it’s prolly ’cause that’s how they FEEL about themselves. The only way a person who “FEELS inferior” can make themselves feel “not inferior”, is to either deal with themselves and take back their own power, or unleash the ill-perceived “strength” they find in their own deflection try to take someone else’s.

Don’t you DARE let me find out that you are one of my people out there running around letting other people bring you down. You are SO much better than that! I PROMISE! Know who you are, own what you feel, and although you certainly don’t have to be a Jean-Claude Van Damn asshole about it, learn to say, “No, THANK YOU!” when it comes to protecting the boundaries around your FEELINGS!

What I love about song by Rascal Flatts is that while it was obviously meant to be about LOVING who you love, you can replace the word love with “FEEL” throughout and still be empowered by it. Make it a great day, my friends, and FEEL what YOU feel, no matter what!

I guess I’ll never understand it. Why do we take it all for granted until it’s gone. FEEL what YOU feel with all that you have, and don’t waste the time that flies so fast. FEEL what YOU feel, and say that you do. Yeah, with every single breath you’re breathing … FEEL what YOU feel! FEEL what YOU feel … again and again and again and again.

(“Love Who You Love” by Rascal Flatts Words Adapted)

JANUARY 21, 2023: “National JUST LOOK AWAY Day!” …

Awwww! How sweet! Hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs, Jean-Claude Van DAMN mother effing hugs! Step right up, folks, ’cause it’s “National Hugging Day“, which I guess means that imma have to stay in my effing house, ’cause umm …

Did you also know that hugs were invented to drive that probably only 0.1% of humanity who not only don’t like hugs, but after they’ve had to cordially, awkwardly, or unexpectedly get hugged by some well-intended “hugger” who prolly didn’t even mean to assault them, they then have to go rinse their body and soul off with SOAP and SAGE quite literally over the edge? Yup. THAT’S ME! I’m one of those oddball “0.1 percenters” who doesn’t really even want to “people“, much less be stood too close to or HUGGED (unless I WANT TO)!

Ironically, if for some strange reason I really DO want a hug or some, err, “other” (wink, wink) kind of physical connection from a MAN, I literally can’t and WON’T keep my hands off him without either a restraining order or death. My poor husband, God rest his soul, had to literally hide from me at times because assaulting his physicality was my favorite recreational sports.

MEANWHILE …

Hi everyone! It’s me, CAT! Unless I’ve known you for, like, 140 years, and have a VERY close relationship with you … OR I’ve given birth to you … OR you’re going to be party to giving me grandchildren one day … OR I’ve been in love with, engaged to, or married to you … if you see me walking by, look away and don’t get any smart ideas. I may be a “cute” cat at times, but I’ve also been arrested for assaulting someone who physically assaulted me against my will, and will happily go back again.

Now, get out there and just hug the ever loving SHIT out of anyone in your path – BUT – on the off chance that you got this message “loud and clear” and you see me out of the castle today, alls I’m sayin’ is that maybe you could at least just warn a bitch first:

Umm, hi! Did you KNOW that today is National Hugging Day? Guess what, then? INCOMING!

JANUARY 11, 2023: “The Steel Magnolia Under The Stars” …

I just sat there. I just held Shelby’s hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.
{“M’Lynn’s Breakdown” … “Steel Magnolias”}
As for God? While of course, at the time I couldn’t exactly feel Him, every single shred of my being knows that He was there in that room with me, just like “The Footprints In The Sand”. He was weeping as He was holding me as I was weeping and holding her as she was dying in my arms during this, the most bittersweet moment of my life. After all those years of praying for a baby, I’d gotten an angel instead.
{“Hello, Goodbye” … The Real Cat Williamson}

Happy 19th, my Gina Marie. I, too, realize just how lucky I am to have been there when you drifted into my life, and then again when you drifted out. We may have only crossed paths for a handful of fleeting hours, but I was honored to have been the one to both carry you here and send you right back Home. It truly was the most precious moment of my life.

I’ll see you when I get there my ‘lil Butterfly! Hey, maybe we can meet beneath that beautiful steel magnolia standing strong amidst the grey just like your apostrophe of a momma, and you can tell me all about the stars you’ve been watching me through and how much brighter they must be from your tiny little seat in Heaven. I love you.

JANUARY 8, 2023: “Life After You” …

Ten miles from town, and I didn’t break down, and there wasn’t any smoke on the side of the road. I’m here on my own … but I’m not alone … ’cause wherever I am is my home. All that I’m after is a life full of laughter, and although I won’t be laughing with you, I know that all that still matters is love ever after after the life went through. Yes, there’s still life after you.

The Frog may be gone, the Butterfly he left behind still flitters and flutters with reckless abandon through the skies with a tail fire that rivals even the brightest shooting stars.

Some day, God willing, I’ll drive my grandkids back to this place and tell them all about how everyone thought that Crazy Grandma Cat’s husband was nothin’ but a loser who was gonna have us all living under a bridge.

Though my dwellings have morphed over the years, it’s not where I live or the things I have that define me. My true home is the soul beneath my skin, which I suppose now makes me a turtle, because my “castle” goes with me everywhere. In the meantime, I will never forget where our story began and smile from ear to ear every time I drive by our even think about our little apartment.

Hey, ladies? Never forget that Prince Charming doesn’t always ride up on a white horse with a sword. Sometimes he rolls in with an ass ugly Ford truck, a giant heart, and a pocket full of dreams. Dig for the gold that you find in their heart … NOT the gold in their wallet. Just have unconditional love for and faith in him, support hisdreams in every way possible, don’t bust his balls while he’s busting his own balls trying to get you that tiara, and just see what might could happen!

JANUARY 1, 2023: “Carry Me Down” …

It’s New Years Day again, and thus another 365 days are now waiting ahead for me to take another trip around the The Sun, God willing. Meanwhile, ten days from now will commemorate my Gina Marie’s 19th birthday. You see, in case you didn’t know yet because you’re new around this Diary, I am a mother whose womb has known both life and death.

Believe it or not, though, this most tragic of truths is one of my highest honors and privileges. Why is that? Because you can’t have one without the other – life and death, that is – and losing the daughter I literally prayed for on my knees was one of the most bittersweet catalysts to everything I now understand about the brevity of existence:

Happy 19th birthday, my tiny Gina Marie. I, too, realize just how lucky I am to have been there when you drifted into my life, and then again when you drifted out. We may have only crossed paths here for that handful of fleeting hours, but I was honored to be the one to have both carried you here AND sent you right back Home. It truly WAS the most precious moment of my life.
{“The Steel Magnolia, The Butterfly & The Stars“}

I believe that I was specifically chosen to bear the burden of this twisted sorority I’m in so that I could become a living example of crazy blind faith in a God and His choices that are otherwise unnatural and unfathomable.

As most grieving parents would likely agree, outliving our children and having to survive “here” with the parts of our hearts and souls they took with them isn’t for the faint of heart, and something I would never wish upon another parent. Pray GOD that I don’t ever have to bury another child, because they are my only Achilles’ tendon.

With that, I am reminded of one of those Quora questions that I love to hate so much, and WOW did it end up being the most perfectly timed pairing for my thoughts:

If, indeed, I knew I only had 10 minutes until I died, the FIRST thing I’d do is reach out to my surviving kids and let them know that:

Although I certainly won’t be excited at the news of my death, I am, as they well know, ready for what comes next and have been for quite some time now. I know without a doubt what lies beyond “those stained glass doors”, and I’m not afraid.

Though my body will be gone, I’ll be the zephyr in their skies that brushes their cheeks and whispers in their ears, and will always be watching them from the distance through my super nova telescope.

Because I’m only human, I know I’ve made way more than my fair share of mistakes as a mom, but did my best to account for, apologize, and validate the many wounds I inflicted upon their souls, rectify the wrongs I could, and become the very best version of myself possible – for them.

They were the literal beats of my heart, every breathe I took, the two greatest treasures of my life, and in the forefront of my mind during every battle I fought, war I survived, and generational cycle I broke so that they could carry on building healthier branches on our tree.

When it’s finally time for them to read this Diary and watch my crazy videos, they know that every one of the thoughts, words, and “secrets” I couldn’t keep anymore were my absolute truth, but more so than that, my virtual love letter and legacy to both them and my future grandchildren. Then I’d beg them one last time to please only take the very best parts of me into their lives going forward and just leave out all the rest.

Sure, it may be sad at first, but my death will be nothing at all, and I want them to smile when it’s time to bid me adieu knowing that despite the many circumstances that seemed contrary, I had the BEST life ever, was one of the happiest queens alive, and they made me so fucking proud just as they were, nothing more, nothing less, simply because they were mine!

I’ll be waiting for them with their sister, stepdad, and the rest of “us” who have passed on The Brighter Side Of Grey.

Yes, I know that’s a lot of information to relay in “less than ten minutes”, which is why I already have some things prepared for the time of my crossing over when it’s time for them to carry me down the aisle.

All that being said, the SECOND thing I would do is just close my eyes, make the sign of The Cross, and tell Jesus that His absolute favorite daughter and most divine apostrophe of all is on her way Home and that I literally CANNOT wait to meet Him in person.

Meanwhile, here I am crying my damn eyes out after having written this all out loud. No, I’m not “afraid” of dying, but I know that when it’s time for me to leave here my kids will be traumatized, and the thought of them amidst another heartbreak breaks me down to pieces. Their pain is my pain. Their tears and my tears. My kids have both already suffered tremendously on this Earth, but if I’ve done my job well and have planted enough faith seeds for them, “Crazy Momma Cat’s” kids are gonna be alright. Okay, so, I guess I’m good now

All that being said, and in honor of not only this brand new year filled with all the most beautiful possibilities, but also both the last ten minutes I’ve survived as I’ve been writing this and the next ten minutes that I’ll hopefully survive as well, I challenge every one of you to MAKE THE NEXT 365 DAYS COUNT!

Oh, and one last thing for the record, this song is beyond special to me. Zachariah used to sing it to me all the time, as it was one of his favorite songs of all. It was, therefore, the very last song he heard me play for him as I carried him down that proverbial aisle.

CARRY ME DOWN

And if you see me losing ground, don’t be afraid to lie. I know the pain inside my heart can’t break the fear inside of yours. And if you see me losing faith in what it means to die, don’t let me leave before I know what lies behind the stained-glass doors. Save sorrow for the souls in doubt. Bleed every care out. Will you carry me down the aisle that final day? With your tears and cold hands shaking from the weight. When you lower me down beneath that sky of gray, let the rain fall down and wash away your pain. For every word we never spoke, we have a tear to cry. For every silence like a wall between a better you and I. So if you see me losing sight of all the death in life, you’ll find the peace in every time I failed to see the death in mine. Let all the fear inside you drown. Tear out the blade and lay it down. Save sorrow for the souls in doubt. Bleed every care out. Will you carry me down the aisle that final day? With your tears and cold hands shaking from the weight? When you lower me down beneath that sky of gray, let the rain fall down and wash away your pain. Oh, the blood is rushing out. Oh, I’m better off without. Oh, the walls are closing in. Oh, sing for me again. {Demon Hunter}

DECEMBER 25, 2022: “My NOT So Bitter End” …

So, it’s Christmas 2022, and here I am thanking my Lord and Savior, JESUS yet again for my abundant undeserved blessings and gifts, not the least of which is HIS birthday today. Might I just add to the mountain of intangible treasures under my proverbial tree that I did NOT receive or “become” after the actual storms of HELL I’ve had to walk through?

Bitter • Angry • Sad • Lonely

Depressed • Regretful • Remorseful

Cold • Mean • Jaded • Toxic

Hateful • Hopeless • Lost • Desperate

Stunted • Scared • Faithless • Flightless

• Sightless •

☠️ DEAD ☠️

Am I a little bit annoying at times? YUP! Have I lost my filter? Ya think? Do I still curse like an effing sailor? I hereby invoke The Fifth Amendment! Am I a whack-a-doodle at times? HELLO? Have you read a single thing in this Diary? I’m as certifiably WHACK-A-DOO as they come! But am I a still a shining Light in the dark, God’s actual favorite daughter, and an apostrophe punctuating the pages as as many other lives as I can? Yer Jean-Claude Van DAMN straight I am!

Hi everyone! It’s me, the REAL Cat Williamson, not the FAKE one! All this pain and suffering have been my greatest gifts! The bitter end WILL come in time, but the joy I have found in the sweet here and now keeps me alive!

Merry Christmas to you all, and here’s hoping that you, too, will sift through your own piles of unwrappable but invaluable gifts today, not the least of which are all the things that YOU, too, have NOT become, despite any less than optimal circumstances that should have led to down the road to a bitter end.

THE BITTER END

I’ve walked every road and turned every corner. Searched high and low where I did not belong. Adrift with the tide, always hungry and yearning. If only I’d known that the answer was here all along. The bitter end will come in time, but the joy I have found in the sweet here and now keeps me alive! I’ve kissed the lips of an angel in waiting. Devil in kind, I’ve been lost and deceived. The thrill had to fade in this world for the taking. Once I woke up to what mattered, then I could see. The bitter end will come in time, but the joy I have found in the sweet here and now keeps me alive! We’re lost on a road where all we can find are just the remnants of hope that somehow we leave far behind. But this much I know … somehow we’ll be alright, ’cause it’s never too late to learn how to start living right. The bitter end will come in time, but the joy I have found in the sweet here and now keeps me alive! {Alter Bridge}

DECEMBER 24, 2022: “Saying GREYCE” …

~ Christmas Eve 2022 ~

Everything changed for the better this night on the thirty year anniversary of her death. Maybe she wasn’t really the devil incarnate … or evil … or my enemy. Maybe she was only ever meant to be the ying to my other Grandma’s yang and one of my greatest lessons in forgiveness, power, and grace of all. For that, I say this:

Grandma, if you can hear me, maybe I had this all wrong? I, of all people, know EXACTLY what it’s like to be a little girl hiding in grown woman’s body so desperately far away from The Sun. Maybe it really IS true that “hurt people HURT people”, and that you, like me, did the best that you could to just SURVIVE.
I’m sorry. SO sorry! Please forgive me for all of the things I’ve thought in my head, and worse yet, the many AWFUL words about you that I put out into the atmosphere. Hey, who knows? Maybe I’ll see, you, too, on the brighter side of all this GREY. I love you.
(PS) If you happen to see my baby, my husband, my Grandma Mary, and my GRANDPA, tell them all that I love them!
(PSS) Oh, and one last thing. If you happened to be watching us through your telescope, perhaps you saw this, too, today? It would appear that THIS, of all Christmas Eves since you left, was meant for some OTHER miracles of forgiveness, power, and grace, too …

DECEMBER 20, 2023: “When The Sun Is Hard To Find” …

… and above all things, don’t forget to SHINE YOUR LIGHT and SPREAD YOUR INFECTION today! This world needs ALL the little nuggets, glimmers, and beacons of of hope and Light it can get. Nope, God has NOT forsaken us … even though, YUP, it can sure as HELL feel that way at times. I get it – I do! Even still, the choice is yours to wake up each day and DECIDE to be a Light in SOMEONE else’s darkness, no matter what less than optimal circumstances and storms are befuddling you. Let these words be the song your soul sings to the people in your direct line of FIRE:

When The Sun is hard to find … when it’s raining in your eyes … when the shadows block those pretty little blue skies living inside you. When the falling of your tears, makes a candle disappear … when you just can’t see The Light, baby I’ll find a way to shine. I’ll find a way to shine!
(“Shine” by Keith Urban)

By the way, don’t you dare forget that you can and should sing those beautiful words to YOURSELF every day, as well. Jean-Claude Van Damn, YUP, I sure as HEAVEN do belt this one out loud to ME quite often! After all, I am my own greatest love story, so, why shouldn’t I sing love songs to myself? Alrighty then! Now, snap to it people! Go on and SHINE for someone today. You just never know if someone who’s in your path might really need you to.

DECEMBER 14, 2022: “There’s No Present Like The Time” …

Well, good morning my handsome prince! Here’s hoping this is the best day EVER! Please do me a favor and listen to this new song I found, and listen to it REAL good. It’s special. Yes, it “might” make you cry … BUT … it might also help remind you why we are BOTH doing everything in our power to CHANGE the broken cycle in this family.
I believe with every shred of my being that you do now have ALL the pieces of the puzzle in your hand, not the LEAST of which is “the girl”. Christian, I just know that she is the one God made for YOU. Neither one of you is “perfect”, son. NONE OF US ARE! But trust me when I say that I know your heart better than anyone else in this world. I mean, DUH, I’m the QUEEN who made it. I also know how that vast wonderland of a mind of yours works, too. IT’S JUST LIKE MINE! That’s how I KNOW that you two were made “perfect for EACH OTHER”.
This next season of your life is probably when all the good stuff is REALLY gonna start happening, not the LEAST of which is raising a little family, which is why you NEED to absorb EVERY word in this powerful song. Let it be a song you listen to every day to remind you that there really IS no “present” like “the time”. Just think about the “season” we all had Zack in our lives, and how he changed EVERYTHING for ALL of us. It may have only been “a little more than a decade”, but the truest gift he left behind for all of us was THE TIME.
{Text on December 2, 2022}

Son,

Exactly thirty years ago this minute, at 4:50pm, you made your appearance and changed the trajectory of my life forever. Know that I’m writing this that I’m literally crying my eyes out, because I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. With that, and as you prepare for the first trip of what will hopefully be a lifetime together with our girl, aside from the trip itself, my gift to you is just these “words”. Only, this time, they’re the borrowed words to that Jay Allen song I sent last week.

This morning, I said an extra prayer in addition to my usual ones. I asked God that if any of the words I’ve ever said to you in our last three decades together land and stick to the inner most places of your broken but healing heart and soul, it’s these most powerful ones of all:

Take a picture. Take a chance. Chase a dream. Chase a girl. Say a prayer. Take a trip. Don’t hold your breath. Hold your kids before they’re too big. Help a stranger. Help yourself. Pull that Bible off that shelf. Open it up with your mind. See the world through His eyes. Make the most of what matters the most in this life. ‘Cause it can fade in a minute, no matter how you spin it. That clock keeps ticking. It can stop on a dime. Be careful how you spend it. In a blink, it’s gone, goodbye. ‘Cause there’s no time like the present. Oh, there’s no time like the present. And there’s no present like the time. It’s a gift. It’s all you get. Make a friend. Make amends. Make a call. Tell the truth. Say I love you.

I love you, Christian Peter, “to The Moon and back”, then back again to eternity. Enjoy your trip to Aspen and allow yourself the much needed time to just relax, have fun, cut loose, cut up, and gear up for what I believe is this next most important decade of your life. It’s time for you to start rising above all the ashes we all left you in throughout these bittersweet years, and planting the roots of a much healthier family tree of your own. Please let our many mistakes and failures be the springboard from which you really start “stealing the Sun” and flying from the inside.

Most importantly, though, please take good care of that girl, and remember: “That angel hangs on every word you say”. Always be mindful of how to talk to her. She’s someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, will hopefully be someone’s momma and entire world one day, and she’s the daughter of God who I believe He made perfect just for YOU! No, son, I don’t think she’s perfect” … none of us are … and also, “perfect” would just be boring. But yes, she’s perfect for you. I know with every single fiber of my being that she’s the one I’ve been praying for incessantly since the day that YOU were born exactly thirty years ago. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORDS! They’re not just little toy guns, but they are, in fact, like toothpaste: Once you put them out there, you can’t but them back in the tube.

Well, that’s it, then. Another decade is in the books! Here’s to another STELLAR one filled with love, laughter, and every possible brighter side of all the beautiful GREY that is our lives. Oh, and one last thing. Never forget that Zack is still watching all of this from his telescope in the sky. Keep on making him prouder than he already was and still is after seeing all the growth in you since he’s been gone. I love you to The Moon and back …

~ “BMITW”

DECEMBER 10, 2022: “Infectious DISEASE Control!” …

Three total strangers at the restaurant where we had my son’s birthday dinner tonight said I had “a really infectious energy”, and as we were leaving, one of our waitstaff quickly pulled me aside and said, “You have such a happy spirit, girl. You make me smile!” I almost cried! So, on the drive home alone, I shut off my radio and allowed myself the safe and quiet space to think out loud and just talk to myself. Lol! Yes, I even answered myself back!

How, Catherine? HOW? How in the actual ‘you’ve survived HELL‘ are you not a miserable, jaded, toxic fucking bitch? How do you still smile? How do you still laugh? How are you still so happy? How do you always manage to turn shit storms into sunshine and chaos into creation?

Umm, DUH! Have you MET you? You’re a positively infectious QUEEN, because it’s what you CHOOSE to be!

Indeed, this is the conversation “me and me” had. Guess what? IT’S TRUE! I do have a genuinely happy spirit. I own, cherish, revel in, and embrace it! Meanwhile, if you could be inside my skin and feel how I feel right now, you would think I just won Miss Universe.

If I’m not meant to “walk on” through another 86,400 seconds tomorrow, knowing I’ve made some people in my path feel “positively infected” means I’m living a life of use to others. What if someone who crossed my path tonight is barely hanging on and my “infection” was a glimmer of Light in their darkness? What if one of them really needed someone to make them smile?

Beauty fades, folks, AND IT WILL, but not only does the energy we put out into the atmosphere not fade away, it will linger on infinitely long after our mortal bodies are but ashes returned to the ground. Thank you, Jesus, that I hi hi got my energy right, ’cause being a “good infection” in a all too often toxic world is all want to be. I want to leave this place and the people I meet along my way better than I found them.

Although I had already used this song that has infected my soul since first hearing it over twenty years ago, it wasn’t until my “quiet drive home” last night that one of the lines literally crawled up my spine in every best way possible, and fully circled its way back around to me:

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been … a place that has to be believed to be seen. You could have flown away, a singing bird in an open cage who will only fly, only fly for freedom. What you got you can’t deny it, can’t sell it or buy it. Walk on. Walk On!

Little did I know that one day I’d look back and finally understand that the reason I ever loved it in the first place was because someday I would actually be the little birdie in the song. What I’ve got, I can’t deny it, can’t sell it, or buy it. All I can do is just keep walking on in all my inner beauty, power, and grace, always flying Home to the freedom I’ve found in my infectious soul and making everyone around me as positively sick as I possibly can.

Tonight, I’ll sleep in such sweet peace, as the most blessed queen of the world! Kinda like “Glinda The GOOD Witch”, but instead, I’m “REAL Cat The Beautifully INFECTIOUS Bitch!” Besides, “all I get to KEEP is all I share!” So, I’m just gonna stay contagious and keep sharing my infection!


DECEMBER 3, 2022: “47 Seconds” …

… and just like that, a very short but powerful 47 second speech by Tyler Perry that I just happened to stumble across tonight became a part of my life story via this Diary because it IS the very short but powerful story of all the bittersweet and beautiful seasons of my extraordinary life.

… and thus, the fourth but probably not last appearance of one of my ultimate “Death Punches” to the heart life songs which is the very first thing that came to my mind when I was listening to this 47 seconds of greatness. For those of you who haven’t heart this beautiful speech yet, know that the “less than a minute” you’ll spend listening to it will be more than worth your investment. ENJOY!

NOVEMBER 24, 2022: “With Love, From Your Cave-People!” …

When I saw this Heraclitus quote recently, one of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite bands immediately came to mind, so, I thought I’d pair them together in honor of the 36th anniversary of its release this week:

Strangers In A Strange Land

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the course of my bittersweet and beautiful lifetime, it’s that the only thing that never changes is the fact that everything changes. Yet, the mere contradiction in the constant “inconsistency” of our existence is something we can all be thankful for. Do me a favor and close your eyes for three seconds, then open them:

ONE one hundred …

… TWO one hundred …

… THREE one hundred!

Well? Did you do it? GOOD! In case you didn’t know, every shred of every thing about not just your life, but the entirety of the world as we know it just changed. While you were busy counting, and even if nothing about you or your surroundings seems different, IT IS! Meanwhile, the wisest of us know that the ability to adapt to constant change is the one true key to survival. Just thing about your ancestors, God rest their souls:

One hundred years have gone and men again they came that way to find the answer to the mystery. They found his body lying where it fell on that day, preserved in time for all to see. What became of the man that started? All are gone and their souls departed. Left me here in this place so all alone.
{“Strangers In A Strange Land” … by Iron Maiden}

As overwhelming as this whole “living” gig can seem, and especially given that sometimes it really can feel as though you’re walking solo through a frozen tundra – NO! You are never all alone! JUST LOOK INSIDE A MIRROR! You are them! They are you! You’re the living embodiment of the quarters they kept and all of the changes they had to weather so that you could be standing upright in this brave new world. They’re beside you and behind you every step of the way, whispering:

Hey, you got this! You’re one of ours and we’ve already carved the path for you.

Likewise, never forget that you, too, will be the zephyr in someone’s sky. So, be mindful of those footsteps you’ll be leaving behind and whether you’re succumbing to or overcoming the ever-present changes in humanity.

Look, I’m no scientist and certainly no expert on the power of our DNA, but I do know that somewhere in the history of mankind was the very first of “me and mine” and “you and yours”. I’m a woman who stands firmly and proudly upon the mountain of untold trials, errors, lessons, and survival of the countless of my people who came before me. I’m the living, breathing, warrior QUEEN that they produced. Is there really “true royalty” in my bloodline? Who knows? WHO CARES? As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a piece of paper or public opinion that made me who I am today … it’s all those beloved “cave-people” of mine who set me up for success, NOT FAILURE, so, imma make sure that I represent them well and not let any of their sacrifices or wisdom that’s hard-wired in me have been in vain.

For the record, although on the surface, the song seems dark and sad, for me, it became the road map to the flip side of its lyrics:

But now it seems to me that NOTHING’S lost and ALL is gained. Sometimes things ARE what they seem. They heard me calling, rescued me, and set me free in this place, but NEVER lost and alone.

I’ll wrap this up now with one of my favorite quotes by Mariam-Rose Ungenmerr-Baumann, the beloved Aboriginal activist, faithfully devout Christian, and artist:

When we heal ourselves, we heal our ancestors from wounds that run deep in our family. When we heal our ancestors, we heal the world from wounds that run deep in humanity.

(Mariam Rose)

Carry on, now, all you cavepeople and have a HAPPY and THANKFUL Thanksgiving!

• Jason Archer @archinorn

NOVEMBER 18, 2022: “Dolly WOULD” …

… ’cause if someone where to ask me, “Cat, if you could only pick ONE legacy to leave behind one day, what would it be?”, THIS would be what it would be:

When the lights go down, the last curtain has dropped, and I’ve taken my final bow, I hope they’ll all say that the ONLY thing I ever wanted to keep was everything I shared, and that when they speak of me, ‘because of Mama I have a good heart’ will be my legacy. “But above all things, I would want them to know that I will ALWAYS love them”.

By the way, if you don’t already know that I was crying my fucking eyes out as I wrote those powerful words, well, then you don’t know me that well at all. Meanwhile, if you know anything of the true and living QUEEN on Earth LEGEND that Dolly Parton is, and that it’s not her gazillion dollar music empire, badass fucking theme park, or the world class resort that’s literally up the street from the SHACK where HER Mama built the legacy that earned them BOTH the crown. It’s her heart!

In being honest, although I do like her music, I’d be lying my ass off if I said I was a true, blue, hardcore fan. I am not. I am, however, a HUGE fan of her kind heart and the magic of her philanthropy. That woman would probably give the tiny little shirt off her back to someone who needed it, which is ironic, since another celebrity I love, respect, and adore who ALSO happens to love Miss Dolly, would likewise give the shirt right off his tattooed back to someone who needed or even just wanted it. In fact, he’s actually done it before. But I’ve digressed. It’s not what you have, my friends … it’s WHO you are and the goodness in your heart that builds a legacy. “To Whom Much Is Given”

Drop the mic!

NOVEMBER 16, 2022: “The Hampton Inn, Peanut Butter Cups & Something REALLY Beautiful!” …

Dearest ME,

Will you know if it’s happiness you see? Will you feel a different side of me? And if you let it go, would you come back to haunt me? Are you doing the best that you can? We can wait here for tomorrow, or we can find ourselves right now. Think about all that we’ve wasted trying to figure all this out. I know it’s not too late to turn it all into something beautiful.

Can you see The Light still needs to shine inside of you through the windows you can’t find? Will you let me go? I’m tired of hiding. I’m trying to find my way. We can wait here for tomorrow, or we can find ourselves right now. Think about all that we’ve wasted trying to figure all this out. I know it’s not too late to turn it all into something beautiful.

All you need is a chance to believe.

{Words Adapted by The Real Cat Williamson}

~ Me

Well, yeah, Me. The Light still does shine inside of me … and no, I will never let you go. We’re The REAL Cat Williamson … “Warrior. Motivator. SURVIVOR;”. WE GOT THIS!

NOVEMBER 12, 2022: “It Felt Like Today That It’s Time To Start Moving On” …

I’m alright, thanks for asking.”

No, it didn’t kill me. It only make me stronger. I really would rather capsize than chase an old horizon, because the old one’s are behind me, and looking back at them will never allow me to continue growing forward and cross over.

I cannot tell you how thankful I was for the multitude of texts, phone calls, and messages I received after posting this live video moment of real “real”. It meant more to me than anyone could know. It wasn’t until I picked up my phone during a respite on the floor of his closet and saw all the supportive messages that I realized how much I really do “need people” after all. In being honest, at this stage in my life, sometimes I think I don’t. I went to sleep literally “feeling” the love and vibes that had been flowing my way tugging at my soul strings throughout the process all day.

Meanwhile, yes, I really did “punch today in the face”, so, wearing this shirt out tonight was epic! Wait! What’s that you say? “Cat, what does that even MEAN?” Oh, yah! “Punching today in the face” is a “Wheelchair Dad thing. I won’t go much into it, as I really want you to just click on the link and find out what it means for yourself. Sufficed to say, though, Dan and Andrea Kotter and their six beautiful babies who I recently stumbled across have managed to truly “punctuate” and inspire me in a profound way. I cannot tell you how proud I was to ROCK this hoodie while out with my family last night after all was said and done. I’m even prouder of the fact that I even went out in the first place. There was time in my life when treading water with such heavy emotions would have not only drowned me, but found me locked inside my room for the days and even weeks to follow.

Truth being told, while I’d always heard that going through and finally letting go of your deceased loved one’s belongings was one of the, if not the hardest part of the whole grief process, it wasn’t until I was sitting on the floor of “the king’s closet” that I realized just how true it really is. It was like he’d just just died all over again, except that parting with his things made the reality more real. No, he’s never coming home again.

My kids felt this “second death”, too, in a way, so, having them so close to my heart all day added even more diamonds to my tiara. The one “at my six” in the picture above? She’s the girl who’s stolen my son’s heart once and for all. Trust me when I say that she has his six, too, and getting go watch all the ways that she was there for him, not just today, but as usual, made my triumph in this even sweeter.

Perhaps the biggest irony in all of this was that years ago when it was time for me to let go of The Blaze Of Glory’s things, it was Zack who was there with me physically and emotionally. God, Himself, knows that at that juncture I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone. Just look at me know, though, with all this strength both the kings of my heart helped me find, “power and gracing” my way through it all like the true and living queen they left behind.

Just pick one thing, honey … the one thing that reminds you of him the most … and give it a place of honor …

… which is exactly why the do-rag you see hanging on the little cabinet in the video is also the first thing you see in this Diary entry. Of Ghosts, And Kings, And Three“. It looks like it’s time for me to really start moving on, which is why I’m dropping both of these most powerful songs of my life in this entry.

NOVEMBER 11, 2022: “The Wrong Side Of Heaven” …

It’s Veteran’s Day, again, and a highly annoying question I was recently asked on Quora just rushed to the forefront of my mind:

What’s the most sensitive way to express skepticism towards a war veteran’s stories from battle?

My answer was as raw, unfiltered, and as scathing as I think I’ve ever gotten. Fair warning and full disclosure: If you have a weak stomach when it comes to blood and carnage, this Diary entry is not for you:

Umm, so, let me ask you a question, “Anonymous”. When’s the last time you witnessed someone’s head getting blown off two feet in front of you? When’s the last time you had to pick someone’s arms and legs off your own face? When’s the last time you had to throw an M26A1 into a village full of women, children, and babies, then “watch a young girl cry and her mother scream” knowing full damn fucking well it was you who’d be making those angels fly away? When’s the last time you hid in a trench while LITERAL hell on fucking Earth was airborne over your back and all you could do was pray to GOD that you’ll get to see your family’s faces again?
Unless or until you can get back to me with the firm date and time that you had to participate in any of the living nightmares listed above in the name of your god and your country and tell me how you “just got over it”, I think you should go wash your brain out with either a bucket of soap and water or some battery acid.
I mean, seriously? I’ve never been in the military nor an actual war, but I have watched my own child die in my arms, watched the first true love of my life hit a brick wall on his Harley going 90 with no helmet (to which my immediate response was to actually attempt to put his brains back into his head to no avail), and I also live with the daily knowledge that the second true love of my life, my late husband, blew his own fucking brains out in a dirt lot just a block away from our home that I still live in but can’t move away from until our daughter graduates from high school, because I’m trying desperately to keep things stable for her to the best of my human ability despite the fact that I have to drive the FUCK by “the spot” sometimes multiple times a day.
I also bear the honor of being related to a retired brigadier general, and have spent time in the company of many other combat veterans I’ve been in PTSD group therapies with over the years. As such, I’ve “heard stories” that I’ll both never get to unhear or forget. As it turns out, NOT dying with your boots on is of one of the cruelest ironies of all and can keep a soldier “dead alive” in a mental prison on the exact “Wrong Side Of Heaven” forever.
My point being this: Who the fuck are you to question the validity of a war veteran’s “stories”? PTSD is a bastard fucking demon like no other on the face of this Earth, and if, as I suspect, you haven’t ever tried it, I cannot NOT recommend it enough. Maybe then you’ll know better than to write unacceptable, bullshit questions like this ever again.
Fuck you, ya Jean-Claude Van DAMN little mega douche.
(PS) I hope this answer wasn’t too “insensitive” for you!
{The Real Cat Williamson On Quora}

THE WRONG SIDE OF HEAVEN

I spoke to God today and She said that She’s ashamed. What have I become? What have I done? I spoke to the devil today and he swears he’s not to blame. And I understood, ’cause I feel the same. Arms wide open, I stand alone. I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone. Right or wrong … I can hardly tell. I’m on the wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell. The wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell. I heard from God today and She sounded just like me. What have I done and who have I become? I saw the devil today and he looked a lot like me. I looked away. I turned away. Arms wide open, I stand alone. I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone. Right or wrong … I can hardly tell. I’m on the wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell. I’m not defending. Downward descending. Falling further and further away. Getting closer every day. I’m getting closer every day to the end, to the end, the end, the end. I’m getting closer every day. Arms wide open, I stand alone. I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone. Right or wrong … I can hardly tell. I’m on the wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of hell.{Five Finger Death Punch}

X

NOVEMBER 7, 2022: “Type ‘O’, Here We Are Again!” …

That’s right, folks … “O” here we really are again. I’ve fallen UP in the fog once more as the great alchemy of music stepped in with its magic when I least expected it to wrap me in the most beautiful “grey high” blanket of rhapsody I never saw coming.

So, I’ve cancelled all my plans for the day, decided to just schlub in the castle in one of the king’s favorite yummy grey sweaters, and put on a pot of soup so can just bask in the blissful solitude of my “Nothing. Everything. ALL OF IT!” divinely appointed existence.

The songs that my son sends to me to tell me how he’s feeling are the diary of HIS perfection and they’re one of my most precious things in my life.

As I’ve already told my him, I love him more than words can say, and knowing that I’m his “Nettie” is amongst one of my utmost diamond encrusted treasures in this world. Today, as always, I’m thanking GOD for the literal hell that both he and his sister and I have all walked through and SURVIVED together, because without it, I’d have never be able to see the miracle I see through all this fog.

NOVEMBER 7, 2022: “Those Little Toy Guns!” …

I saw a question posted on my Quora forum recently that asked: “How can imprisonment for insults be justified, considering no one has ever been killed by words, and no words can force somebody else to choose to do harm?”

With that, and in honor of the anniversary of “The Four Agreements” I love so much having first been published on this day in 1997, let’s go over “words” by reading through my response to that question:

Oh, but you couldn’t be more wrong, my friend. Someone “ever” HAS been killed by words, let me assure you of that. While words themselves cannot physically force someone to choose to do harm, they can, indeed, incite it. Both the spoken and written word are the womb from which good things are born, and the sword upon which many tragic tales have fallen. This is why every “word” should be chosen impeccably, and why, yes, some insults are, indeed, deserving of imprisonment. If the words one speaks can metaphorically imprison the person receiving them in internal turmoil and ACTUAL hell, and thus potentially even cause their death, so, too, should the person who speaks such such words be imprisoned.
Long story short?
Be sure to watch your mouth, lest you end up choking on the very same poison you spew into the atmosphere.
By the way, this is especially important when it comes to the words we speak into the ears of children, be them our own children or someone else’s. Many are the children whose bodies physically grew into adulthood, but whose hearts, minds, spirits, and fledgling wings were physically MANGLED at the receiving end of careless “words”. How do I know this? I AM ONE OF THEM!
{“The Real Cat Williamson on Quora“}

The song I’ve paired with this entry is from the perspective of a child who hid in closets while their mom and dad were not just murdering each other with “words”, BUT THEM AS WELL! Been there. Done that. Yes, it’s true, and I am brave enough to admit that not only was I, too, that kid hiding in the closet from sparring parents, but I later grew up to be one of those parents who ashamedly let subjected my babies to the war of words between their dad and I. So, whereas my Quora answer is obviously about the danger of not speaking impeccably in general, likewise are children MANGLED in the presence and crossfire of “words”.

Are we clear now, people? Good enough! In the meantime, make it a powerful “Four Agreements” kind of day, and for God’s sake PLEASE be impeccable with your words. They are not … I repeat – NOT … just “little toy guns”.

LITTLE TOY GUNS

In between the coats in the closet, she held on to that heart shaped locket. Staring at a family flawless … but it ain’t a pretty picture tonight. Mom and daddy just won’t stop it. Fightin’ at the drop of the faucet. Cuts through the walls catastrophic. She’s caught in the crossfire. Puts her hands over her ears … starts talking through the tears … she’s saying … she’s praying. I wish words were like little toy guns. No sting, no hurt no one. Just a bang bang rolling off your tongue. (I wish words were like little toy guns.) Yeah. No smoke. No bullets. No kick from the trigger when you pull it. No pain. No damage done. (I wish words were like little toy guns.) Wish there was a white flag waving, or that they were both just faking, and it was just a game they were playing, like shoot’em up cowboys. Leave the plastic pistols in the front yard, throw away the score card, and just turn off all the noise. I wish words were like little toy guns. Oh, I wish they didn’t cut like a knife. I wish they didn’t break you inside. I wish they didn’t bang bang make you wanna run, yeah. {Carrie Underwood}

NOVEMBER 4, 2022: “My Diamond Encrusted Tiaras” …

I’ve long said that I’m an actual queen, because I truly am. But if history has taught me anything, it’s that a queen is only as powerful as the legacy she leaves, not the tiara that adorns her head. My children are my tiara, regardless of whether you can see it. Likewise, are they every “FL colorless” diamond that encrusts it. They’re the echo of my voice that will surely linger on as my utmost contribution to this world.

Take for instance this email I got today amidst an actual storm that was brewing in the atmosphere about something Gia had written to recognize and nominate one of her favorite teachers for an “Honored” teaching award:

Mike Rock is a counselor for students with learning disabilities or other struggles in their studies. For example, I have ADHD, and I get this class to get extra support with my schoolwork. Since the very beginning, Mr. Rock has gone above and beyond to help students in his class. Every class, he stands outside his door and greets each student personally, and asks how their day has been going, and tells them how happy he is that they are doing well, or that they are there that day. And always with a bright smile and kind voice, too. He is beyond patient, always remaining calm and kind even through the multitude of meltdowns and anger-outbursts that students have thrown at him because of their frustrations. He is deeply concerned with the wellbeing of his students. He remembers things that they say, be it a concert they are excited to go to, or that they have a loved one struggling. He doesn’t just stop at helping his students with their schoolwork. He is a teacher as much as he is a trusted friend. He talks with us about struggles we have and shows interest in the things we enjoy. One particular action stands out. On Friday, November 4th, there was a threat for severe weather in our area. School let out early, and as I was walking to leave the building, I caught Mr. Rock. He greeted me with a warm “Hello Gia!” (My nickname) and a smile. We were making small talk as we left, and I was talking about how my dad was picking me up, since I didn’t drive to school because my dad didn’t want me driving in the heavy rain. I complained about how despite my dad telling me that morning to bring an umbrella, I didn’t, and it was raining in sheets. As I was about to go out into the rain, he pulls out his umbrella and tells me he is going to walk me out to my dad. The umbrella is only big enough for one person, so I refused, saying “thank you so much! But you don’t have to do that. He is parked kind of far away!”. He insisted, so I let him (I really didn’t want to get soaked in the rain anyway. It was cold and windy. The entire way to my dad’s car, he held the umbrella over me while he got rained on. Out of his way, and in the pouring rain, he still made sure I got to my dad’s car safe and dry. When I got to the car, Mr. Rock told me to be safe, and I told him the same. My dad drove off. Mr. Rock’s car was in the opposite direction that I needed to go. This isn’t the only time that Mr. Rock has gone out of his way to be kind and considerate. He regularly supplies his classroom with students’ favorite candies, mints, and even fidget toys. All on his own, and without being asked. One time, he was gifted a box of expensive chocolate from the Ukraine from a friend. He took the box of chocolate and shared it with us. (It is a very small class. There’s only about 10 students). Teachers like Mr. Rock are few and far between. He brightens our days and is someone we can always count on to have a kind word to say, or just a positive, friendly attitude. He is truly an amazing teacher (He has single handedly raised student’s grades with his tutoring, support, and encouragement), and an admirable and good person. I know he deserves to be recognized.

My Mona Lisa couldn’t stop making me smile if she tried! She’s lifting others with her “beautiful infection”, and like her brother, never ceases to amaze me. If only you knew what she’s really been through, you, too, would fail to understand why she’s not a jaded teenager just looking for an excuse to become a toxic adult. She makes me proud every day, and it’s moments like these that are why.

There is no lie in her words about “Mr. Rock”. If only I could properly credit not just him, but the many other teachers and mentors that have supported and led her through the proverbial storm she’s been walking through since losing her dad and having to go through high school without him. Each one is a beacon of hope and a restoration of faith in humanity to not just her, but this widowed, single mom, as well. I literally cried my eyes out at the thought of this man walking my kid to the car with his umbrella over her head while he was getting soaked.

Gia, my princess, when the time finally comes for you to start reading this Diary, know that you truly are everything I hope to be when I grow up. No, you’re not perfect … you’re just a flesh and blood mortal like the rest of us. Besides, “perfection” would be boring, anyway. Still, sometimes I wonder if you really are from another planet, because the last time I checked, there seems to be a shortage of kids like you running around on this one. Lol, and you think that I’m the real Wonder Woman? That’s funny, because I actually think it’s you!

If, as we both suspect, Dad really is watching all of this as you live out this dream he had for your life, surely he was beaming with pride today, too, as you “lit a fire” with your impeccable words. Please listen to this song again, because it was the first thing that came to my mind after I got the email from your school today. I love you, “Three”! ~ Mama

NOVEMBER 1, 2022: “In The Avant Garden” …

Zachariah,

In my lifetime, I have had either the unfortunate or very fortunate (depending on how you look at it) privilege of discovering just how many different ways there are to die, both literally and figuratively. Through it all, though, getting to love you and be loved by you taught me this one most powerful thing …

Indeed, there are many ways a person can die, but there’s only one way a person can live … with unbridled, unwavering, and truly unconditional love. If my love alone could have saved you, you would surely have lived forever, as those are the ways I loved you. I still forgive you for leaving us the way you did to wander in this garden without you, and no matter how awful this world may ever seem to be, the story of “me” will always be extraordinarily beautiful because you were in it.

A Chinese Proverb that I’ve grown to love says:

It is better to be a warrior in a garden then a gardener at war.

With that, it is my truest prayer that as you’re looking down on me now and then through your supernova telescope in stars, that you’re proud of the warrior queen I’ve become as I tend to this garden we started together alone.

As I’m sure you already know, I’m God’s actual favorite daughter, and perhaps my greatest victory in this life has been in accepting and embracing my divinely appointed purpose of punctuating this seemingly Godforsaken world with as much of the Light I can find and wield.

I’m learning how to pick my battles much better day by day, because if loving you and getting to be a part of your story taught me anything, it’s that peace is always better than war … especially when it comes to the wars we fight from within. It still breaks my heart when I think of all the ways you suffered here having never truly found your own peace within. Pray GOD that you finally have now.

Just because you won’t be here for the full bounty of what my heart had to give you, it doesn’t mean it’s still not there. There are an infinite number of universes out there where I can and do still walk with you, talk with you, laugh with you, and am held by you in the ever-growing gardens of my mind.

While it’s no big secret that loving you changed my life forever, losing you has done the same, because it was all the love you poured into me that helped me find all this power and grace. These abundant gifts you left behind are mine to keep until the day I move on to the brighter side of grey and leave it all behind for my babies. I will love you eternally, Zachariah.

~ Catherine

The Frog & The Butterfly
~ November 1, 2010 ~

“The Frog & The Butterfly”

OCTOBER 31, 2022: “The Arsonist’s Lullaby” …

• Jason Archer @archinorn

The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.

{Sigmund Freud}

Indeed, dear ole Mr. Freud nailed that one right on the head! Might I add, though, that we should never try to outrun our own dark shadow, because that’s where our demons live. Believe it or not, sometimes we actually need those little fuckers around, for without them our egos truly would be the dark and tragic end of us. HELLO? Haven’t you ever watched Star Wars? Never mind. I’ve digressed.

Okay, where was I? Our demons are there to balance us; to challenge, humanize, and perfect us … not to be cast out to the abyss. They keep us honest, keep us real, and keep us on our toes. Those nasty little dark siders that ride around on our shoulders are there as a point of reference for the light and dark.

So, with that, I’m just thinking that what we really need to do is just tame them, train them, leash them, and maybe even give them a little space to do what they need to do from time to time in order to bring our souls full circle.

I thought it ended when I knew love’s perfect ache, but my peace has always depended on all the ashes in my wake.

The only way you can really fly is with the power and grace of a phoenix rising from its own ashes. If that means you have to become the arsonist who sets fire to the safety of your oh so sweetly delusional lullaby, so be it. You’ll be alright … I PROMISE!

In the meantime, HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all you beautifully imperfect twisted ones like me out there who have truly made peace with your “little pets”. Tonight of all nights, be sure to let them trick OR treat, depending on their mood. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”, ya know what I’m sayin’?

ARSONIST’S LULLABYE

When I was a child, I heard voices. Some would sing and some would scream. You soon find you have few choices. I learned the voices died with me. When I was a child, I’d sit for hours staring into open flame. Something in it had a power. Could barely tear my eyes away. All you have is your fire and the place you need to reach. Don’t you ever tame your demons, but always keep ’em on a leash. When I was 16, my senses fooled me. Thought gasoline was on my clothes. I knew that something would always rule me. I knew the scent was mine alone. All you have is your fire and the place you need to reach. Don’t you ever tame your demons, but always keep ’em on a leash. When I was a man, I thought it ended when I knew love’s perfect ache, but my peace has always depended on all the ashes in my wake. All you have is your fire and the place you need to reach. Don’t you ever tame your demons, but always keep ’em on a leash. {Hozier}

~ The Phoenix Art Project ~

OCTOBER 15, 2022: “The Man, The Myth, The Legend!” …

I can’t recall when a morning news story ever made me so fucking happy. I literally cried tears of joy for this man and his family when I heard these words from his mouth:

So, I made them a deal today, and I’m gonna stick to it. After this year, I am going to make one more Five Finger Death Punch album and then I am retiring from heavy metal.

{Five Finger Death Punch On YouTube}

The Alchemistwill be leaving the building. The FUCKER I love the most who has inspired so many of us to dig deep into our souls and unearth the sobering reality of our own tragic truths, turn ourselves inside out, make peace with our demons, and find our “power and grace“, is dimming the lights.

A dear friend and highly intuitive Death Punch sister I was talking to this morning said that lately she’d been sensing a sort of “death” with him. In fact, we’d both been feeling that something’s been a little bit off in his world, though not necessarily in a bad way, but neither of us could put our finger on it. Well, there we have it! As it turns out, the death she’d been sensing was a metaphor for an ending. The “death” of this chapter of his beautifully dirty, poetic life, and the birth of an entirely new one.

It’s “phoenixry” at it’s finest!

As I’ve been scouring through this news today, I read, “Well, let’s just hope that the next 5FDP album will come as late as possible”. Yah, yah, I get it. We’re gonna miss him. But I couldn’t disagree more. For as much as I have come to love, respect, and adore him, not as a “rock star”, but a human fucking being, it’s only right to let him go in peace without a fight.

Nothing would make me happier then to never see his face again, be it on a stage or social media where we’ve all relished being a part of his “family” if that meant he was riding off into the sunset and sanctuary of his truly personal life and endeavors. No man is more deserving of the next rebirth that will surely come from fading the bright lights that have both propelled and devoured him, into the quieter lights of his real family’s hearts and eyes. After all the tiny pieces of his broken, risen, but probably exhausted phoenix soul that he’s literally bled out to the masses, no man has earned the right to finally rest his wings and fly back home to the ones he fought so hard to keep living for. C’mon, people! Those bright lights almost fucking blinded him, and I know for a fact that he’s given the actual shirt off his back to some of us. Also? Let’s face it. Not everyone has been so grateful for his contributions to both the arts and humanity. So, he’s damned if he does and damned if he don’t. Still, the vultures have picked at his living carcass enough, don’t ya think?

There’s a song I’ve always loved and have listened to for years by another band, Cold. The poignant words are clearly written from the perspective of a weary musician:

Whatever you became, blame it on my fame. Always away from you … sold my life for a song. Whatever you feel, I take it on my stage. I sing to the world for you … and I’m always alone.

{“Whatever You Became” by Cold”}

These days, I think about him when I hear this song. I say to myself, “Damnit, Ivan, we love you! We ALL mother fucking LOVE you! But haven’t you’ve spent way more than your fair share of all of your power and grace on us? Just free yourself and go home.”

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

{“The Grey High“}

Well, guess what, Fucker? I’m saying “job well done”! While I realize this process isn’t going to happen overnight and we’ll still have some good times to share with you, know that when the last of those lights on your stage go down, the one you’ll have left behind for all of us will keep on burning bright through that void.

Those of us who’ve been paying attention know that aside from your family, there are still many gifts and contributions you’re working on leaving behind for the cause you’re so fucking passionate about. And hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll even find a true and proper queen to ride off into that sunset with. You deserve that, too, my friend, and I’m praying that you’ll find her!

~ The Phoenix Rests ~
(A “Midjourney” Creation By @archinorn)

OCTOBER 15, 2022: “We’re Not So Different” …

Despite the fact that I was raised Roman Catholic, I was fortunate enough to eventually become a sold-out and crazy, “deaf, dumb, and blind faith believer” in God the Father, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. That being said, I’m also somewhat of an omnist in that I believe that all the different faiths and creeds point to a singular, transcendent being that unites us all, all of which are known by different names, but in my case said “being” is called by the aforementioned name of “God”.

The great Lao Tzu was a brilliant writer and philosopher who was widely known to not only be a good and kind man, but also a fierce proponent of the natural order of things, freedom from social norms, spontaneity, and the underlying unity of this Universe. He also fathered Taoism, in which he didn’t acknowledge the “God” I believe in (or any god or omnipotence outside of the Cosmos), there are a great many of his ancient teachings that I personally adhere to and align with.

You see, that’s what makes each of our unique spiritualities, beliefs, and paths so incredibly fucking beautiful … and powerful! If you search deep and wide enough and truly desire internal peace and alignment with this Universe, you will likely find a little nugget of your soul’s song in every soul’s song.

Yup, we’re all different! There ain’t no doubt about it! But then again, we’re really not so different. We all have something to bring to the table, and unless or until we come to terms with that epic collective reality, the great divide that is burgeoning between us will be our ultimate downfall and demise. We have to learn to think for ourselves, together, but separately, and sometimes even look inside the odd little boxes we don’t want to look in that we find down all those scary, dark corridors and blind corners.

I truly wish I could have met you, Lao Tzu, and truly believe that you would have loved my own “Nothing. Everything. ALL OF IT!” mantra. Here’s hoping I’ve made you proud by holding your age-old belief that when we do, say, think, or give of ourselves, we should do so from ONLY a place of the true love and conviction of our soul, expecting not one single thing in return. Oh, and wise sage, indeed I heard you when you said:

Not seeking, not expecting, she is present, and can welcome all things.

I shall not seek. I shall not expect. I shall be present. I shall welcome all things. And for the record, Master Tzu, I do hope to have Lucky Charms with you some day in another space and time. You’re my kinda people!

NOT SO DIFFERENT

There’s a panic in the air – lead you down a dark corridor, round a blind corner. Beware! Why do you stare? You got a bad feeling? Heavy heart beating so scared. What’s really going on behind the scenes, through the back streets, down the alleyways that nobody sees? Through the heart of what divides, whenever I look into your eyes, we don’t need the space between. We’re close enough to see we’re not so different now. We’re not so different. We are almost there, and this is the beginning as long as you are willing to dare. We’ve been everywhere looking for some meaning – looking for a reason to care. What’s really going on behind the scenes, through the back streets, down the alleyways that nobody sees. Through the heart of what divides, whenever I look into your eyes, we don’t need the space between. We’re close enough to see – we’re not so different now. We’re not so different now. {Trapt}

OCTOBER 5, 2022: “Resting In A Castle Of Glass” …

Zachariah,

Today is the fourth bittersweet birthday that we don’t get to celebrate with you, and as of about twenty minutes ago, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write in tribute to you today. As I was sitting here staring blankly at my screen though, my eyes began wandering around at all the pictures on my desk, and I spotted this precious one of you. That’s when I closed my eyes and had this vision …

It was me looking at that the sweet, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little boy at around age 10. I was holding him in my arms like I did so many times in our journey together, and especially in the months before you left when I would hold you like an actual baby as you would cry. Your little head was resting on my chest so perfectly still and calm, and when I looked down at your face, you were smiling.

What is it, Zack? What on Earth are you smiling about?

Then, you looked up at me and whispered the most powerful words I could have imagined hearing on this bittersweet day without you:

Catherine, I’m okay. I’m finally resting.

I want you to know how deeply sorry I am that the people who were supposed to protect you from the demons that devoured your mind failed you so fucking miserably. It is my truest prayer that you did make it Home safely, that you’re very much alright, and that your soul is in the peaceful, loving care of the greatest Parent of them all.

I’ve always loved this song, listen to often, and always think of you when I do. Only this time I’m tweaking the words “my way”, as if you were singing them to me:

I know you’re down at the river bend after fighting the fight ’til the fighting end. You’ve washed the poison from off your skin, and now you’re finally whole again. I always think of you flying up on silver wings, far past the black where the sirens ring, warming yourself in a nova’s glow and rising above your nightmare below. You’re no longer a crack in this castle of glass, and never forget that you were so much to see. I know that you’re Home in a binding dream through all of the secrets that we both have seen. I, too, have washed this sorrow from off of my skin, and yes, I, too, am finally whole again. So, until that day comes when I can see you again, I’ll keep looking for your light as it slips through the cracks in this castle of glass in which I still live. As for now, though, there is still so much more for me to see. Happy Birthday Zachariah. I love you. ~ Me

As soon as Gia gets home from school, we’ll be heading down to the pier to skip a few rocks over the water before we go have our annual Red Robin burgers in your honor. Though you’re not here to physically reciprocate the love I have always and will always feel for you, that love will never be wasted. In the meantime, please just keep watching us through your telescope.

~ Catherine ❤️

~ Zachariah Lucas Williamson ~

OCTOBER 1, 2022: “Old MacHOOVER Had A Farm” …

e, i, e, i, EWWWW!

… and on that farm he had some BULLSHIT

e, i, e, i, NO!

I see you’ve got me blocked for some reason. I’d love to know more about that.

Lol! I BET you would!

I was just strollin’ through my calendar, and uh, you probably realize, but it was on this specific date on 1995 when you and I met …

Umm? NO, I didn’t realize!

Crazy, isn’t it? Oh my gosh! 1995. It’s been a minute.

YAH think?

The irony in this actual bottle of douche using the word “crazy” in a sentence is how in the aftermath of the nightmare he put me through, he tried convincing everyone, including me, that I was effing “crazy”.

Meanwhile, guess who’s still calling who after 23 fucking years, still keeping our “special dates” on his calendar, and still thinking of ME when he sees a a drop dead gorgeous woman on social media. Although, I must admit that he was dead-on, tiny balls accurate in that correlation, ’cause, umm, for a “fifty-THREE-it’s-SO-good-to-be-ME” year old biotch, I STILL look pretty good. Hey, MacHeebieJeebie?

HOW DO YA LIKE ME NOW?

If you don’t know what “hoovering” is, it’s a narcissist’s strategy to manipulate IT’S (not “their”) victim and either keep them or suck them back in as “supply“. They use this emotionally abusive tactic when they realize their victim is trying to untangle themselves from their toxic web and get the FUCK away.

For those of you concerned that my Diary entries about him are somehow playing with fire, if MacNumNuts had any sincere interest in me aside from his pathetic desperation, he’d have likely read them by now. Clearly, he has not, because not only does his self-grandiosity and delusion make any attempts at sincerity impossible, if he had read anything about himself here, he’d most likely have slithered back under his rock.

So, with that, I’m MacMOOVING right along now. For the record, the reason I’m publishing this today and not back on April 22nd when the voicemail was sent is because I only recently found both these gems in my blocked contact trash. As I’ve said before, I only ever go digging through the garbage hunting for things that are truly worth my time and attention for repurposing into treasures.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022: “Eyes Wired Shut” …

Perhaps the most beautiful things in this life are all the things that we can’t actually see. Take God’s “artwork“, for instance. To me, He is THE master artist of all infinity, and it’s all the things He keeps hidden from me that are just so intrinsically breathtaking to look at despite the fact that my eyes can’t see them. Yes, I know this sounds like some kinda bullshit, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

Although I’m admittedly not a huge fan of “peopling“, I’m still in daily awe of this masterpiece I get to be a part of even though no one really knows or sees me in it. My divinely appointed soul is a part of every delicate and mysterious brush stroke, and while you can’t really see it, it’s there, and it’s magic! And YOU! You, TOO! Never forget that all of those things about you that you don’t think anyone notices ARE a part of this story. Besides, who doesn’t appreciate a good mystery anyway, right?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that maybe we should all just keep our proverbial eyes wired shut so that we stop being so worried about whether we’re doing enough, being enough, or even being “seen” at all. Oh, WE’RE IN THIS, my friends! Trust me, our unseen vibrations and fingerprints are IN THIS TO WIN IT! We just have to stop wasting precious time on all the lies that make us “sane” and always trying to make everything so fucking right. We need to make it back to ourselves, no one else, and the creation that unveils itself in that process is a thing to behold like no other priceless work of art ever made. Make it a powerful week, trying just looking with your eyes shut, and paint your canvas well.

EYES WIRED SHUT

I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again the pills that make me. I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again the chance – the want to change. I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again standing all alone. I’ve thrown away, I’ve thrown away again. Eyes wired shut, running through my brain. Pulling back the skin. It happens, we’re getting older. Eyes wired shut, running through my brain. It’s all the same, but in the end, it keeps me coming. I’ve blown away, I’ve blown away again the fear of failing. I’ve blown away, I’ve blown away again the lies that make me sane. I’ve blown away the chance to make it right. I want to be. I want to see. I want to make it back to me! It’s time to face the way – a chance to talk and make some change. To make myself to think that things were better. {Edgewater}

SEPTEMBER 17, 2022: “Life’s Been Good To Me” …

I know, I know! Yet another love letter to myself. Still, its kinda crazy how fitting and relatable both the words above and the words below are to me. Despite some appearances, life truly has been good to me so far. So, I’m not writing anything else today, but this

“Fifty-THREE-

It’s-GOOD-To-Be-Me!

“Fifty-THREE-It’s-SO-Good-To-Be-ME”

Why, yes. Yes, it is! It’s so Jean-Claude Van DAMN good to be me! With that, here’s to everything and nothing that has made me who I am today, and what will hopefully be yet another 365 beautiful trips around the equally beautiful Sun!

SEPTEMBER 17, 2022: “How To Talk To THE Girl” …

For The Girl Who Seems To Have Stolen My Son’s Heart:

I’ve given a lot of thought to the thought of “you” since the day he entered my world, and as the years have passed, I must say I’ve been a little anxious, because it’s kind of scary the way that some little girls are being raised these days. Actually, it’s a crying shame.

I’ve prayed incessantly for the moment I would be at peace with the thought of no longer being the number one woman in his life, and yes, “you” have always been at the forefront of my MOST important prayers:

Please, God, PLEASE! Please let her momma be raising someone precious and perfect for my son. No, I’m not asking for her to BE perfect. Just let her be the perfect one for HIM.

Some years ago I found this excerpt from prayer some man wrote to God about his own sons, and I’d been keeping it tucked safely in the “drafts” file of this Diary for the day he’d finally found someone who I believe was worthy of sharing it with. It had something to do with Princess Katherine, who as you know just became The Princess Of Whales:

And so I pray … for a princess that realizes she is the daughter of the King of Heaven and Earth … for a Princess clothed in humility and grace (rather than the latest must-have fashions and trends) … for a princess with hands that will get dirty for the sake of serving others and with feet willing to walk the extra mile (rather than one that demands manicures and pedicures by age seven) … for a princess whose “adornment” is not merely outward (arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel), but rather, let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is “very precious in the sight of God.” {1 Peter 3:3-5} … for a princess who loves unconditionally and forever, and doesn’t run out when her prince falls off his royal horse and isn’t as charming as she dreamed (because it WILL happen). Amen.

It wasn’t that long ago when I wrote these words in this Diary after first hearing this powerful song that I love:

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

Meanwhile, it looks like even I still have some work to do in the “talking to THE girl” department. You have no idea how many times I’ve had to turn off the radio when this song hits my cue, because all I can think about is how much it kills me that no man ever taught my son how to talk to girls until his stepdad came along. It kills me even more that he after the way he left us, he may have undone all those “man lessons” he spent so much time teaching Christian.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALEXANDRA! Happy birthday to us BOTH! Yes, we all love you and care about you very much. Yes, I do believe with everything in my heart that you are the princess that was meant for my son. Yes, your momma did raise someone precious.

If, indeed, you are “the one”, none of us could be prouder of the true princess he’s seemingly found in you. Of course there will always be bumps on this road. We’re only human, after all. Please just know that I will always be for you, never against you, because NO, my son isn’t always “right”, and NO, he doesn’t quite know all the best ways to talk to girls.

HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS

Yeah, I remember yes or no, or how to ask her to prom. Then it was a pickup line … somethin’ you’d say inside a bar. Quick on the draw, good at the game, but the game just changed, ’cause I got this ring and I’m on one knee, and now I’m drawin’ a blank. ‘Cause this angel hangs on every word I say. She’s gettin’ so much more from me than my last name … everything … and I can’t hide it. She’s got me at a loss for words. I guess I’m still learnin’ how to talk to girls. And I remember two pink lines … ready or not … she’s on her way. Yeah, she got her momma’s eyes. Well, I hope she don’t act like me. You know they say you pay for your raisin’. I’m tryin’ to raise her. But what do you say when you can’t tell her no? Well, I can’t even think about down the road. What about sixteen? What about God? What about big dreams? And oh my God, what about boys? The bad ones? Will she find out her momma has one? Damn! {Brantley Gilbert}

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022: “The Day Of The Brown Grasshopper!” …

“The Day Of The Brown Grasshopper”

ME:

Gia, guess what? I caught a grasshopper today! Hey, so, what kind of grasshoppers are brown?

GIA:

Umm, the locust kind.

ME:

Wait! You mean they have such a thing as locust grasshoppers?

GIA:

No, momma! And if by “they” you mean GOD, no, GOD doesn’t have such a thing as “locust grasshoppers”. He does have LOCUSTS, which LOOK like grasshoppers, but are brown. Lemme see the video you made first before I say for sure, because knowing you, you probably made a silly video.

… 60 seconds later …

Congratulations, momma! You caught yourself one hell of a beautiful LOCUST!

ME:

Wait! Like, the plaguey ones that ate all the corn?

GIA:

Lol. Yes mom, the plaguey ones that ate all the corn. You’re so pretty! You do know that Dad was probably laughing while you were making friends with your ‘lil brown grasshopper, right?

ME:

Yah, yah! But, umm, so should I put some corn out for it later or something?

GIA (smacking her head):

Yes, mom, you do that. Go get yourself a tiny bowl and make him some tiny corn. I love you. And remember, “Whatsoever is done unto the least of my creation, so, too, shall be done unto thee”.

ME:

Yes! God’s gonna lift me up of the ground and put me in the proverbial shrubs of life!

GIA:

No, mom. God’s gonna just KEEP taking care of you the way He ALWAYS has, the same way you take care of everyone … INCLUDING all His bugs and critters!

… and, with that, THIS is how “the day of the brown grasshopper” made me cry, and once again reminded me that I must be doing something right, ’cause my kid really does think the world of me … “you’re so pretty” and all!

“Bye everyone, it’s me, CAT! I’m the REAL Cat Williamson, resident brown grasshopper catcher and expert, lover of all things big and small, and God’s actual favorite daughter!”

SEPTEMBER 8, 2022: “The Assignment Is Over” …

~ Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor ~
April 21, 1926 – September 8, 2022

In case you didn’t know, I’m a “royalist” at heart, always have been, and always will be, and Her Majesty’s passing today finds me in bittersweet tears.

Indeed, there have been and still are many critics of the monarchy over the years, but if you have ever taken a deeper look behind the veil that is The Windsor Dynasty, you will find relatable human people that are THE living embodiment of “SURVIVAL – at ALL costs – under EVERY circumstance”.

Her Majesty was THE benchmark standard of loyalty, honor, and duty, and so, too, was her late, beloved prince, The Duke Of Edinburgh, who was one of the less than a handful of “famous people” who I would have truly liked to have gotten a chance to sit down and have one of those “Lucky Charms moments” with.

~ The Crown ~
Season 1 • Episode 1 • “Wolferton Splash”

Her Majesty and The Duke both very much understood “the job”, but how many of us can truly say the same? Life in a gilded cage isn’t for the faint of heart, this I know too well, and while I don’t rule over an actual kingdom, I am a mother and have been a wife, in which regard I am THE very axis upon which my own own little “dynasty” spins. As such, I have taken my job as “queen of their hearts” very seriously, and yes, I, too, have understood the assignment and what it means to “SURVIVE – at ALL costs – under EVERY circumstance” with the power and grace of a risen queen.

Likewise have I also very much appreciated what it mean to be the often unsung hero that MY beloved Prince Phillip always was, always in the background sacrificing his own wants and dreams to ensure that her reign looked effortless and that she was supported.

I could wax on poetically with my thoughts on this today, but I will now be getting back to the TV. “Hi everyone, it’s me, CAT, an American “royalist” far across the pond in Dallas, Texas, USA, who will be glued to the screen as this story avails in both bittersweet and joyful tears. And by the way, how fortuitous is it that my daughter is home sick with me today so that she can watch this historical, live coverage with me as well? She, of all people, knows exactly how I feel about the history of this remarkable family and why it is so important for us all to understand and appreciate it. Of course, I am not happy that she isn’t feeling well, but of all the days for her to be home with me, today is the perfect day.

Farewell, Godspeed, and goodbye. You have lived, and you have changed all our lives.

{Alter Bridge}

Surely your handsome Prince awaits you in the GREATEST kingdom of all. You were loved by many and your legacy of strength and fortitude will live on forever.

Well done, Your Majesty! “May flights of angels sing you to your rest.”

SEPTEMBER 7, 2022: “When You Wish Upon A Star” …

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you. If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star as dreamers do, like a bolt out of the blue, Fate steps in and sees you through …

and when you wish upon a star, you MIGHT even end up with an epic amount of “MOM GUILT”, two Benadryls, then the sweetest validation ever from your Mona Lisa daughter that despite your many failings, you’re still doing a “magical” job!

Yes, my friends, it was on THIS day exactly five years ago that my lovely daughter ever so lovingly reminded me of that time I lost her at fucking DISNEYWORLD! Yah! I’m THAT mom, and guess what? YOU’RE READING MY BLOG!

Yes, it is true that my husband had to medicate me with Benadryl to get me to calm down … but hey … at LEAST in her report she spun it in a TOTALLY less “EPIC MOM FAIL” way!

Hi everyone! It’s me, CAT!

Hot Mess Express – Party Of ONE!

Imma find that report she actually wrote which I only recently found while we were cleaning out my office and upload it into this Diary entry later! In the meantime, does anyone out there want “Aunt Cat” to take their small children to Disney?

Dear God in HEAVEN, how I literally adore my life … EPIC “mom fails” and all … and especially my two beautiful children who somehow seem to think that I’m an “100/10 perfect momma” despite my own damn self and MANY bungles. Something in my heart tells me that if either of them had it to do all over again and were actually offered the chance to “pick a mom … ANY mom”, they still woulda picked ME out of a lineup! That’s something, right? I’m sticking with YES, it is!

SEPTEMBER 4, 2022: “The Day Of The S & H Greenstamps Tattoo” …

It’s no longer a big secret that I had a twisted and dysfunctional childhood, and also no secret that some of my mental pictures aren’t so homespun and stellar …

… BUT …

… I very much DO also have some precious and beautiful memories seared so deeply into the skin of all my days gone by that they’re a virtual tattoo inside my mind.

It’s raining, grey, and what some might consider miserable here in Dallas this afternoon, but as I walked into the kitchen just now and saw my favorite “Mindset Is Everything” coffee mug sitting on the table amidst a pile of skeletons and spookiness I’m about to HAUNT The Williamson Manor with, I literally snapped back in time to the MANY “Sundays” with my mom and HER coffee cup sitting around our often very rainy, New England kitchen table.

You see, Sundays were ALWAYS our “Green Stamp” days, and I fondly remember the countless hours she would spend with us at our tiny wooden table as she’d bust out all the stamps she’d collected for that week and let me and my sister help her put them in her books. We’d sit around that table drawing circles in “the catalog” around all the treasures we were saving for while having our little mother daughter chit chats about life.

For God’s sake, I even smelled the giant pot of scratch made Italian “gravy” that was ALWAYS simmering in the background while we were stamping our fingers to the bone, and how as all this was happening on those cozy afternoons, there was the best anxiety EVER simmering in my gut because I knew that soon my beloved Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins would all be coming over for our weekly “family dinnuh”!

Jean-Claude Van DAMN I’m so proud to be turning “Fifty-THREE-It’s-SO-Good-To-Be-ME” next week, and while I do so adore all you young ones out there, grab a pen and paper and take NOTES from ALL of s “OMG, they’re like, SO old” ones, ’cause we know EXACTLY how to keep on keepin’ it REAL!

Meanwhile, as I’m writing this, my girls are upstairs all hunkered down in their fluffy pajamas and blankets as the storms are moving in while I’m downstairs just doing the mom thing. I’m overwhelmed with joy and an abundance of gratitude that I not only do I get to live this ethereal existence, but that my heart has been broken and put back together well enough to know that even when I’m not sifting through the ashes of my life, there is still so much beauty to be found in them that it just shows up during the storms like a ray of light shining through my soul. I am blessed.

… and THIS, my friends, is yet another “Grey HIGH” moment from my virtually tattooed heart and love-filled Williamson Castle to yours. Oh, and (PS) … there’s something that I’ll hope you’ll remember …

All you get to keep is all you’ve shared.

{“The Brighter Side Of Grey” … by Five Finger Death Punch}

~ REAL Cat 🖤

SEPTEMBER 1, 2022: “A Day To Be Alone!” …

Well, HAVE you?

Been there! Done that! Guilty as frigging charged! Ironically, it was my kids’ father who first sent me this song years ago during our final dissolution in what I suppose was an attempt to validate my then very broken feelings. Nevertheless, the bittersweet words did then and still do deeply resonate. I very much remember the many days and nights when “all I had were screams inside, but somehow they came out in a smile” and I would literally hide inside my bedroom and scream into a pillow.

Meanwhile, I am here to tell you that even the strongest phoenixes and most favorite of God’s favorite children cry their ACTUAL fucking eyes out and “silent scream” into their pillows. ME! ME! ME! I do it! These days, it’s more so for the sake of my kids that I either “pillow scream” or “panic chair” in private:

You know, honey, you do that, too … the crying in your chair in private thing! Did you think I didn’t know that’s what you do when you run back into our room? You let yourself fall apart so you can keep it all together for us. It’s one of my favorite things about you. You remind me of Leigh Anne so much.

{“Blindsided With Rhapsody“}

As as every mother knows, I’m only ever as strong as my weakest child. When they’re going through it, I’m going through it, so, sometimes, “silent screaming” is the best thing I can do, because letting them see me fall apart when they need me to be strong just isn’t an option.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If it was good enough for God’s Son, it’s good enough for us, and why John 11:35 is my favorite verse:

“Jesus wept.”

That’s right, people. I just quoted scripture and dropped an eff bomb in one HELL of an oxymoronical post. It’s part of my charm, and nope, I’m NOT fucking proud of it. Rest assured that I’ll deal with those consequences later.

In the meantime …

Jean-Claude Van DAMN, this “human BEING” ain’t for the faint of heart! If you woke up on the top side of the soil today despite anything that’s trying to bury you, you’re STRONGER than you know. If you need a day to be alone, TAKE A DAY TO BE ALONE. Just grab that pillow and SCREAM!

And remember …

Don’t you dare think that you really are “alone inside your room” when you’re alone inside your room. While you’re holding your breathe so that no one can hear your screams, God is screaming for you:

I won’t let you down when the seasons change. I won’t go down … I’ll fight through your pain. I’ll be there right by your side.

{“When The Seasons Change” … by Five Finger Death Punch}

Wow! Look at me mixing up two of my favorite songs in one entry! Yah, I’m kinda kookie like that. Good GRIEF, how I love my life! For the record, while I may not personally have anything to scream into my own pillow about today while I’m alone here inside my castle, I’m always mindful that there are others in this world who are suffering in silence. I feel it. I do. My heart truly aches for all who are screaming today, and no, you are NOT alone!

A DAY TO BE ALONE

She said, “I wonder when it’ll be my day? ‘Cause I’m not too far from breaking down. All I’ve got are screams inside, but somehow they come out in a smile, and I’m wondering if I’ll always feel this way. This way.” Tell me about those nights you stayed awake. Tell me about those days you hated me. Tell me how you’d rather die alone than being stuck here with me. And maybe you’ve fallen down, and maybe you just took the long way home, but baby you could never love you like me. And one day this will fade away. In the mirror you’ll see a smiling face, and standing next to you will always be me. Yeah me. One day you’re gonna see things my way. You gave me so much room that I can’t breathe. When all I’ve got are pictures to view, it was nothing before and I started with you, and for some reason it’s supposed to be that way. That way. If I could shrink it down and put it in your hands. We made it hurt so much. I can’t forget the past. Just tell me what to say, show me what to do, then I could forgive me and I would forgive you. {One Less Reason}

AUGUST 31, 2022: “I’m Inside Out” …

Okay, SO, in the aftermath of last night’s Five Finger DEATH PUNCH to my face …

LET’S TALK!

To begin, what are the chances that after having made my “Inside Out” post yesterday that THE song they’d come out to WAS “Inside Out”? Was it coincidence? Was it “F8“? Hmm. Imma have to go with the latter!

Meanwhile …

While he didn’t even singThe Brighter Side Of Grey” in this set like we’d all hoped would happen so that we could finally give Gia the letter Zack wrote her in the months before he left in what is now clear contemplation of his suicide, here’s what DID happen at the show …

Ivan very clearly acknowledged us several times throughout the night, to the point where the lady behind us said, “Wow, they must actually know Ivan or something”. He would fist bump his heart then “throw it back to us”, and he waved at us a couple of times, too.

He kept throwing random water bottles out into the crowd, but then he threw one specifically our way and motioned for Christian to catch! Lol. Ask me if I drank the water that was left in it after IVAN had drank from that bottle, too. Umm, that would be a YUP … so if Ivan has any weird diseases or anything, let me ASSURE YOU that now I do, too!

THEN, after the last song, “The Bleeding”, was over, the arena lights went on and he was laughing that all had to be QUIET because of the city ordinances and said, “that sucks ass”. But THEN he walked back over and pointed directly to ME again after having already done it from the platform he was standing on. So, the kids were saying, “Mom, Ivan’s talking to you”, at which point I looked up and he pointed and motioned for me to walk towards him.

THEN, I headed through the pit towards the edge of the stage where he was waiting for me, he motioned for me to give him the banner I’d made for him that was still in my hands and the security guard handed it up to him. He signed it, “I love you”, then told me he’d been trying to make sure I knew that HE knew we were there but that the lights were making it hard for him to make eye contact.

THEN, he handed the sign back down and SAID, “I love you woman”, stood up, walked away without signing ANYONE else’s stuff, and disappeared to the back of the stage.

Yah. I’m like a kid on Christmas day this week. It was the MOST ethereal moment of my life. He made an actual spectacle out of me and my kids and it was NOT not fucking amazeballs!

All that being said, and as far as not getting to hear “The Brighter Side Of Grey” and finally give Gia “the letter”? Well, I’m just taking that as a sign from The Cosmos that it’s still not time for her to either hear that song or read Zack’s bittersweet “in case I’m gone tomorrow” words. When it’s time … it will be time … and not one single second before. Trust me when I tell you that she WILL not hear that precious, life-changing gift of a ballad until the day she gets to hear Ivan singing it in person. I’m at total peace with that plan going forward.

Next stop? I’m driving back to Tennessee on November 17th to join a fellow “suicide widow” Knucklehead friend of mine who was going to be attending the show in Knoxville all alone until I Bogarted her party and invited my own damn self to go with her! God Himself knows how much I love Tennessee, loved driving back and forth to Tennessee, and love, love, LOVE a good SOLO road trip!

THEN? I’m taking the kids to Vegas for my Christian’s BIG 30TH BIRTHDAY WEEK where we’ll all catch the Five Finger Death Punch December 17th show with Brantley Gilbert.

All in all it’s a good life! I got what I want … I can’t complain! I am living the good life … a toast to you now … it’s all SHAM PAIN!

Hmm. Let’s see, is there anything ELSE? Oh, yah, I think there kinda is …

Hi everyone, it’s me, CAT! I’m a “Fifty-TWO-Good-To-Be-True” going on “fifty-THREE-It’s-Good-To-Be-ME” next week year old heavy metal band groupie FREAK!

… that time my daughter and I were in a Five Finger Death Punch promo video!

AUGUST 30, 2022: “Dear Pain & Suffering” …

Dear Pain, Suffering, Agony, Regret, Misery, Defeat, and Sadness,

It’s been just over three years since the love of my life stopped not just his own world, but all of ours as well, in the most egregious, abysmal, and literally psychotic course of events that any of us could have possibly foreseen or imagined.

But you see, in case you haven’t noticed, despite all the heaping piles of BULLSHIT every one of you mother fuckers dumped on my shoulders and how hard you tried to break my spirit, my heart, and steal my beautiful soul

I WIN!

YOU LOSE!

Yup! I mostly do stand “alone”, but guess what? I’m NEVER lonely, ’cause the one thing you couldn’t take from me is ME! The last time I checked, I’M STILL STANDING UPRIGHT, I’m STILL God’s favorite daughter, and even IF my body leaves this place tomorrow, it’s heading somewhere NONE of you fuckers will be.

If I’ve learned anything in this last fifty something years, it’s that the only person who ever had the power to destroy me was ME, and the only person who was ever meant to save me was ME. In many ways, I’ve been both my own Judas and my own Jesus, and you NEVER had control! So, you can wipe them away, all those silly fuckin’ grins, ’cause I’m so DONE listening to your mother fucking’ side!

Be sure and tell your friend Irony to actually go and SUCK IT, ’cause the very things that were meant to steal my Light, burn off my wings, and turn me inside out, ONLY helped me see better, fly stronger, and elevate me.

So, with that, I’ve really gotta run. I have the concert of my lifetime awaiting me and mine, and I’m not letting ANY of you kill my buzz. I made the entire lot of you my mother fucking bitches, and now I’m just so over it!

~ Queen Catherine

INSIDE OUT

Take it, I don’t need it. I don’t wanna hear your mother fuckin’ side. You can love it, or you can leave it, because nothing I say and nothing I feel is right. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t understand. While I’m sitting up here dying, you’re just holding out your hand. And even if I wanted to, I couldn’t have explained, ’cause you don’t know the difference between violence and pain. There’s no denying it, you’ve never had control! I stand alone. Guess I knew it all along. Yes, I knew that you were wrong, how you left when I was down. I want you to say it was never really me. You just turned and walked away! How you turned me inside out! Inside out! I’m not a dog. I’m not a slave. It doesn’t matter how much money I get paid. I give a shit. I never did. So, you can wipe it away, that silly fuckin’ grin! If I wrote it down for you, could you ever see it clear? Or would it go straight through your soul and come right out your ear? If I slowed it down for you, would you think me insincere? Cause in the end I’ll never bend, I’ll never shed a tear! There’s no denying it, I’ve always had control. {Five Finger Death Punch}

AUGUST 24, 2022: “I Hope You Know” …

Evidently, “Someone” needed me to hear this today, so He sent the memo through a very dear friend of mine on Instagram of all freaking places. Although I’m fairly certain that my dad got the text I sent him and I haven’t yet gotten a response, at LEAST I’m no longer “blocked” from his phone, so I‘m gonna call that PROGRESS!

In the meantime …

Dear Dad,

If for some strange reason you actually happen to see this, I hope you know you don’t have to say you’re sorry. You don’t have to live with the heartache you keep, ’cause I don’t need no apologies. I really have tried writing you out to get some closure, but the more the years go by, I’d rather not live with got cold shoulders, ’cause the more I realize as I keep getting older is that it’s never too late to turn it all around. So, don’t you beat yourself into the ground. I know you’ve tried your best. I know you struggle. The cards that you got dealt surely did give you trouble. Now, I see the you in me, and guess what? I SEE DOUBLE! But guess what else? We really CAN still turn it all around. We don’t have to change the story, but you don’t have to carry the weight that you keep, ’cause I don’t need no apologies. Please don’t turn your back on me, because I really do still love you.

Cathy

{Papa Roach’s Words Adapted By The Real Cat Williamson}

AUGUST 23,2022: “I’m Alright, Thanks For Asking.” …

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

Three years ago this hour, the police chief of my town walked into the hospital where my broken daughter was laying to tell me they’d found my husband dead in his car courtesy of the hollow point he’d put in his own head.

No, I don’t think God was laughing that day or that He laughs on any of the days we spend facing the wrath of His angels. In fact, I’m certain that He was on that hospital floor wailing with me and holding me tight as every shred of what I’d come to believe as truth turned out to be the devil’s lie. God DID give me wings, but it was MY job to learn to fly. I had to face not just Zack’s, but my own “devil in the mirror” before I could ascend to the sky.

Yes, the end IS coming, and no, I don’t think I mind. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … as hard as this “living” thing can be, I have no intention of dying unless and until HE says it’s my time. In the meantime, imma stick around here as long as I’m allowed as the UNBREAKABLE risen QUEEN I was born to be.

As for the devil? Come for me mother fucker! In case you haven’t noticed, my soul is already spoken for, and PS, you’re NOT not the one who gets it! That’s not a challenge … IT’S FACT!

Wow! I guess that wasn’t too graceful, now was it? If you’ve been around this Diary long enough you know damn good and well that sometimes I’m Heaven, sometimes I’m hell, and sometimes I really can’t tell which is which. Through it all, though, I always did know it would come to this, my “roll, roll, roll … I’m movin’ ahead”. THIS living queen who “rolls” as God’s favorite daughter is NOT gonna sleep ’til she’s dead! I’ve got punctuating to do and phoenixes to raise, so, I have no other choice but to be alright.

THANKS FOR ASKING

‘Cause I’m alright. Thanks for asking. There’s a million things I’d love to say, but you don’t wanna hear. Yeah, it’s alright. I don’t need your blessings. I’d rather face the wrath of angels than the devil in the mirror. I don’t think God is listening. She told us to follow, but left us behind. I’ve never seen an angel, but I know the Devil, and he told me I’m fine. “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” That’s what everyone keeps telling me. I’d rather capsize than chase an old horizon. Throw me back into the deadest of seas. I know that God is laughing. She gave us our wings, but never taught us to fly. They say the end is coming, and if that’s true, well, I don’t think I mind. Heaven or hell? I can’t tell which is which. I always knew it would come to this. Roll, roll, roll … I’m movin’ ahead. Roll, roll, roll … guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead. {Five Finger Death Punch}

AUGUST 22, 2022: “The VERY Unpopular Monster!” …

~ the Bug ~
{by Gia “Khaos” Embach}

In keeping with the metamorphosis of my journey, this day memorializes two profound occasions in my life. You see, not only is this my 500TH DIARY ENTRY, but it’s the three year anniversary of my husband’s suicide at “just before midnight” on August 22, 2019.

With that, it seems only fitting that I pay tribute to one of my very few muses, Franz Kafka, the surrealistic writer from Prague whose inspired work left a tail on the fire of his words that it still burns bright in me a century later.

Much like my husband, Kafka left this world tragically unaware of how powerful his legacy would be, much less that he would eventually be regarded as one of the most prolific literary figures of the 20th-century. He only ever published a hand full of his work while he was alive because he didn’t believe it worthy. It was his dear friend, Max Brod, who as the executor of his estate blatantly disregarded the directive that his unfinished works be destroyed and published them. Be it not for the fact that Brod betrayed a dying man’s final wishes, the trajectory and longevity of Kafka’s legacy may not have been fully realized.

To say something is “Kafkaesque” is to infer that something is absurd and surreal, if not nightmarish and disorienting, all of which words in so many ways define my own seemingly absurd and surreal existence. Meanwhile, I could wax on poetically about everything “Kafka”, but perhaps the words that I believe sum him up the best are these:

Franz Kafka is regarded as one of the greatest literary figures in recent history. He is known for his uniquely dark, disorienting, and surreal writing style, a style and quality so particular to him, that anything that resembles it has come to be known and referred to as “Kafkaesque”.
{“What Is Kafkaesque?” ~ The Philosophy Of Franz Kafka” … The Pursuit Of Wonder”}

Most people will never know what really happened in our home in the months before Zack’s suicide. To say that unfathomable insanity, if not purely demonic evil besieged us would not give credence to the monster that took up residency in his mind and all but devoured my daughter as well during its reign of unholy terror. She ended up hitting a major wall in the wake of everything that happened two weeks before her sophomore year end, so much so that the school decided to release her earlier and excuse her from final exams so that we could tend to her fragile mental health.

In lieu of finals, her literature teacher had asked her to write a personal memoir without fully knowing why the school had negated her exams. Upon becoming aware that writing a memoir might be the worst possible thing for her under the circumstances, she opted to have her write an essay about her favorite book by her favorite author instead.

~ Zack’s Last Audible Read ~

Unbeknownst to me, Gia had read “The Metamorphosis” several times since Zack’s suicide, having done so because not only was she aware that Kafka was my favorite writer, she knew that it was the last book Zack had listened to nineteen days before he left. She was trying desperately to make sense out of her parents. Again unbeknownst to me, she wrote her essay about “the invisible monster”:

How Do You Fight An Invisible Enemy?

YOU GIVE IT A FACE!

(Written By Gia Embach)

Since the beginning of time or existence itself, for living things big or small, life is marked with a common anguish: To live is to suffer. Over time, however, as humanity has specifically thrust itself into problems of its own device, it’s tried desperately to put incomprehensible ideas or situations into a box so as to minimize the pain and anxiety that fester in the face of the unknown or difficult.
Anguish was arguably never more prevalent than throughout the duration of World War I. The largest, bloodiest, most destructive war the world had yet seen, with such horrors as to reduce the social order and beliefs to rubble in a similar manner to the physical world around people all over the world. During the uneasy postwar years, this society of confused and angry people confided in Czech-born writer Franz Kafka.
His stories almost always depict characters who are in eerie situations they can neither comprehend nor escape from. While this idea of using the imagination to comprehend the uncomfortable and incomprehensible world of emotions and psychology was precious to those living during the postwar years, his message still rings true today, as people still find the comprehension of the human mind to be incredibly difficult and laborious. Through allegorical works of literature and art, artists and writers allow others, and themselves, to understand feelings and situations that would otherwise be terrifying or unfathomable to bring comfort that stems from a shared discomfort.
The Metamorphosis begins with Gregor Samsa awaking in his bed only to find himself transformed into a large cockroach or other bug-like vermin. Gregor becomes increasingly dreary after looking out the window to all the rain and darkness and decides to give in to the pull of sleep calling to him. His new body, however, won’t let him lay comfortably, so he tries desperately to fling himself on his side to rest, only to fall on his armored back, forced to look at his grotesque abdomen and thin, scrambling legs. His mind then drifts to the dread he feels for his stressful job, the importance of sleep, so he begins focusing on the mundane issues in his life that still take precedence over his terrifying condition. His family worriedly knock on his door attempting to converse with him and wondering what the matter is, as Gregor has always been a dutiful worker and had never missed a day of work in his life. Gregor comes to find that he is unable to communicate with human speech and struggles to converse with his worried family on the other side of the wooden door which he soon finds he is unable to open, only doing so after great difficulty.
Emerging from his room, his family and the Chief Clerc are shocked by his appearance and he is soundly scolded by the Chief Clerk. Gregor retreats to his room, injuring himself in the process, and remains isolated inside. He comes to find that his little sister, Grete, attentively looks after him, bringing him fresh food that is unappealing to Gregor despite his hunger. The next morning, he is brought rotting food which he devours ravenously. From his room, Gregor overhears his family’s troubles. His guilt and shame only grow as he listens to his family try to figure out how they will make enough money to support each other, as Gregor is unable to provide for them now. Overwhelmed with sadness and guilt, he returns to his isolation for a few weeks, and Grete slowly but surely becomes less caring for Gregor, and increasingly upset and impatient at her brother’s need for care. When he finally gets enough courage to leave his room, his sister finds him in the kitchen, disturbed. A month later, his mother offers to take the furniture out of his room, so he can crawl more comfortably in his room, however Gregor wishes to hold on to the furniture, keeping himself connected to his humanity, to the familiarity of the Gregor before he woke up that fateful morning as a giant bug. Gregor eventually puts himself upside down on his ceiling, above a painting in his room, the sight of which causes his mother to faint, and his father returns home to find Gregor outside his room once again, only to pelt him with apples, seriously injuring him as he flees back to his room. Gregor takes another month to heal. His family has become exhausted from working and decide to house some loggers for extra income. Later, as Gregor is drawn out by the beautiful sound of a violin, the sight of him disgusts the loggers, causing them to leave without paying rent, so his once gentle and compassionate sister now states that the bug is not really Gregor and has ruined their lives. Returning to his room, he thinks fondly of his family before he dies. His body is found, and his family carries on happily without him as they discuss their plans for the future.
Although there are many interpretations of this eerie tale, I believe it is an allegory for depression and the damage it causes to not only the one who suffers from it, but also those around them. The first time I read it, I was immediately fond of Gregor. In him, I found that sense of comfort that I had mentioned before. Comparing his experience with depression to mine allowed me to feel less alone. Like me, even simple tasks for him such as getting out of bed or talking became excruciatingly difficult and it exhausted him to venture from the safety of the safe, cold comfort and isolation of his room Thinking that someone who was alive over 100 years ago had the same exact feelings that I’ve had made me feel less ashamed of my illness.
In another mirror of my mind, Gregor’s mind drifts to his worries and anxieties about the future and all the little things that could go wrong. Been there! Done that! No matter how long you have depression or how “well” you handle it, there are always things on your mind. They’re like an invisible bag of rocks dragging behind your feet that make your legs tire quickly and your entire body feel incredibly heavy. Each time Gregor tried to reach out and become himself again, he was treated with disgust, disdain, and impatience, reminding him time and again why he had hidden himself away in the first place. To those living in a world outside of a disease festering inside one’s brain, there are no rocks and no issues, there’s just laziness and distraction. “They’re not trying enough” or “They’re being dramatic”.
Grete, who at first gave Gregor aid with love, soon drifted away. When you suffer from depression, it can be hard for others to love and care for you, so when you are living as a creature you yourself can hardly look at without disgust, how COULD you accept any help? Depression tells you that you aren’t worth it and you don’t deserve it. If your symptoms themselves don’t push people away, you will. Giving yourself excuses to be alone, hoping that if you sabotage the good things enough, you might begin to feel like your feelings are valid, but that is a rare thing to come to believe. Then, just like Gregor, you soon find that reaching out only gets you hurt again, and you fully realize all that you no longer have. At this point, a person with depression will respond in a variety of ways. Some seethe with a burning anger, others protect themselves with an icy numbness, and others drown themselves in tears. In other cases, like Gregor, he simply allows himself to fade away. He felt ashamed, guilty, impossible to deal with. The harsh words of others twisting the steel blade he had dug into his chest deeper. He thinks of those who shunned him with love, understanding that nobody could love a monster. He thinks of them and dies, utterly and completely alone.
The Metamorphosis was the last thing my father read before he lost his battle with his own invisible enemy … his “bug”. While literature like Kafka’s does indeed offer comfort, nothing can cover the harsh and bitter reality of mental illness. Only the luckiest ones, and these warriors are far and few between, survive the battle against the hidden enemy. Many, like Gregor and my father, slowly fade away, isolating themselves until death to keep those they love from the harm they know they cause.
The truth of the matter is this: human beings are far from being able to comprehend the human mind in its best form and are further still from understanding a mind that is damaged. However, through people like Kafka, who cut these incredible issues into tiny, more manageable pieces, we can all come to understand it a little better. Those who suffer, can come to understand their suffering. Those who don’t share that same, complex kind of pain, come to understand it. When people understand something so horrible and terrifying, it slowly falls apart as it’s being chipped away like a block of marble until something beautiful and heroic remains.
In closing, I feel it is imperative to appreciate the gift that art can give to humanity: the ability to comprehend the incomprehensible, the ability to look at ourselves as works in progress rather than vermin, and the ability to unite people of all walks of life together in an often-forgotten fact. Once we strip away our flesh and everything of this Earth, each of us has a soul that is broken, and each of our souls, whether we acknowledge it or not, has a burning desire to be loved. That fact can only be nurtured and accepted through people like Kafka who aren’t afraid to brave the nightmares of existing, people who shine lights in darkness so others can see light.

Of all the things she could have written about, and this despite the fact that she had been excused from writing a personal memoir, in many ways she did write a personal memoir. Can you FEEL the ABSURDITY? Can you FATHOM the SURREALNESS? Can you appreciate this cosmic kick in the face of that elusive demon bug that has infested the minds of too many Gregors to count?

FUCK YOU “popular monster”! You may have obliterated, disintegrated, and annihilated my husband, but you will NOT feast upon another carcass in my divinely punctuated halo if takes my very last breath to keep you under foot. I’ve FOUND my way out of your web you fucking LIAR and miserable CHEATER.

I’ve fallen IN LOVE

with NOT falling apart!

HAPPY 500TH DIARY ENTRY TO ME! May you rest eternally Zachariah and Franz, two of the few mortal men who were able to reach the depths of my soul. You may be gone, but you’ll never be forgotten, nor the countless ways you both inspired my metamorphosis.

Last, but not least, THANK YOU from my bursting heart to my Mona Lisa daughter for helping me finally find the words I’d long been searching for to honor my favorite beetle.

If you or someone you love is battling an “invisible monster”, PLEASE reach out for help! The “SAMHSA National Helpline” is a FREEE, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Always … Keep … FIGHTING!

AUGUST 19, 2022: “The Great Alchemy” …

The new album dropped at midnight and it’s mind-blowing, but I got stuck on this one song, “All I Know”. Meanwhile, while we were on a live chat with him in the wee hours of the morning, Ivan said that the whistling at the intro just came to him one night while he was at his cabin in Wyoming. He said he’d been laying in bed, heard whistling outside of his window, then just woke up and started writing.

Now, here’s where this “Death Punch” Diary entry may throw some of you for a loop, ’cause I’m about to go somewhere that some of you want nothing to do with. Those who know me best know that I fiercely believe in the higher power that’s running this whole “greatest show on Earth” gig who I call by the name of God. As far as I’m concerned, creation itself is a musical composition straight from His hand, and the humans He has specifically chosen to make music of every kind are His tuning forks:

But now bring me a musician.” Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. [2 Kings 3:15 NKJV]

Here’s the deal, folks: Zack used to whistle and hum all the fucking time, so, before I heard Ivan talking about it, I’d already been captured by that whistling and listening to the song over and over. It was one of the most ethereal moments I’ve ever experienced in my life. “From Zack’s soul, to God’s ears, to Ivan’s mouth”, then POOF! “A seemingly magical process of transformation” through the creation of the hauntingly beautiful whistle at the beginning of a song that echoed to me just like the many other voices from my past that I believe are trying to send me messages:

Somehow, the haunting intro to this song with its echoes of what seem like my ancestors calling to me, channeled me back to either the wild, wild west or some ancient arena in Spain where kill or be killed was the fucking assignment, much like it is today during “times like these” when we’re all just fighting not only to survive, but fighting for the will to survive.
{“Times Like These“}

Much like my “Brighter Side Of Grey” moment back in March of 2020, I believe that Zack needed me to take note of the powerful message in this song, so he had God use Ivan’s whistling to do it. That’s right folks, love it or hate it, and as impossible as it may seem for some people to conceptualize, as far as I’m concerned, Ivan is not just some heavy metal rock star with a colorful past, present, and future, whose job is to jump around on stages worldwide and entertain the masses. His purpose here is so much fucking bigger than perhaps even he will ever be able to fully conceptualize. He’s a “universal elixir” and tuning fork that God is using to perpetuate His greatest alchemy of all … MUSIC!

Have I ever told any of you that I’m the luckiest human woman alive? Have I told you that I’m God’s actual favorite daughter? Have I told you how thankful I am to be sitting in all these truths and realities that are truly “all I know”, many of which I don’t even really understand, AND THAT’S OKAY? Well, if not, I’m telling you right now. Yes, I am. I am God’s favorite daughter and His divine apostrophe!

ALL I KNOW

I don’t think that I’m crazy. Yeah, but how would I know, when the voices remind me that it’s all just for show. Well, I thought I had answers, but the questions have changed. It’s so hard to feel anything when I’ve only known pain. Pain. You can cast me out and dig my hole. Spit on my grave. Curse my soul. You can hold me down and not let go, but the devil you fear is all I know. And the road that’s less traveled, well, it’s all that I’ve known. Every time I look backwards, there’s still so far to go. If I’m born to be broken … cold, bloody, and numb … tell me, why am I running? What am I running from? From? As I sit here in silence, all alone in myself … who the hell would believe me? Better yet, who would I tell? I can’t tell. {Five Finger Death Punch}

AUGUST 11, 2022: “The Silent Pieces Of My Memories” …

Memories.

They can shatter you into literal pieces, or under the right circumstances, can build you into a living mosaic masterpiece, the likes of which no one has ever seen. Take, for instance, this “Facebook Memory” that popped onto my feed just after midnight from August 11, 2014, wherein I made poignant post in response to having heard someone use the words “selfish” and “suicide” in the same sentence:

“… how selfish of someone who has everything in the world to commit suicide”. Just read that complete and total bullshit and it’s so beyond infuriating. It’s called depression people, and it knows no boundaries! As if someone actually wakes up one morning and says “Okay, I’m feeling kind of selfish today so I think I’ll just asphyxiate myself”. Been there, done that. It means a human being is in SO much unbearably excruciating pain, sometimes both mentally AND physically, that the only escape they see or “feel” from the noose around their own heart is sleep. It’s the ultimate end to the many broken voices in their mind. Don’t judge. Instead, be on your knees thanking your God that you’ve never been in such a deafeningly silent place. Seriously? And by the way, someone please define “everything”. If someone has “everything” they must not become depressed?

As you can see, it didn’t sit well with me to hear such careless words tossed into the wind. If only I’d known what was coming for me and mine just five years and 11 days later. It’s as though the Universe was already preparing me for the shattered pieces of a life I never imagined I’d have to walk through, especially after having survived my OWN suicide attempt in November 2006, back when the only words I could ever really manage to SILENTLY scream out to God were such as these:

I’m here again, a thousand miles away from you. A broken mess … just scattered pieces of who I am. I tried so hard. Thought I could do this on my own.

That was then.

THIS IS NOW!

I’m so beyond thankful that I’ve grown to this place where all the memories and scattered pieces of my shattered life no longer haunt the dark chasms in my mind. You see, it was in those very chasms and in my darkest hours that I was able to find my way back Home to my truly blind faith and rightful place as “God’s favorite daughter“. These days, my heart SINGS in a much different kind of silence:

Then I saw Your face … I knew I was finally Yours. I found everything I thought I lost before. You called my name … I came to you in pieces so You could make me whole. I’d come undone … but You made sense of who I am … like puzzle pieces in Your eye.

I’ve said it many times before, but let me say it again. I’d give anything if I could just “zap” all this power and grace that I wield in my divinely punctuated soul to every single person who is now or ever has been shattered in the silence of painful memories, not the least of which was my beautiful husband who left be behind in his shards. All of this pain has been a gift, because without out it I would never have gotten to know how beautiful the brighter side of the darkness can truly be.

Thank you, once again, to one of my favorite lifetime bands, “Red“. This bittersweet song has made more than a few appearances here in this Diary thus far, and I’m thankful for the ways that the meaning of its powerful words have evolved within me over the years. Oh, don’t get me wrong … it’s still a major tearjerker. Only, these days those tears come from a place of hope, faith, and healing that I can barely put into my own words.

Meanwhile, I’m still standing strong amidst a lifetime of “shards and pieces” that I suppose should have actually killed me by now, but instead have only helped me find God’s face and voice within myself. I will never be broken and alone in silent darkness again.