MAY 21, 2022: “I’m Writing This In Case I’m Gone Tomorrow” …

… because some memories are so much better than others, ESPECIALLY ones like these that remind you yet again that although the MOST beautiful season you shared with him is over, the many powerful and life-changing words of affirmation he wrote across your heart are not.

THIS, my friends, is how I became a queen, and THESE are the brighter sides of even my darkest of greys that help me leave out all the rest of the actual heaping piles of bullshit he left behind in his insanity.

He loved me. He believed in me. He always saw the very best in me. He supported everything I ever did, said, thought, or wanted. He said I could be ANYTHING I dreamt of because I wasn’t cut from the same cloth as anyone else he’d ever met, and guess what, people?

HE WAS RIGHT!

I’m proud of myself right now for seeing this “memory” today and not shedding a single tear. Rather, all I could do is smile with pride, because after all was said and done, and although at first I couldn’t see the me he saw on those days he’d FORCE me to look at myself in a mirror and try to see myself through his eyes, I see her loud and fucking clear these days not only every time I HAPPILY look into a mirror, but even more so when I look at my kids. They are my legacy. They are the reason he fought so hard for me to make peace with my own reflection.

In my heart, I think he always knew he wouldn’t be here with me until the end, which is why he was hell bent on preparing to LITERALLY rise above his ashes. God knew it, too, so maybe that’s why God sent him to me in the first place, just as maybe I was meant to be HIS “crowning achievement”. The day he died, I became his legacy, and so on the circle goes …

Hi everyone! It’s me, the REAL Cat Williamson, and I’m writing this to my kids just in case I’m gone tomorrow. Always remember that your mama was the badass phoenix QUEEN he left behind to handle things in his place in all her power, grace, and glory, and ALWAYS remember to be this IMPECCABLE with all your words. Someday they may actually save someone’s life.

MAY 15, 2022: “Mother THINGS And Monsters” …

Okay, so let’s clarify this whole “mother THING” dealio once and for all!

While there are probably a fair amount of people who feel this way but aren’t as willing to openly admit it, I personally believe there should be NO mercy, grace, or forgiveness whatsoever for “mother THINGS” that (not “who”) mindfully and willfully either cause or allow grave harm to a child of their own womb.

Judge not others lest ye be judged. (Matthew 7:1-3)

Yet, are the THINGS that are capable of inflicting grave harm upon their children even “human” at all and therefore subject to God’s disdain of judging or wishing them actual hell?

I really can forgive anyone for just about anything, and as God is my witness, I HAVE! But I’ll just keeping taking people on a case-by-case basis. The Devil’s Own really do walk among us, but I’m not even sure they’re “people”. They’re a different kind of breed “thing” altogether. I’m not quite sure I’ll ever get to the point that I stop avidly praying that God really DOES sort us all out in the end. I’m just a mortal human, not a god or Jesus Christ, so I’ll just keeping asking for “forgiveness” for not being too excited about the idea of “mercy for the merciless”.

(“They Walk Amongst Us” … from The Diary Of My Perfection}

Just to be clear, I’m not simply talking about selfish, inattentive, ill-prepared, immature, or narcissistic moms who are truly oblivious to the damage they cause their children. Been there, done that, and trust me when I say that we are a collective wrecking ball crew to our own. I may be sanctimonious at times, but I’m not even gonna deny my own regrettable crimes against my children.

I wear the hearts of two children on my sleeve who are still navigating the wreckage my former tragic mothering and mental illness caused them, so any shame or guilt I’ve suffered for not having done better sooner is well-deserved. Have they forgiven me? Yes. Have I forgiven myself? Yes. Have they forgotten? Absolutely NOPE, nor shall they ever, and nor shall I. If they have to remember everything, then why should I be afforded the luxury of “I FUCKED UP MY KIDS AMNESIA”?

That being said, if, like me, you have fucked up your kids but are able to acknowledge, account, and atone for it, indeed I believe there is mercy and grace to be found. Owning up to my parenting flubs and “remembering everything” with them is what keeps me growing forward as a stronger, wiser, and healthier mom who is determined to break the generations of cyclically egregious parenting on my tree. Let’s face it, people, you can’t fix something you don’t think is broken, and that includes ourselves. De-NILE was for little baby Moses, my friends, and in a basket I am not.

Meanwhile, I am talking about the seriously life-altering and mind-bending crimes against at the hands of “mothers” that NO CHILD deserves to suffer through. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • Throwing their babies in the trash or just leaving them out in the freezing fucking cold on a curb or even a doorstep.
  • Murdering them, drowning them, choking them, setting fire to them, burying them alive, locking them in closets, caging, or chaining them like a rabid fucking animal, starving, burning them, or “sticking stuff” in places where stuff isn’t supposed to be stuck in them until they are grown ass adults who consent!
  • Coat-hanger SLAUGHTERING or letting a medically sanctioned hired hitman SHANK them in utero right through their already formed and beating hearts, seeing eyes, hearing ears, and feeling spinal cords. (YUP! I just went there!)

None of these horrors are forgivable to me, and even a crocodile mommy instinctually knows better than to intentionally torment a life she bears in such detestable ways.

Look, there’s NO such thing as a perfect mom, because after all, most of us are only human. But sooner or later, even the worst of us wrecking ball mommies can grow up, take a sobering look at the body count on the battlefield of our children’s lives and the failed flights we caused, APOLOGIZE, move on, then just do fucking BETTER!

It is my avid prayer that these THINGS will eventually be dealt with accordingly and made to pay for their crimes against the humanity that THEY made and BROKE! I can’t imagine that God will take such travesties lightly, as when He blessed women with a womb, it would seem that He did so with the intention of populating the world, NOT destroying it.

I’ll never forget the day in 2016 when my secretly crumbling husband, whose own mother THING discarded him, heard it for the first time while we were driving. The stoic tears that fell from his eyes in that moment still haunt me. After that, he would play it often and always said it made him think about that “thing” that gave birth to him.

Now, I’m not saying that every child of a mother THING grows up to be a monster, but the truth is many do. I’m also not saying that my husband was a monster, but in the end there was a monster living inside his head that he felt he had to stop from hurting us any further, and thus the bullet to his head.

If YOU are a mother THING that is reading this, here’s hoping that the fate you meet is far greater than anything you ever did to one of your own. Also? YOU’RE GROSS!

More than that, if you are THE CHILD of a mother THING who is reading this, YOU DIDN’T FUCKING DESERVE THAT! Just because everyone isn’t as openly angry at the THING that was supposed to love you more than her own life itself as I am, it doesn’t mean you aren’t thought of, cared for, prayed over, and deeply loved by more of us than you will ever know. Don’t you DARE let yourself be defined by the monster that brought into this world or think for one minute that God didn’t see it ALL!

MONSTER

Under the knife I surrendered. The innocence yours to consume. You cut it away and you filled me up with hate. Into the silence you sent me. Into the fire consumed. You thought I’d forget, but it’s always in my head. You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me? You’re the love that I hate. You’re the drug that I take. Will you cage me? Will you cage me? You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me from the monster you made me? The monster you made me? This is the world you’ve created. The product of what I’ve become. My soul and my youth? Seems it’s all for you to use. If I could take back the moment I’d let you get under my skin. Relent or resist? Seems the monster always wins. You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me? You’re the love that I hate. You’re the drug that I take. Will you cage me? Will you cage me? You’re the pulse in my veins. You’re the war that I wage. Can you change me? Can you change me from the monster you made me? From the monster you made me? My heart’s an artifice, a decoy soul. I lift you up and then I let you go. I’ve made an art of digging shallow holes. I’ll drop the darkness in and watch it grow. Who knew the emptiness could be so cold? I’ve lost the parts of me that make me whole. I am the darkness. I’m a monster. {Starset}

MAY 11, 2022: “The SON Will Shine Again” …

After a downright harrowing weekend of watching my daughter hit a pretty big emotional wall, having her home safe with me for a couple of extra days as we worked her through a process, then finally having to take her back to school, I’d been doing everything within my mommy powers not to text her during the day to just make sure she was okay. She had enough on her plate just walking onto the campus in the first place, and she, like me, all but dreads even “wanted” text messages when she’s trying to get out of her own head.

Meanwhile, I get this “is she okay” text from her ride or die bestie who didn’t even know she was already back at school. Knowing my child like I know her, although she probably very much “needed” to see her friends today, she was probably doing her best to avoid seeing her friends today to protect them from her perceived burden of struggling emotions. Learning to lean a support system is hard enough when your adult, much less when you’re a teenage girl whose “tribe” has somehow managed to band together from an array of equally struggling and burdened yolks. But hey, that’s another story for a different day, right?

Despite the brief moment of panic after receiving the text from Five (“Five”, by the way, because she’s like my “fifth child”), how blessed are we both that she finally has friends like this in her atmosphere who care for her so much so that they’ll even resort to reaching out to her dear ole mom when they notice that she’s gone missing? God Himself knows that it wasn’t always this way for her. Indeed there was a time, not too long ago, when she could have been missing for a week or two on end and not one of her putrid “frenemies” would have cared, much less have taken the time to go looking for her.

After having all but begged her to go find her people as she was getting out of the car today and not isolate herself the way we both tend to do only to be alerted to the sobering fact that she was indeed MIA, all I could do was literally hit my knees at the foot of the panic chair in my room and beg God to cover her with His love and protection as she navigates her internal storm.

It’s 95 degrees here in Dallas, today, not a single cloud anywhere in the sky, and because I was so focused on her all weekend long, I was thankfully focused on a barrage of neglected chores. I say thankfully because, for me, keeping busy on a day like this is just … BETTER! Meanwhile, there I was just standing and the kitchen counter sorting out the trash from her perch when one of my favorite songs of this lifetime cycled up to the cue.

This sweet song that I first heard over 25 years ago has gotten me through SO many dark days of my own, ever the consummate “light in the dark”, so much so that my words fail to properly express it. So, what are the chances that my “music wheel of destiny” would magically spin it up to me this morning as though God Himself knew I would need to hear it when I saw my Mona Lisa’s “smile” fall to the floor?

I won’t go into details about the black clouds looming in her sky right now, because not only is it just too overwhelming and tender at the moment, it’s not my place to share the intimate details of her private mental health journey. Sufficed to say, though, I’m in a pure power and grace momma bear survival mode for BOTH my kids’ sake these days, have been for many months now, and will be until both their suns rise again.

But guess what?

I once knew a girl who had lost everything. The story goes but it doesn’t end in misery. Down the road of circumstance awaited reality, ’cause she found a new beginning. You see, that girl was me.

I know her sun will shine again before her dreams fade away. I’ll just remember there’s a Savior who will brighten up her day. I know the sun will shine again … on her.

{Words Adapted from “The Sun Will Shine Again” by David & The Giants}

Yes, I’m a roller coaster of raw emotion today, but thank you GOD that I’ve survived so storms of my own that I know now more than ever that I have to keep my own oxygen mask on tighter than ever so that I can catch my babies when they’re falling.

This parenting gig ain’t for the faint of heart, my friends, and especially as a relatively new widowed and single mom who on the surface appears to have no partner to weather the stormy seas with. The truth is, though, that I very much do have a partner in my parenthood and I am never all alone. This precious paper smiley face falling to the floor is proof positive that I have learned to trust and lean on my Father, Who indeed is greater than this storm. I know her Sun will shine again, and so will mine keep shining. After all, I’m still God’s favorite daughter, and now that I think of it, so is she.

THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN

I hear you say you’re going through  a big ordeal. Complications  … your heart is breaking … you can’t see through. Time goes by. You don’t know why you can’t find the clue. Seem s the night is always darkest before the morning light. Life  is filled with fire and rain and winds of change. Seems as though the things we know are misunderstood. But  the trying of our faith is working for the good, ’cause we learn to trust our Father Who is greater than the storm. I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior. He’ll brighten up your day. I know The Son will shine again on you. I once knew a man who had lost everything. The story goes, but it doesn’t end in misery. Down the road of circumstance waits reality, ’cause he found a new beginning. You see, that man was me. I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior. He’ll brighten up your day. I know The Son will shine again on you. I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or stranded in the rain. Close your eyes now. Wake up and proclaim! I know The Son will shine again before your dreams fade away. Just remember there’s a Savior … He’ll brighten up your day! I know The Son will shine again on you. {David & The Giants}

MAY 8, 2008: “One Son’s Angel” …

~ Evelyn Pansy Williamson ~
(One Son’s Angel)

FEBRUARY 16, 2022:

Dear Mr. Witherspoon,

Someday when I get the chance to properly put it down in words, I’m going to explain how much your music meant to my late husband. The first time I ever saw the man (who was our “rock”) cry was when he played me Angel’s Son, then explained why. His “mother” threw him away when he was born, then the only woman who ever loved or cared for him in his lifetime before me was his Grandma. When she died literally right in front of him at age 13, I’m certain that’s when he stopped living and growing and was only “dead alive” until we lost him to suicide 910 days ago this moment actually.

A few years ago, we were in downtown Ft Worth on a surprise weekend getaway for ME – eating at this FINE restaurant near a window that looked down to a square where he had NO idea you were playing. It was one of THE happiest moments of his twisted existence, and the pure joy on his face that night is still seared into my memories. Thank GOD for that, too, because those truly JOY moments for him were fleeting.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share. I’m blogging “Angel’s Son” in honor of his Grandma on Mother’s Day – I’ll send it to you then. Hope this very long message wasn’t too annoying. Your music means a lot to me because it meant so much to him. You’re a king, my friend.

~ Real Cat

🌺🌸🌼🌺🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺

MAY 8, 2022:

Zachariah,

Life is changing … but I am going on without you. Rearranging, yeah. I’m being strong standing on my own. You were fighting every day. So hard to hide the pain. I know you never said goodbye. I had so much left to say. One last song given to an angel’s son. As soon as you were gone. As soon as you were gone.

We love you.

~ Us

🌺🌸🌼🌺🌼🌺🌸🌼🌺

And so, with that, I suppose I’ve conveyed what finally needed to be conveyed about “the angel” and her otherwise motherless son. I cannot tell you how many times he told me over the years, “Catherine, I wish you could have known her”. Ah, but what that silly boy never realized is that I very much did know her. Every tear that fell from his eyes during the many times he would talk about her told me everything his many words and many silences could never say, as well did the tears he cried whenever he would listen to this song.

As with every Mother’s Day I’ve since had to or will ever spend without him, today is so twisted and bittersweet. On one hand, I am privileged to celebrate not just the gift of my motherhood, but the gifts of my mother beautiful Mother and angel Grandmother as well, it was on this day in May 2019 when he started coming apart at the seams. For that reason, this day will always be a rollercoaster of deep joy and intense sadness for me.

He had just gone up to say goodbye to Gia before heading off to work that morning. As he made it to that last step on the way back down, he just stopped there dead in his tracks and started sobbing, much like the day at the kitchen window a few months before. When I asked him what was wrong, the words he spoke were all but paralyzing:

That whore that gave birth to me just threw me the fuck away. My own mother didn’t want me. She never did. She never will. I really AM a Zack Of Shit!

It’s a moment that haunts me still as though I were seeing him standing there and hearing the abysmal, scathing truth in those words as they fell from his mouth for the first time every time I’m sitting in the chair in my office where I was that Godforsaken Mother’s Day morning.

“The Staircase”

There he stood at the end of that beautiful staircase I love to hate so much, the “rock” of our world and the king of our hearts, just slipping down the cold, black hole that “mother THING” that buried him alive in on the day she left him behind like a piece of garbage on the street. Virtually every day and night for the months that followed until he left, he suffered, cried, ached, and sobbed, sometimes in the fetal position, for not just her, but the entire lot of them. All Gia and I could do was helplessly watch him dying out loud right before our eyes as he battled the actual demon that moved into his mind and destroyed not just him, but my daughter and me as well.

That angel on Earth beautiful Grandmother of his truly was the first and only other woman who ever really loved him other than me and my daughter. For that we will forever be thankful that not only did she exist, but that she was one of the few bright stars in his sky.

Today, in both their honors, we will not only take flowers to her grave for the first but certainly not last time, but we will also take some of the ashes the rest of his “family” couldn’t be bothered to come get and take home to bury in the ground at her grave where they truly belong.

APRIL 24, 2022: “My Perfectly Mistaken Quarters” …

… ’cause when it’s a 4:30am covert meeting of a phoenix, sage, and PIRATE and his ever so faithful crew, this shit just hits a little different. Jean-Claude Van DAMN he’s so fucking right …

I AM A PERFECT MISTAKE!

It’s taken all the people in the history of my timeline and the masterful compilation of their coming and going, hunting and gathering, scavenging and foraging, falling and rising, destroying and building, sinking and swimming, killing and conquering, lying and truth telling, silence and screaming, plus some perfectly imperfect genetic coding to create this glorious fucking STORM that I am.

I’ve known long well that I’m a jacked up train wreck of a beautiful disaster. It was my equally jacked up train wreck of a beautiful disaster husband who would physically hold me in the mirror when I couldn’t see my own reflection and force me to say these words out loud:

I love you Catherine Williamson! Not just some of you – ALL of you!

My husband found me (or did I find him?) when I was at my rock bottom worst in every possible mental and physical way:

For 16 years I have searched for my own reflection in another person’s eyes but could never find it. I looked into the mirror and felt ugly. I felt dirty, empty and invisible. I see the way people look at me but have never really understood it. What the hell could anyone possibly see? There’s nothing here. I’m hollow. “Lights, smoke, and illusion!” Please, please, please Henrik, hear what I am saying. Last July, when it was finally time for the doctors to take the bandages off my chest and stomach, I came home and couldn’t even walk past a mirror, much less look inside one. I knew then that my destruction was finally complete, but just didn’t know how to reckon myself with the reality. That’s when I decided to not EVER search for my missing reflection again, whether in a mirror or through the eyes of another! I just gave up. Two full days passed before I was finally able to take my shirt off and I couldn’t actually look at myself for weeks. When the day finally came, I just stood there and cried. I touched my scars, held my stomach, dropped down to my bathroom floor and cried for so many hours you can’t begin to imagine. I thought my life was over, which was par for the entire course, and I knew from that day on I would NEVER “show myself” to another living soul, whether physically or emotionally. When I was done crying, and God I remember this like it was yesterday, I stood up, wiped away my tears, straightened my shoulders and began to devise a plan that would allow me to continue the “grand illusion”. I got dressed, got in the car and had Him drive me to a little shop across town that carried prosthetic implants I could stuff inside my bra to disguise my mutilated chest. I walked back out of that shop a whole and “perfect” woman again. Got back home, pulled into the driveway and never looked back. I have played the game very well I might add with the cards I’ve been dealt in a manner that would cause no one I love to suffer.

{“So Far Away“}

It was his unconditional love for me just the way I was that forever chased away the clouds of “imperfection” that had once loomed over my head. Slowly, but surely, I became less afraid to surrender “all of me” to not just my love for him, but the love I’d desperately needed for myself as well.

God Himself knows how much I do truly love myself now, PERFECT MISTAKES AND ALL, and not a day passes that I don’t still stand in the mirror and literally see my husband, my God, my angels, my ancestors, and even a few of my demons standing right behind me whispering, “You got this! You’re our reason! You’re our gift, our scion, our message, and our voice!” They’re the zephyrs in my sky who hold me upright and push me forward into this perpetual state of punctuation and magic that I’ve become as I navigate this sea of madness. In the meantime, as I continue to soar through these fleeting golden years of mine,

I’ll be wearing steel that’s bright and true and carrying news that must get through. I’ll choose the path where no-one goes. I’ll hold no quarter, no quarter, oh!

{Words Adapted from “No Quarters” by Led Zeppelin}

I love you so dearly, Ivan FUCKING Moody, my kindred soul and friend. I cannot tell you how long I’ve been waiting for the perfect time, space, and words I needed to blog out this very special song. It was one of his favorites and I listen to it often. He truly believed he was a pirate in another life, and the first time I ever heard him say it, I thought he was just being silly. Nope! He wasn’t! Every single time that man stared out across an ocean amid our many adventures, he insisted that he’d been out there before. The funny thing is that while searching for the missing pieces of himself that he’d never known anything about because of his abysmal childhood, the Ancestry report we fetched really did seem to point in that direction. Meanwhile, here I am, just swabbing the deck of my jacked up proverbial ship, and I cannot thank you enough. Your words of wisdom never cease to amaze or fail me, and I truly hope that they’re blowing through the sails of some other jacked up pirates’ sails, too.

NO QUARTER

Close the door, put out the light. No, I won’t be home tonight. The snow falls hard and don’t you know? The winds of Thor are blowing cold. I’m wearing steel that’s bright and true and carrying news that must get through. I choose the path where no-one goes. I hold no quarter, no quarter, oh! Walking side-by-side with death. The devil mocks my every step, ooh. The snow drives back the foot that’s slow. The dogs of doom are howling more. I carry news that must get through to build a dream for me and you, oh, oh, oh. This path I choose where no one goes … I hold no quarter, oh. {Led Zeppelin}

APRIL 4, 2022: “The Grey High” …

Ain’t it funny how things happen sometimes? I mean, c’mon people … do any of you still only believe in random coincidence? As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m yummily wrapped up in one of the king’s ginormous grey sweaters that on any other given Monday would have traveled in Gia’s backpack to her dad’s house. But for the fact that I just happened to be doing laundry last night instead of on my regularly scheduled Sunday afternoon, it wouldn’t have been here to greet me this morning when I decided to just make it a “grey day” and stay home to enjoy the peaceful oblivion of my happily solitary existence. Hell, I wasn’t even done reveling in and relishing the last four beautiful days I had of time spent with my precious kids and family, the message I got from Skid Row, and that fucking EPIC German schnitzel sandwich situation. I mean, BRING IT you badass Cosmos

I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!

Meanwhile, I popped on to Instagram earlier only to find that while I was busy “queening” around my castle in one of the best “grey highs” I’ve had in a while, that today has marked yet another powerful 5FDP moment. It was the official release of the “Brighter Side Of Grey” video:

It’s hard to believe that our last record “F8” came out over 2 years ago in the beginning of 2020, born into the whirlwind of events that dominated our lives and will echo into the rest of our history. Those of you intimately familiar with that album, now know how some of F8’s dystopian lyrics became rather prophetic. Brighter Side of Grey was an important song on that record, but especially personal to Ivan (who’s the only parent in the band). It is a more than fitting commentary to what’s going on in the world that probably needs a good reminder right about now that we are here only for second, a tiny blip on the flow of time… not just as individuals but as an entire species. It took a trillion conditions to be just right for human life to exist in this Universe, yet it takes just one to go terribly wrong and make it all disappear. This song also serves as the perfect bridge to our new album we just finished this week, which generally revolves around similar existential questions. It’s incredible how much we don’t understand about our own existence, yet everyone’s relationship with the concept of death permeates, even orients their entire lives. Can’t wait to share it… enjoy this video and stay tuned for new music and big tour announcements in the very near future!

{FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH YOUTUBE}

In case you didn’t already know this yet, this isn’t just a song to me, and grey isn’t just a color. “The Brighter Side Of Grey” is an entire mindset and way of life for me:

Grey is not just a color to me – IT’S EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN! It’s the grace I’ve received that is so undeserved yet given to me anyway by The One who has never loved me with black and white conditions. He “takes the best parts of me and locks them away without the key” and I know that He is never far away. He’s the Light that shines ahead of my journey and dilutes the blackness of the abyss into the most beautiful shades of grey. For more than four decades, I lived a black and white existence with no room for the forlorn grey I knew I needed but didn’t know how to connect with. As I look back at this picture now, I’m filled with the most unbelievable solace you can imagine. It reminds me of just how far I’ve comethat it was always supposed to be this way, and there is always a “Brighter Side Of Grey”. I’m not gonna lie … it is now my final wish that when it’s time for me to move along, this is the last song I hear as they bid me farewell.

{“The Brighter Side Of Grey“}

I could keep going on and on about the brighter side of grey of it all, but honestly, I’m so done writing about it. Now I want to live in it! I want to sit back, relax, and inhale all the life nugget goodness.

Today is such a good day in the music world, my friends. Not just for the factions of knuckleheads like me who have been anxiously awaiting this “official” BSOG video, but likewise for anyone else who sees it, hears the words, and really bites in to its soberingly prophetic message.

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 that 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 a little better than you found it.

FEBRUARY 24, 2022: “A Message To The Moon” …

… because some cryptic tales really aren’t all that cryptic after all:

Dear Moon,

I will run alone tonight without you by my side. I guess you had a place you had to get to. I knew your eyes. I knew inside the walls you hid behind, and we saw the truth inside the real you. Because I knew you were lost when you’d run away into the same black holes and black mistakes. It’s taking all our will just to run alone. When are you coming home?

Even if the sky does fall … even if they take it all … I know there’s no pain that you wouldn’t go through, even if you had to die for us. And when all the fires were burning … when everything was overturning … there was no thing that you wouldn’t go through, even if you had to die for us.

One day the Earth will open wide, and I’ll follow you inside, ’cause the only hell I’ve known is without you. Some day when galaxies collide, we’ll be lost on different skies, then I’ll send my rocket ship to find you.

And though the Sun grew cold for you along the way and the stars didn’t align to light our way … and though you fell away and crashed back down below … I’ll always search the skies for you, and I’ll follow … I’ll be in your afterglow … and until I go back Home.

I love you, and I miss you, and even though I’m NOT really lost without you, I’m really AM lost HERE without you.

~ Sun

{Words Adapted from “Die For You” by Starset}

FEBRUARY 14, 2022: “Supernova Telescopes” …

Valentine’s Day 2022.

It’s my third one without him, yet despite the sobering fact that his physical being is no longer here, I have never felt closer to every infinite piece of who and what he was and all that he left behind. My God, I couldn’t even make myself cry today if I wanted to, because the unbelievably beautiful truth is that I have never felt more loved and connected to every single part of not just him, but this Universe as well:

All I can tell you is that my intersection with the Cosmos this morning was EVERYTHING to me. Even as I write this, I’m smiling yet again, because while on the surface it may appear that the demons that devoured him won, nothing could be farther from the truth.

{“The Tragic Truth Revisited“}

Sometimes it worries me that some of you may think my relationship with Death tends to make me seem somewhat pessimistic, morbid, and macabre, but rest assured that even as much as I clearly and loudly speak the truths I’ve come to believe about dying, in no way do I find it nefarious, gruesome, or horrifying. To me, not only is Death a peaceful release from the pain and heartache that often comes with our mere existence and survival in humanity, but it is indeed still trulynothing at all“. Although of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish his physical body was still here with me, his essence, soul, and spirit are literally everywhere around me:

He’s out there. I hear him calling from behind the star fields. I feel him radiating energy like eternal northern lights. I see him watching over me across the sky. Overcoming, projected on my eyes eternally. I find him in the night. Far from the Sun where no one knows. He’s watching from his telescope as he travels the distance in my eyes … Interstellar … light years from me. Like a Supernova … we’ll fuse when we collide … awaking in The Light of all the stars aligned.

{“Telescope” … by Starset}

With that, now let me just say this to any and all of my loved ones who are now or ever will be reading this in the future …

When that bittersweet day comes that I have finally crossed over to the brighter side of all this grey, rest assured knowing that I will be that zephyr blowing gently over your shoulder, just as Zack is now the ever-present breeze I feel blowing over mine. PLEASE don’t get me wrong, though … I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, ’cause umm, there’s still so much left for me to do here with all these little pebbles in my hand.

Nevertheless, always remember that my last singular blip on this life’s radar will never truly be my last, as I, too, will travel the distance in your eyes … Interstellar … light years from you. Like a Supernova, we’ll fuse when we collide again, awaking in the Light of all the stars aligned. You see, love really is the one thing that transcends time and space, and I know this with every shred of my being. Even though I can’t still see Him, I feel the unyielding love and presence of the Supernova of all Supernovas … God … the one Who is always watching over me across the sky through the greatest telescope of all.

Happy Valentine’s Day you beautiful people!

(from “God’s Favorite Daughter” … Real Cat)

JANUARY 24, 2022: “Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Know When To SHUT UP!” …

Have you ever wondered how to spot the most truly intelligent person in the room? Well, I’ll tell ya! In my personal experience, the most intelligent people in any space are usually the ones who don’t have much to say. In fact, studies have shown that the more introverted a person is, the higher their IQ seems to be. A true intellect in a room full of people is typically just listening, digesting, and formulating their own carefully thought and not impulsive answers to any and every question that could possibly be pondered, and depending on the crowd, they may still not say a word, opting instead to keep their pearls of wisdom to themselves rather than throwing them before all the swine.

MY POINT BEING …

Be careful of all the bullshit you’re slinging in front of those super quiet “sleeper cell” geniuses. You never know if they’re just sitting back, sizing you up, silently calling you out on your idiocy, and laughing their own really “smart asses” off as they watch not only you hang yourself with the snake oil that you’re peddling, but all the other “not so know it all dumbasses” who are actually buying what you’re selling.

Trust me when I tell you that what I’m saying is true. Not only was I married to a “sleeper cell genius”, but I’ve given birth to two. Zack Williamson’s IQ was 147, and although they haven’t been tested, I know that both my kids are somewhere in that realm as well! I couldn’t so much as pass a cat-sized TURD of bullshit past Zack, lest I end up eating it, and my kids are the same damn way.

I’m Jean Claude Van DAMN telling you, people. Watch out for those quiet ones that don’t have much to say! When they finally do decide to engage with you in a conversation, they’ll drop a smart bomb on ya the size of the Atlantic Ocean that you’ll never see coming and won’t even have to say the words “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” to make SHUT YOU THE FUCK UP and walk away in shame! Just thought I’d share!

NOVEMBER 12, 2021: “Like I Am” …

“The Cheeseburger & Tears Text”

At this point in my life, I have become a staunch proponent of leaving the past in the past, because looking in the rearview mirror can do much more harm than good if you haven’t reached that threshold yet where even beautiful memories can level you. That being said, I am also wise enough to know that sometimes you really do have to look backwards in order to keep moving forward. Not only is studying the past the best way to either repeat or not repeat certain cycles, mistakes, triumphs and even people, it can also be where the most authentic looks at ourselves can be found.

For example, the famous “Cheeseburger & Tears” text between Christian and Zack from November 12, 1996, that I recently saw on his phone again. Trust me when I tell you that everything in my soul wanted to burst into tears when I saw it, but then something prolific just washed right over my heart and stopped the tears that were filling my eyes literally dead in their tracks. It was a poignant look at myself through another person’s eyes and words:

I have my own major flaws that your mom doesn’t talk about because she always thinks the best of everyone.

Indeed, it’s true. I really do always think the best of everyone. Well, at least I try to that is. It’s both a major character flaw and a major character perk, depending on “what” or who is on the receiving end of my seemingly bottomless pit of forgiveness. Even now with my boundaries as firmly BOUND and in place as possible, my heart is as ever more marshmallow than steel. I mean, don’t get me wrong, a fortress I truly am, especially when it comes to “peopling“, and as a living queen, I accept nothing less than everything.

At the end of the day, though, as I was sitting with Zack’s phone in my hand trying to decide whether to cry or smile, it was the latter of the two that won the prize. This “Cheeseburger & Tears” text reminded me once again of not just who I am, but that I was truly and unconditionally loved just like I am, which as we all know is one of the many reasons I’m still sitting here at all with the insurmountable and unconditional love I now have for myself.

Inasmuch as I’ve come to adore Rascal Flatts over the years, of course they were the background music for our many road trip adventures. With that, I cannot tell you how many times this song must have cued up, at which point we’d always lock hands (if they weren’t already locked) and I’d get the “three squeeze I love you“. So, today as I’m listening to it, I’m tweaking the words and singing it to him out loud:

Lying here without you, I know you watch me sleep. The dawn is closing in with every breath I breathe. I can feel the change – the change you made in me. And now I truly see all the things you saw in me. When you said that I was one of a kind. Baby, I couldn’t see it, but you believed that I’m so strong and true. I promise you – I’ll always be this kind of girl, because loved me like I am.

Okay, and just for the record, NOW I’m actually crying my eyes out. Good grief. It’s okay. They’re happy tears, not sad ones. Well, maybe just a little sad. Okay, I’m done.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021: “Sorry For Now” …

My Dearest Butterfly:

Today is our anniversary, and I’m watching the wings cut through the clouds. Watching the raindrops blinking red and white. Thinking, “are you back on the ground there with a fire burning in your eyes?” I only halfway apologize. And I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. There will be a day that you will understand. You will understand. After a while you may forget, but just in case the memories cross your mind. You couldn’t know this when I left under the fire angry eyes. I never wanted to say goodbye. So I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that I couldn’t be around. There will be a day that you will understand. You will understand. Yeah, I’ll keep telling Him to pump the bass up. I’ll try to call home when everyone is wide awake. Wish I could switch the time zones – so we can pick the bass up. But you’re passed out by every time I am awake. Best things come to those who wait and it’s time to get pumped on any road you take. Don’t ever have a problem – make no mistake. I can’t wait to for you to come to where I had to go away.

My Dearest Frog:

I’m watching the wings cut through the clouds. Watching the raindrops blinking red and white. Thinking, “are you up there with a fire burning in your eyes?” I only halfway apologize. And I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. I want you to know that I already understand. I already understand. After a while I’ll WON’T forget, but just in case the memories cross my mind. You couldn’t know this when you left under the fire of everyone’s very angry eyes. I never wanted you to have to say goodbye. So I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. Sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned. Oh I’ll be sorry for now that you couldn’t be around. There will be a day that they will understand. They will understand. Yeah, keep telling Him to pump the bass up. We always try to reach you where you already are. Switch your time zones – so we can pick the bass up. I just passed out by the time you wake up. Best things come to those who wait, and I promise I’ll be pumped on any road I take. Don’t ever have a problem – make no mistake. I can’t wait to go to where you went away.

I want you to know that I really do promise to be everything I loved most about you, and all the very best things you brought out in me. In between our first hello and our last goodbye was so much love it was unfathomable. You were ours, and only ever ours – and we belonged to YOU! For those reasons, and too many more to count, you will remain the last reigning king of my heart even despite the sickened darkness your demons brought into our lives. I love you Zachariah. Happy Anniversary.

OCTOBER 31, 2021: “… of Blood, Tears, Power & Grace” …

A wise man once said that a wise man once said:

You know, I’ve been asked a couple times why I always write “power and grace” and “love and respect” … It takes two things to make it in this world: Power and grace. Being powerful enough to project and to be assertive and stand for what you stand for, but have it be graceful at the same time, and having gratitude for those that, you know, come in contact with you, and so on and so forth. Love and respect, he said, was the second half of that, because to have power, you have to show those two things ~ love and respect. To have grace, you have to own both of those things ~ love and respect.

{Ivan Moody}

I think I’ve always known that I was the epitome of “Power & Grace“, it just took me a hot minute to figure it out. I’ve never been a fan of being defined by other peoples’ reflections, because God Himself knows that for far too long it was all the words, labels, and black and white BOXES people who never really knew me used to mangle and clip my wings. Thankfully, however, now that I’ve grown into my beautiful skin, I no longer give credence to anyone else’s reflection of me but my own. Yet, as I sit and ponder the magnitude of these two most powerful words, I fall back to these words from one of my favorite songs that I’ve now tweaked to apply and sing to myself the way that I always do:

It was all those days my world’s gone wrong. I’ve screamed until my voice was gone and watched through the tears as everything came crashing down. Slowly panic turned to pain as I awoke to what remained and sifted through the ashes that were left. But buried deep beneath all my broken dreams, I had this hope that out of these ashes beauty would rise and I would dance among the ruins and I would know the joy had come.

I took another breath until now and let the tears come washing down, and when I couldn’t believe, He believed for me and had the signs of spring for me to watch and see! Then I heard it in the distance! It wasn’t too far away! It was the music and the laughter of a wedding and a feast! I could almost feel the hand of God reaching for my face to wipe the tears away and say, “It’s time to make everything new”, and then He made it all new and took my breath away with the power, grace, and beauty that He made of me from out of the ashes.

{“Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman}

I am truly thankful to see myself through this person’s words, as he’s someone I’ve obviously grown to love and respect for reasons that most people simply wouldn’t understand. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … he really doesput the phoenix in phoenix“. I mean, the man literally came back from the dead! He, like me, has been “woven in a black and white tapestry sewn with blood and tears”, and I will treasure both this book and his words to me forever.

As and aside, I am thoroughly enjoying “Dirty Poetry” and have been through it cover to cover seven times now. Just as I’d long suspected they’d be, having listened to the messages in his music and heard him speak to his fans, his words are a rabbit hole of his twisted thoughts and dreams. To me, he’s a modern day Kafka, who up until now was the only writer with whom I could truly relate. I’m not gonna lie, I never really thought that anyone could out-Kafkaesque the “Die Verwandlung” creeping through my mind, but damn he’s gone and done it! There are so many pieces of not just me living inside the pages of this book, but as well the pieces of the very few people I’ve truly loved in this world, not the least of which was my husband.

OCTOBER 20, 2021: “The Bucket List Item I Never Knew I Needed” …

Yesterday afternoon, one of my “life partners” of sorts, who has now become a dear friend, called me up and basically insisted that I “find myself a cocktail dress, slap on some make up, and get to downtown Dallas” for a once in a lifetime chance to see an actual living masterpiece, Andrea Bocelli. As I had adamantly planned not to see any post pandemic concerts until it could be Ivan Moody and Five Finger Death Punch, I almost backed out after I’d already agreed to go, because I didn’t want to break the deal I’d made with myself to hold out for Death Punch with both the kids so that hopefully they’d finally get to hear “The Brighter Side Of Grey” live on stage.

In being honest, even as much as I love all genres of music, opera has never really been my thing – but – it was Zack’s, and seeing Bocelli in concert had long been on his Bucket List before he left. Knowing him the way that I did, if he were still alive, we’d have had front row center seats at any cost, because that’s how much he loved Andrea Bocelli. Meanwhile, I did decide to go after all – not for me but more so to honor one of his dreams. I’M SO GLAD I DIDN’T BAIL!

I cried most of the night, all but lost it at Amazing Grace, and I’ll never be the same again after this night. Of note, when Andrea and his daughter sang Ave Maria, my friend turned me and said, “Cat, Zack is here right now. Can’t explain it. I just know it and feel it in my soul. I believe in my heart of hearts that she was right.

Let’s face it – not many people will ever have the chance to see a true “living masterpiece” in concert, and I am firmly convinced that I was very much supposed to be at that performance. Hearing Andrea Bocelli tonight was no different to me than if I had been given the chance to sit down beside Leonardo DaVinci while he was giving birth to the Mona Lisa.

Once again, I am blessed beyond words, thankful beyond thankfulness, and forever changed for the better. How could I have possibly known that within the course of less than 36 hours I’d be adding then scratching off an item from my own Bucket List that I never even knew was meant to be on it? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I truly am God’s own favorite daughter and the luckiest queen on the face of this entire planet.

OCTOBER 5, 2021: “The Freedom” …

And yet another bittersweet “October 5th” is here. His birthday. At first, I was at a loss for what to write about this morning, but after having drafted another “Quora Answer” that I wasn’t sure when I wanted to post, it struck me that TODAY was the day …

What Does “True Freedom” Mean To You?

To me, true freedom is having made peace with not only his death, but death in general, because most assuredly I say to you: DEATH HAPPENS! No one’s getting out of here alive, and as hard as it is to live on this Earth without our loved ones who have moved on, being able to release them from the mortal shackles they wore (and yes, we ALL wear mortal shackles) is, perhaps, one of the kindest, bravest, and selfless things we can do, not only ourselves, but their dearly departed souls. When a person has reached a point in their life where they no longer suffer through the experience of death, living in the moment becomes second nature, because they live in constant awareness that “the present” is all that really matters.

True freedom is having arrived at place where your happiness and self-worth aren’t derived solely from achieving every pleasure, dream, or wish you’ve ever had, or having every “thing” you thought you needed. It’s closing your eyes at night then waking up the next morning with total clarity and peace in your heart, not always “needing more”, and fully capable of living in each moment as it is.

True freedom is understanding that some things just aren’t meant to be understood, because they’re NOT, and that having blind faith in all the things we can’t know isn’t as scary it seems. Even if we’re wrong about the things we deaf, dumb, and BLINDLY believe, we’re still “halfway right”. As far as I’m concerned, “halfway right” is still a 50/50 odd, and I will gladly bet on it.

Last, but certainly not least, true FREEDOM is finally realizing that YOU are the only mortal person you can count on to survive this game with ’til the end, YOU are worthy of being your own best friend, biggest fan, and most loyal supporter, and YOU should be the greatest love story of your life! That’s when you’ve found your real home, by the way, and for the record, none of this “freedom”, or the peace of mind that comes with it, costs a single dime. Money is good to have, don’t get me wrong, but ZERO amounts of money can buy these freedoms for you. Only YOU can secure them for yourself.

I’m so thankful that I have achieved true freedom. I’ll close my eyes tonight knowing in my heart that I did the very best I could in everything I did, and that I’ve left no stone unturned. If I don’t wake up tomorrow? Imma be alright, ’cause I know what’s coming next and I’m not afraid. Now that I think of it? I think I’m starting to understand why I’m so fascinated by birds and anything with wings. Not only can they fly, but even more so than that, they always find the right place to call home. They’re beautiful, and free, and independent spirits, and anywhere they land can be their home. I guess in many ways I am like a bird. Sometimes I just watch them, because maybe I’m a little envious of all the ways they are free than I can only dream of. Then again, that’s probably how some people feel about me, so they watch me with envy, too, because I am free in all of the ways that they can only dream of. Maybe someday they will learn to just let go and GET HOME like me.

Happy Birthday and Godspeed Zachariah. Here’s hoping you are “Home” enjoying your eternal FREEDOM. I miss you, will always love you, and yes, you are still forgiven.

FREEDOM OF THE SEA

Standing on the shoreline, looking out to sea at oceans of Your hopes for me, just beyond my reach. I’ve been here on this island for way too many years, a prisoner of my comfort, a slave to my own fears. Doubt is saying, “got to stay”. Faith is saying, “sail away”! I know it’s safe here on the shore, but freedom is worth dying for. Liberation comes to those who hear the truth and sail with you. I’ll go where You are calling me. I’ll be what You meant me to be. I know the risk is real, but I wanna feel the freedom of the sea! With eyes to the horizon, mist against my face, I’ll leave behind this island in Your abounding grace. With Your word as my compass, I’ll chase my destiny. For I know the words of Your will can set my spirit free. Doubt is saying, “got to stay”, but I’m taking up the anchor! Faith is saying, “sail away”, and I’m heading for the deep! {Phillips, Craig & Dean}

OCTOBER 3, 2021: “A Very Special Message” …

So, I have a very special message for all of you from both the dearly departed and very much loved Chester Bennington, who, too, shared the same fate as my husband – AND – from God Himself. It’s pretty easy to decipher – so – here it goes …

When you feel you’re alone – cut off from this cruel world – your instincts telling you to run. Listen to your heart. Those angel voices. They’ll see you to you – they’ll be your guide back home. When life leaves us blind – LOVE KEEPS US KIND. It keeps us kind. When you suffered it all, and your spirit is breaking. You’re growing desperate from the fight – REMEMBER YOUR LOVED – and you always will be. This melody will always bring you right back home. When life leaves us blind – LOVE KEEPS US KIND. It keeps us kind.

{Chester Bennington … Linkin’ Park}

And now a message from ME. It’s also pretty easy to decipher – so – here it goes:

Chin Up!

Knuckles Out!

Don’t let all the darkness in this world snuff out your beautiful light and make you lose faith in the power of kindness and love.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021: “Isn’t That Crazy?” …

How often do you think about your death, or even death in general? Does it scare you? Consume you? Fill you with anguish and despair? That’s understandable, of course, but it’s not the way for me.

I can honestly say that I don’t spend much time thinking about death at all, and certainly not my own, because I have made the choice to just live in every moment. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Not even five minutes from now. For all I know, an airplane could come crashing through my window while I’m writing this and Jean Claude Van DAMN I’m outta here!

I have had to learn the very hard way that “Death Is Nothing At All“. Three nails, a crown, and a cross literally hammered that in for me. Sufficed to say, while I definitely do not fear it, I’m not exactly excited about it, because I still have so many things I want to do. But indeed, it’s inevitable, and I made peace with that a long time ago. If I don’t wake up tomorrow, and today was my last trip around the Sun, I leave here knowing I’ve done my best in every thing, and I’m ready, God forbid.

I have an unbreakable bond with the God I know created me and what is waiting for me on “The Brighter Side Of Grey“. So, I blatantly choose to live a life of joy, hope, and gratitude for all that was, all that is, and all that may never be. It’s that “Crazy Grandma Catblind faith theory of mine that keeps my eyes on the prize! I truly believe that one of the worst things that can become a human soul is not embracing the sobering reality that we, are going, TO DIE! Those of us who are lucky enough to finally reach this crossroad understand that we must always

… because guess what folks? WE ARE! Leave no stone unturned and waste no time worrying about the inevitable. There’s literally no time like the present to start squeezing every ounce of everything you were meant to savor in this temporary life. Now, I’m not trying to tell you that we should all jump up and down with joy, like, “Whoopee! I’m gonna kick it”! I’m saying that with a little faith, and a compass set to eternity, the best part of all of this is yet to come. As for me? I’ve been called “crazy” by so many people, for so many reasons, at so many points in my life, at this point I embrace it! Being called “crazy” for not being afraid to die? Yah. I’ll wear that little badge with honor!

CRAZY

Why I would I spend my life longing for the day that it would end? Why would I spend my time pointing to another man? Isn’t that crazy? How can I find hope in dying, with promises unseen? How can I learn Your way is better than everything I’m taught to be? Isn’t that crazy? I have not been called to the wisdom of this world, but to a God who’s calling out to me. And even though the world may think I’m losing touch with reality, it would be crazy to choose this world over eternity. And if I boast, let me boast of filthy rags made clean. And if I glory, let me glory in my Savior’s suffering. Isn’t that crazy? And as I live this daily life, I trust you for everything, and I will only take a step when I feel You leading me. Isn’t that crazy? {Mercy Me}

AUGUST 22, 2021: “Everywhere” …

Zachariah …

I don’t know exactly how to express what I am feeling right now, other than to just write these words of gratitude. Not a day goes by since you had to leave this place – two years ago this night – that we don’t see you, hear you, and feel you in every space we are, and I don’t think that will ever change. Even with all the things you broke, and the unspeakable ways you hurt us both in your literal insanity, I look around at “everywhere” and marvel at the life you left behind for us “from the ground up” from the broken pieces the people who were supposed to love you left you in.

It’s my truest prayer that you can still “see us” and you know we’re doing okay. No, better than okay. We’re not just QUEENS – we’re the ENIGMAS you loved back to lifeeven despite yourself. You’re in all our conversations, every one of our smiles, all the songs we sing, and the endless joy and laughter we embrace. The enormous light you left behind us has fully engulfed that last bit of your darkness, and now only “the brighter side” of your legacy lives on in every precious ounce of our grey.

It was an honor to call you ours, and only ever ours. It always was and always will be. Though you’re not physically “here” with us, you’re still everywhere, in everything, and I suppose that’s just the way it was supposed to be. You were one of our most beautiful seasons, but seasons must surely change. We love you. We miss you. We won’t ever forget you. We’ll just take you how we have you into the rest of our days on this Earth until we can see you again.

Today, we decided not to shed a tear. God knows we deserve better. Instead, we’re just leaving some of your ashes at the pier, then have Red Robin teriyaki burgers in your honor.

Us

AUGUST 11, 2021: “When Angels Fall” …

… and again with these Facebook “Memories” that either are or are not driving me insane!

“7 years ago” today …

… 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?

Little did I know what was lying in wait ahead of me just “5 years and 11 days later”.

If you’ve been following this Diary, you know that, yes, I have forgiven him for everything he did, which, PS, is more than anyone can fathom. As I’ve cryptically said before, and trust me when I reiterate, there is so much more that happened in his bat-shit fucking CRAZY psychosis than the world outside of our immediate family will ever know.

Short of that, NO, I still don’t think that suicide is selfish. You see, I too have been in that place and survived my own suicide attempt on November 8,1996. So, with that, I say this, and will hold steadfast to this thought eternally …

If you think that suicide is selfish, then you’ve obviously never been truly suicidal yourself. Even angels fall.

{Author Unknown}

WHEN ANGELS FALL

I tried try to face the fight within, but it’s over. I’m ready for the riot to begin and surrender. I walked the path that led me to the end. Remember. I’m caught beneath with nothing left to give forever. When angels fall with broken wings – I can’t give up, I can’t give in. When all is lost and daylight ends, I’ll carry you and we will live forever. Forever. Grey skies will chase the light away no longer. I fought the fight, now only dark remains. Forever. Divided I will stand, and I will let this end. When angels fall with broken wings – I can’t give up, I can’t give in. When all is lost and daylight ends, I’ll carry you and we will live forever. Forever. The Sun begins to rise and wash away the sky. The turning of the tide. Don’t leave it all behind! And I will never say goodbye – when angels fall. {Breaking Benjamin}

AUGUST 6, 2021: “The Tale Of Two Every Day Memories” …

On “THIS day” ten years ago, she’d been throwing up the entire night before, and I was completely exhausted. So, he’d cancelled all his PT clients to stay home and help me out, because I could barely function. I’d left them in the living room of our tiny ass little apartment watching “Dora The Explorer” and doing puzzles while I went to take a quick nap. The picture is what I awoke to.

Fast forward to “THIS day” seven years ago. He was hard core rocking that real estate license of his, determined to turn me into a QUEEN and her into a princess.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I was, and will always be, THE luckiest woman on this planet that he really was “MINE ALL MINE”, and only ever MINE (and hers) “Every Day” that he was ours. I can only smile now and thank God profusely that I got to be his wife.

He could’ve bowed out gracefully, but he didn’t. He knew enough to know to leave well enough alone, but he wouldn’t.

{“Every Day” ~ Rascal Flatts}

He could have picked anyone, but he picked me. That’s really saying something people – because I was kind of a handful. Actually? I still am, and I wouldn’t have me any other way!

JULY 31, 2021: “Padded Rooms” …

Indeed it’s true – I really DID survive my own insanity, and one of THE most stigmatic, complicated, and difficult to treat mental illnesses in the book. (Yes, there is an actual book.) Other than my faith, my children, and knowing FULLY what my purpose in this life is, my “insanity survival” is one of my most treasured badges of honor!

Hi everyone! It’s me, Cat! Once upon a time, I lost my own damn mind – LITERALLY – not figuratively – and here I am to effing brag about it! How do ya like me now?

If you are struggling with “insanity” right now, please let me assure you:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Take a look around. Look left. Look right. Chances are that one of those “normal” people standing right beside you may be struggling with some insanity of their own. Mental illness doesn’t always LOOK like insanity. So often, it just hides behind a “Look how normal I am everyone!” smile. Don’t be ashamed – GET HELP! There is a Light at the end of your Darkness.

Much love to you all …

“Crazy Cat”

JULY 29, 2021: “He Will Be Remembered” …

This is probably one of my FAVORITE “1 Year Ago” memories so far!


Mom, is it okay if I wear one of Dad’s shirts”?


I’m not quite sure if any sentence in the history of my life has ever impacted me as much as this one. As I’ve mentioned before, there are less than two handfuls of people who know what Gia really went through with Zack’s suicide and preceding insanity. The mere fact that she has been able to make peace with not only his death, but the actual demon that was living in his mind that hurt us both beyond fathom in the end is literally mind-numbing. At this point in the process, she has forgiven him for everything, talks about him incessantly, and still correlates him to every best part of her life and childhood.

My “Mona Lisa” is an enigma, and everything I aspire to be when I grow up. I am SUCH a lucky woman to have been chosen to be her mother, and I just cannot say it enough.

JULY 26, 2021: “The Divine Apostrophe” …

She had come to believe that the dark days of the past made her impossibly strong. It was years before she realized she was wrong. She was forged from steel at the onset of His design. “Strong” is what she was.Light” is who she’d be. The darkness merely forced her to prove it.

As she was pulled towards her destiny with a blind faith that swathed her in grace, her “should have been” broken soul remained unbroken. She never stopped believing in God and love, and refused to be a jaded victim. She was the girl who smiled when it rained, danced as her life unraveled, and rejected the devil’s lie that life was not worth living. Then, right on cue, the vividly colored palette she’d been handed by The Master began morphing into the grey that infused her canvas.

She would have to rewrite her fairytale an infinite number of times, but never once did she cower at the thought of starting over. Deep in her heart she believed that she was only ever sent here to master the art of diving deep into her own soul and embracing the love and magic that had been waiting to meet her there all along. She’d somehow always known that every ending was just a beginning and that even the most beautiful seasons had to change.

Each time the devil tried to steal the crown from her head, she’d adapt, survive, and emerge from her cocoon the ungroundable Phoenix that she was. Indeed she was a creation of Light that simply could not be dimmed. God’s very favorite daughter and divinely appointed apostrophe ….

I’m an apostrophe. I’m just a symbol to remind you that there’s more to see. I’m just a product of the system. A catastrophe, and yet a masterpiece, and yet I’m half diseased. And when I am deceased, at least I’ll go down to the grave and die happily. Leave the body and my soul to be a part of thee. I’ll do what it takes.

{“Whatever It Takes” … Imagine Dragons}

“She” is me!

“She” can be YOU!

If you are stumbling in a darkness of your own, please let me to encourage you … PICK UP THE CROWN THAT ALL THE WORLD KICKED OFF YOUR HEAD AND PUT IT RIGHT BACK WHERE IT BELONGS! Not just for you, but for the others who are standing beside you.

And remember this, too

Even as you read this, your name is being mentioned in rooms behind closed doors you haven’t even walked through yet in plans that are being drawn up especially for you!

As for me? Just like all the stars in the sky that punctuate this world with their halo, I will continue to beam through the infinite abyss that would love nothing better than to swallow me alive, and keep reminding myself that my soul is ablaze with the mysterious and illustrious things that dying eyes desperately need to see to help them find their way back home.

We’re ALL created from perfection!

We’re ALL divinely inspired!

We’re ALL a product of the Light that the darkness wants to extinguish!

MARCH 30, 2021: “Because Hope Is A Good Thing” …

The Shawshank Redemption was Zack’s favorite movie of all times. To him, it screamed “hope” in every circumstance, and despite the obviously tragic ending, trust me when I tell you that he tried not to literally lose his mind and fall apart the way he did. Ironically, we watched it together for probably the twentieth time the weekend before he died and he cried the whole way through it. Looking back, I know in my heart that as he was watching it for the very last time he knew he wasn’t going to be able to hang on much longer and all that all the “hope” he tried so hard to find in doing so was fast coming to a screeching halt. We’d talked incessantly about what he was feeling in his heart and mind, and towards the end he just kept saying it felt like he was trapped inside a prison. Five nights later, he was gone.

In here is where it makes the most sense … you need it so you don’t forget … that there are places in the world that aren’t made out of stone … that there’s something inside that they can’t get to … they can’t touch … it’s yours … hope.”

Having done a little investigating, I was able to have a conversation with one of the first responders at the scene the morning of August 23rd, and he was kind enough to answer some of questions I needed answers to. He said that when they found him, the car was still running, and there was opera music playing inside so loud that they could hear it through the windows. I JUST KNOW THAT WHAT HE WAS LISTENING TO AT THE END WAS HIS FAVORITE MUSICIAL MASTERPIECE OF ALL – Mozart’s “The Marriage Of Figaro” – the one from his favorite scene in the movie …

Here’s the thing …

There are so many questions I will never have answers to, and even more things I will never understand. Only God and Zack know what was going through his mind while he was alone in that car those last dark hours, minutes, and seconds. Even if it’s true that I will see him again in another place and time, and even if I do get to meet God one day, there is still no assurance that ponderings such as these will be part of the conversations to be had, much less will I even know that I pondered them at all. In “the opera scene”, Red said …

I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. I like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.

Likewise, I have no idea what Zack was really thinking about or “listening to” in the very last seconds of his life, but I’d like to think …

He was thinking about something so beautiful it just couldn’t be expressed in words, despite how his heart was aching, and it was the Light at the end of the very dark tunnel that had been his life on Earth that WAS the last bit of “hope” he was clinging to.

As par for our course, there are some things He will reveal to me only if and when I am ready to hear them, and so many other things that aren’t meant for me to understand at all. Guess what? THAT’S OKAY! I have the truly blind faith in my mind’s eye to guide me as I’m crossing over and that is all the “hope” I’ll ever need. Indeed it’s a VERY good thing!

MARCH 25, 2021: “86,400” …

So, Cat, how’d that whole “family dinner” project turn out?

SUCCESS!

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

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

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

“Hurt people” HURT people.

“Healed people” HEAL people!

While no one really knows what the end game here really is, I’m pretty dam sure that FORGIVENESS is the answer to the greatest cosmic mystery of all: “WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE?” You will never understand how much NONE OF US really deserves to be forgiven for ANY of the shit we manage to do until you’ve had to learn about it the way I have. I am here to tell you it’s EVERYTHING! Besides, as I’ve said before and will now say again, it’s not time that heals our wounds, its what we do with that time that heals our wounds. Learning how to forgive not just ourselves, but others as well for the crime of being human, is not only the most healing medicine of all, but also one of the purest forms of self-love and care.

Wherever you are on this globe right now, take a good look around at everything you see. IT COULD ALL BE GONE TOMORROW! Choose your battles well, and spend those seconds wisely, so that if you must leave tomorrow, you’ll leave in “PEACE” … not “PIECES”!

MARCH 15, 2021: “I’m Free” …

Thank you so much to anyone who ever takes the time out of their life to watch my videos or reads this Diary. I know that I am a little “too much” of everything, and my open, raw, transparent vulnerability is NOT for the faint of heart. So be it, and I totally understand. There’s an ass for every seat, so if you don’t like what I have to say, just swipe past me. It’s all good. In the meantime, I really AM trying so hard to be a Light in all this “dark”, and every day I’m a work in my progress. I’m still not sure exactly where my journey is going to take me, and more so than that, whether there even IS a “final destination”. Knowing there is an “end” in sight would make my journey static, boring, and “why bother”, if that makes sense. I’m thinking my journey IS “the destination”, and was, therefore, never meant to be ended with a “period”, ONLY ever a “semi-colon”, because my story is never going to be over! Even when I’m gone, if I’ve played my cards well, the pebbles that I’ve dropped into the ocean that is my life will live through my children and any other lives my story touches.

This weekend has been another important “destination” in my journey, as I have finally put some much needed closure out into the Cosmos with a blog post to the father I’ve been warring with in silence for YEARS. It was something that should have happened a LONG time ago, lest I be the world biggest living hypocrite with my “Only Light Can Kill The Darkness” platform, yet not forgiving the “HURT people” who have hurt ME. This morning I feel lighter than I have in as long as I can remember, regardless of the fact that knowing my father the way I do, there is a fair enough chance that he will neither read my words OR accept them. But I said them, nonetheless, because it was the right thing for me to do.

Dad, if you ever see this …

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Cathy

FREE

The sun was beating down inside the walls of stone and razor wire as we made our way across the prison yard. I felt my heart begin to race as we drew nearer to the place where they say that death is waiting in the dark. The slamming doors of iron echoed through the halls where despair holds life within its cruel claws. But then I met a man whose face seemed so strangely out of place. A blinding light of hope was shining in his eyes. And with repentance in his voice, he told me of his tragic choice that led him to this place where he must pay the price. But then his voice grew strong as he began to tell about The One he said had rescued him from Hell. He said I’m free, yeah, oh, I have been forgiven. God’s love has taken off my chains and given me these wings. And I am free, yeah, yeah, and the freedom I’ve been given is something that not even death can take away from me. Because I’m free. Jesus set me free. We said a prayer and said good-bye, and tears began to fill my eyes as I stepped back out into the blinding sun. And even as I drove away, I found that I could not escape the way he spoke of what the grace of God had done. I thought about how sin had sentenced us to die, and how God gave His only Son so you and I could say “I’m free, yeah, oh, I have been forgiven. God’s love has taken off my chains and given me these wings. {Steven Curtis Chapman}

MARCH 11, 2021: “My Grey-Aversary” …

On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon exactly one year ago today, “the music wheel of destiny” stopped my world, and my heart, and sent me straight into the breakdown lane of one of the busiest highways in Dallas so that I could literally “cry my eyes out”. It was as if Zack were singing this beautifully haunting melody to me, my daughter, and my son in a message from “The Brighter Side Of Grey“, where in our hearts we know he finally is. If you haven’t ever heard this song, I cannot urge you enough to listen to it, especially if you are at odds with yourself over the legacy you are going to be leaving behind for your own children and loved ones.

Today I celebrate!

TODAY I’M THANKFUL!

Today I’ll stay grey, just like the sky in Dallas as I write this, because if I’ve learned anything in my “fifty-ONE-derful” years of life, it’s that life really ISN’T a game, it’s a song, and I fully intend to enjoy every single chord until I reach The Brighter Side of every fucked up, twisted moment of my absurd and beautiful life.

Since COVID crashed our concert last year, Gia still hasn’t read the letter Zack wrote before he left. She knows this song exists but isn’t allowed to listen to it until she can first hear Ivan singing it live on stage. That will be the night I finally let her read the words he wrote to her “in case he was gone tomorrow”. PLEASE listen to this song, my friends. It may just change the trajectory of your own legacy and how you look at “grey” forever.

MARCH 8, 2021: “The Fortress Behind These Walls” …

A dear friend of mine posted this today on his social media and it really hit me hard:

The inability to receive support from others is a trauma response. Your “I don’t need anyone, I’ll just do it all myself” conditioning is a survival tactic. You needed it to shield your heart from the abuse, neglect, betrayal, and disappointment from those who could not or would not be there for you. From the parent who was absent and abandoned you by choice. From the parent who was never home from working three jobs to feed and house you. From the lovers who offered sexual intimacy but never offered a safe haven that honored your heart. From the friendships and family who ALWAYS took more than they ever gave. From all the situations when someone told you “we’re in this together” or “I got you” then abandoned you, leaving you to pick up the pieces when shit got real. Leaving you to handle your part and their part, too. From all the lies and all the betrayals. You learned along the way that you just couldn’t really trust people. Or that you could trust people, but only up to a certain point. EXTREME INDEPENDENCE IS A TRUST ISSUE! You learned: “If I don’t put myself in a situation where I rely on someone, I won’t have to be disappointed when they don’t show up for me – OR – “when they drop the ball … because they will ALWAYS drop the ball EVENTUALLY, right?” You may even have been intentionally taught this protection strategy by generations of hurt ancestors who came before you. EXTREME INDEPENDENCE IS A PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST HEARTBREAK! So, you don’t trust ANYONE. And you don’t trust YOURSELF either. ESPECIALLY to choose people. To trust is to hope. To trust is to be vulnerable. “Never again,” you vow. But no matter how you dress it up and display it proudly to make it seem like this level of independence is what you always wanted to be … in truth it’s your wounded, scarred, broken heart behind a protective brick wall. Impenetrable. Nothing gets in. No hurt gets in. But no love gets in either. Fortresses and armor are for those in battle, or who believe the battle is coming. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗮 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲! The good news is trauma that is acknowledged is trauma that can be healed.

{Talon Harris with credit to “Inspired Jamila”}

Yes, I’m a queen. Yes, I’m healed, risen, and SOARING after a lifetime of hiding behind “walls”. Yes, I’m thankful for EVERY thing, person, and situation that broke me, because I wouldn’t have had anything to “ascend from” had I not come from all these ashes. I would never have known how to recognize OR receive true, unconditional love, grace, acceptance and kindness from the very few people who have ever offered it to me.

But here’s why his post upset me

“The fortress” in this post? He was my husband! He’s still my son! She was my daughter! SHE WAS ME! “A fortress” is what so many kids are becoming, even as I write this, and I’m sickened to say that because there are certain parenting and lifestyle choice boundaries that are just not okay to cross, I have to sit silently and helplessly as so many parents I know literally decimate their beautiful children right in front of my eyes!

SELFISH, TOXIC, ABUSIVE PARENTS:

In the meantime, I’ll just keep PRAYING that someday I don’t “get that call” that a child I once knew and loved swallowed a bullet because their selfish, awful, miserable excuse for a parent “deserved the life they deserved” and now I have to show up at their funeral. But mostly, I’ll be praying that somehow, they’ll rise above their “life behind fortress walls” and be able to stand in front of a mirror one day and say …

WAKE THE FUCK UP AND GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! Get your kids out of those toxic environments! Protect them! Cherish them! Validate them! Hear them! Consider them FIRST in every single decision you make! Worse yet, stop letting the people who hurt YOU continue to hurt your children! IT’S GROSS! By failing to heal yourself and find a way to have healthy relationships after ones that have broken you apart, you only perpetuate that cycle of “victimized brokenness” by handing it down to your innocently jaded children! I mean, c’mon now, “mom or dad” … do you really want to be one of those parents whose children only ever come to visit you when they absolutely HAVE to because although they do still actually love you, they had to make the decision to love you from a distance because THEY have to protect themselves from YOU?

“I AM WORTHY of having support. I AM WORTHY of having true partnership. I AM WORTHY of love. I AM WORTHY of having my heart held. I AM WORTHY to be adored. I AM WORTHY to be cherished. I AM WORTHY to have someone say, “You rest – I got this”, and actually fucking deliver on that promise. I don’t have to earn it! I don’t have to prove it! I don’t have to bargain for it! I don’t have to beg for it! I AM WORTHY!”

FEBRUARY 16, 2021: “The True Colors Of Us” …

Tonight I watched an episode of “This Is Us” that took me all the way down to the ground again, then all the way back up, within a very short emotional roller course of less than sixty minutes. Not only was it one of our favorite shows to watch together, but for so many reasons that are far too complicated to explain, just as so many other people who have watched this series, we were both connected to several of it’s characters in so many different ways. This scene though? IT SUCKER PUNCHED ME in every best and worst way possible, but it really had me at …

They don’t wanna hang out with us anymore. It’s moving really fast. … We only have a few more years together under the same roof … a few more years where we get to be a part of their daily lives. And then what? They’re gonna move out.

And therein lied the problem, that again is far too complicated for me to explain, but sufficed to say that the mere thought of “losing” Gia permanently is what really started pushing him over the edge.

As you may know, long before August 22, 2019 when Zack turned our world upside down with the most egregious exit possible, Gia had been on a downward descent of her own for several years. Someday I will revisit in greater detail that sobering night in November 2018 when during a random a spot check of her phone after she’d gone to sleep, Zack walked into our room with a look of doom, dread, fear and panic on his face like nothing I’d ever seen. He’d found that she had searched “I don’t want to live anymore” and “I think I want to kill myself”. Our world came to a frozen halt.

{“Fight On Fighter“}

Zack had always said he didn’t think he could survive losing either one of us after having been abandoned by not just his mother, but virtually everyone he’d ever loved in his life. I suppose I never realized that he really meant what he was saying when we’d had those many conversations.

But now let’s back up to yet another “moment on a screen” that we’d shared together as a family just a few years earlier and how this song from that moment ties in to this Diary entry. The movie was Trolls, which was one of Zack’s absolute favorites, and it was the water-color handprint picture hanging on the cabin wall that set the whole tone for the “This Is Us” scene that immediately brought me back to the day that we saw Trolls. If you’ve ever seen it, you know that it ends with this song, and just as probably so many other families who watched it together have, the three of us just sat there hand in hand and sobbing as it played. All I could think of was my seemingly impermeable “tower of strength” husband being reduced to rivers of tears at a children’s movie. I saw his true colors, shining through. I saw his true colors, and that’s why I loved him.

TRUE COLORS

You with the sad eyes – don’t be discouraged. Oh I realize it’s hard to take courage. In a world full of people you can lose sight of it all. The darkness inside you can make you feel so small. Show me a smile, then don’t don’t be unhappy. Can’t remember when I last saw you laughing. This world makes you crazy, and you’ve taken all you can bear. Just call me up ’cause I will always be there. And I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors, and that’s why I love you. So don’t be afraid to let them show. Your true colors – true colors – are beautiful. I see your true colors shining through! I see your true colors, and that’s why I love you. So don’t be afraid to let them show. Your true colors – true colors are beautiful – like a rainbow! Oh! I can’t remember when I last saw you laughing. This world makes you crazy, and you’ve taken all you can bear. Just call me up, ’cause I will always be there. And I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors, and that’s why I love you. So don’t be afraid to let them show. Your true colors – true colors – are beautiful – like a rainbow. {Justin Timberlake & Anna Kendrick}

FEBRUARY 12, 2021: “Do You Need Help?” …

HELP!

I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. Did someone turn the lights out, or is it just another dark cloud in my head? ‘Cause I’m cut deep. My heart won’t beat. Deep down low it’s killing me. If I wanna scratch out yesterday, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! ‘Cause I’m drowning in myself. It’s sinking in. I can’t pretend that I ain’t been through hell. I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. They’re preying on my weakness. Believe it. I’m thinking to myself: “No, not again!”, and I won’t keep listening when temptation’s creeping in. If I wanna make it another day, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! {Papa Roach}

FEBRUARY 6, 2021: “The Frog Prince” …

… that moment she walks in the kitchen and says …

Awe, look Mom! It’s Dad standing guard at the little cottage in the woods he made damn good and sure you’re gonna have until you can finally get there!

… and you want to cry, but instead you can only smile, because DAMN she’s the strongest, wisest, most gracious human being you’ve EVER met … and (PS) …

YOU MADE HER!

If only you really knew why it means so much that she still calls him “Dad” … well … then you’d really know why it it means so much that she still calls him “Dad”. I’m sure you must be tired of me saying it, and I’m sorry I’m not sorry that I always do … but … I really am the MOST blessed queen in the history of the world.

JANUARY 17, 2021: “Dear God” …

DEAR GOD, IN ACTUAL HEAVEN:

I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you. Like, as in, from the deepest places of my infinitely grateful heart … THANK YOU! Thank you for all these beautiful memories tucked safely in the most sacred places off my mind, the overwhelming magnitude of which eclipse even the darkest hours I’ve walked through here on Earth.

For instance, THANK YOU for this epic rant from two years ago this day that has now become one of my go-to picker uppers on those rare occasions that I’m feeling down. It makes me smile, AND remember, that I really WAS married to a KING and I truly AM the luckiest woman on this Earth. To know him was to love him, and yes I still do, and I always will, until I see him again with YOU!

So, THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU FOR HIM, and that he was OURS, and only ever ours, and for the bittersweet consolation in knowing that the foolish “family” that threw him away missed out on knowing one of THE brightest souls in any room and one of THE best men, husbands and fathers this world has ever known. Her “Zack of shit” was one of our truest treasures, and yes I take extremely twisted pleasure in knowing full well that despite the lies they must surely tell themselves as they look inside their empty mirrors, only WE got the privilege and honor of truly knowing the wonder of everything that was “him”.

Likewise, THANK YOU for this equally epic memory from three years ago this day. You know, the one where I found that ever-loving blanket I snuck onto her bed folded neatly on my desk with this ‘lil nugget of sarcastic wit that could only be served by one of my favorite phoenixes of all …

Yes indeed, I’m a truly blessed queen that I should have this abundance of treasure to propel me forward, never backward, and keep this torch I carry into Your eternity burning as bright as bright can be! I love my life. Every single minute of it – the good, the bad, and even the very ugly.

THANK YOU.

With as much love and adoration as could possibly be put into words from one of your favorite brats of all …

ME.

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

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

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

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

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

IT’S NOT ME.

IT’S HIM!

He’s the one who has graced me with grace and forgiveness, and His grace and forgiveness for the endless amounts of bullshit I’ve engaged in over the years is what I owe to others. Now, does that mean I’ll tolerate bad behavior towards me or mine? NOPE! Those days are gone for good! My boundaries are beyond firm at this point and there is absolutely no going backwards. This is how we choose to remember him … by taking only the pure joy and treasure he brought to all our lives in the years we “got” to have him.

One of the philosophical principals I adhere to the most is that of the famously paradoxical Heraclitus:

A man’s character is his fate.

That being the case, I certainly hope that there were as many good and admirable things about my own character as there were with Zack’s that when my time comes, my own legacy is as none the worse for the wear despite the many wrongs that I’ve done as his is. Indeed, in his INSANITY the man really fucked some things up before he left us, but guess what people? As for me and mine, we are mindfully and willfully choosing to carry only the very best parts of his character with us moving forward and just leaving out all the rest.

LEAVE OUT ALL THE REST

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

DECEMBER 30, 2020: “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” …

Hello my friends from Nashville, Tennessee, USA! We are still here enjoying our holiday in the crisp, clean, cool mountain air! This morning, as I was enjoying my coffee and preparing for our road trip to Pigeon Forge this afternoon, for some reason I was just “thinking” about how excited I am to see all the holiday lights and sparkle and twinkle that surely await us this night. Then, my thoughts turned back to ME once again, and my kids, and my extraordinarily beautiful diamond of a life. I’m just so thankful for so many things that even with “all my words”, I was kind of outta words.

Then, I turned my head and saw him sitting there on my sister’s shelf, because never shall there be a trip near or far that he won’t be going with us. Why is that, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! It’s simply because after all is said and done, we owe so much of this “diamond life” to him … the fallen king who prepared this wide open path for us to move forward in whatever direction we choose.

Then, I smiled and remembered how much I love this song and how he used to laugh whenever I was singing it out loud and literally twirling through whatever space I occupied where he let me be whoever and whatever I wanted to be, hands down, no questions asked, unconditionally.

So, yah, this is my vibe today! I’m gonna rise and shine, as usual, and always, SO bright that it actually does hurt people to look at me. And by the way, this legacy he left us? It only looks forward and never behind (unless we’re remembering all the laughter and joy). ‘Cause I’m a queen, raising a princess and a king, and that’s what I do, and this is my legacy!

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

“128,000 RIPPLES AND COUNTING”

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

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

DECEMBER 11, 2020: “One Heart” …

… that moment you get a surprise in the mail from literally out of the blue from a dear friend of years, with not only a precious gift but these sweet words as well:

Watching your love story grow was beautiful. Watching how you honor your husband today is beautiful. Under the surface, I am sure you have experienced a roller coaster of emotion. But you carry on with such grace and strength. Even though I never had the privilege of meeting your husband, I hope this ornament can serve as a small piece to honor him at Christmas. May God bless and keep your family safe during this holiday season.

Of all the things that could possibly reduce me, of all people, “the Cat who never seems to shut up”, to speechless tears? A random act of kindness! And with that, I’m yet again reminded of how blessed I am. I too wish she could have met him. I wish all of you could have met him (the him he was before he got sick). He was a force to be reckoned with, the changer of my game, and the king of my heart. This ornament is so special to me that it will now adorn a lamp in my kitchen year-round. It will serve as a loving, daily reminder of not just him and every bittersweet and beautiful piece of this journey, but most importantly that in all things big and small, God is “turning and turning” this thing with the One Heart that brings hearts like hers close to mine!

ONE HEART

There’s a new church on the horizon, made of light, not of stone. Calling out to all Creation – you are not alone, no, no, no. Lions and lambs. Saints and sinners. Best of friends. Enemies. Woman and man. Losers and winners. They are all in you and me. We are one heart looking for answers. One soul finding our way in the dark. One dream we share together. We are all a part of one heart. Out in the cold, ooh, there are faces hidden by, the wind and rain. Hold out your hand – someone will take it. They’re gonna bring you home again. Around the Earth tonight the fires are burning. Tears are falling from the sky. Still the world keeps turning … turning and turning and turning. {Clay Crosse}

DECEMBER 8, 2020: “Hey, Younger You – RISE UP!” …

First of all, my sincere gratitude to the very talented young artist I’ve befriended over on my Instagram page, @metalhead_ryze, for collaborating with me on this project. I sent her the words for which I needed a backdrop late the night before last with a query: “I need a superhero looking silhouette with a cape to go with these words. Can you do that?” This picture you see is the final result and I couldn’t be happier with it!

In the meantime, please don’t forget for remember that “broken kids” aren’t always kids. Sometimes we’re adults. Treat yourself kindly, with patience, love and respect, and validate yourself in all things always! TELL THAT BROKEN KID HIDING BENEATH YOUR SKIN THAT THEY’RE TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME AND THEY DIDN’T DESERVE TO BE BROKEN!

“Reparenting.” IT’S EVERYTHING! The first day in your adult life that you’re able to show that broken kid you once were (or the kid you never got to be) some empathy, grace, unconditional love and compassion, will be the first day of the rest of your life. I PROMISE! I call “that day” my second birthday, and yes my friends, I remember exactly where I was when I began the reparenting of “younger me”. It was April 8, 2008, and it truly was the beginning of everything I’ve become!

Much love to all of you “broken adult kiddos” out there. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” Your cape will be waiting by the mirror! Find it. Accept it. Embrace it. WEAR IT! Let it adorn your “sick of being tired” shoulders and RISE YOU UP to who you’re waiting to become … your very own superhero … YOU!

DECEMBER 6, 2020: “The Great Adventure” …

Can I get an amen AND a witness?

A friend of mine posted this today, and I absolutely LOVED and shared it. In fact, it was one of my most “liked” photos on Instagram thus far, which I believe is telling. A well-stamped passport and an abundance of travel memories (at home AND abroad) as a child is the number one key to destroying hatred, bigotry, racism, and xenophobia as an adult! We gotta keep their horizons BROAD so their minds can stay WIDE OPEN!

As I’ve said before, of all the many legacies the king left behind, perhaps the most treasured are our many “adventures”. Although he didn’t know it when we met, because the life he’d lived before us was mostly solitaire and uneventful, Williamson was a natural born adventurer at heart. It wasn’t long after our first trip together that he developed the same steadfast passion for travel that I’ve always had. There were so many nights he’d sit endlessly researching all the places he wanted to take us … and even more so, the places he wanted to take Gia. Once he’d decided that he was going to be the first one to take her to Europe? IT WAS ALL UPHILL FROM THERE! He had it firm in his mind that we would put one stamp in her Passport each year she of high school and college if possible, which for the record, is just one of the promises he made that I fully intend to keep!

Sadly, I can count on less than one hand all the places my ex-husband took me and the kids, and in fact, since the day she was born he has taken Gia NOWHERE! Not one place … not one time … ZERO “adventures” have they had. Traveling was just never his thing I suppose. Well, correction … “traveling with us” that is. He is more than par to the task, but only if it suits him, and according to “who” the priority is at any given time. I have it on good record that in over the years he has done his own fair share of traveling, but again, just not with our kids. Perhaps one of the most heart-breaking conversations I’ve ever had in my life was several years ago when I was sitting with Christian and his girlfriend at the time going through all his childhood scrapbooks.

Mom, why isn’t dad in any of these pictures?

He was right. His dad wasn’t in any of the travel pictures in his albums. For the most part, in our combined sixteen years together, I was the only one who took our son “on adventures”. Not Him. ME! It was always just me and Christian … either with my family or on our own. But you see, Christian had forgotten that part, as I believe he had had subliminally blocked that very painful reality from his memory. In being honest, I UNDERSTAND WHY, as my father never really traveled much with us either. In that moment, I think my heart shattered in a whole new kind of way, and to this day it breaks my heart when I hear those sobering words my son spoke echoing in the back of my mind. Zack understood my heartbreak in that regard, and to the best of his ability tried to include Christian in as many of our “adventures” as possible. It was just another of the many reasons I fell in love with him over and over and over!

In the meantime, I remain grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had with my both Zack and my kids to see as much of this beautiful Atlas as possible! I am fully aware that not everyone is so lucky and do not take that for granted. At the end of the day, to see, smell, taste, hear and experience EVERYTHING in EVERY MOMENT is my heart’s truest passion. Call me a gypsy, a wanderer, or a vagabond … but one day I hope my kids’ kids will look back fondly on their “Crazy Grandma Cat” and think, “WOW! Just WOW! That Crazy Grandma Cat of ours … The Great Adventurer”! It’s the only legacy I want to leave behind when it’s time for my GREATEST adventure of all … THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF GREY!

THE GREAT ADVENTURE

Chasing thoughts inside my head of all I had to do today. Another time around the circle. Try to make it better than the last. I opened up the Bible and I read about You and me. Said we’d all been prisoners and God’s grace had set us all free. Somewhere between the pages it hit me like a lightning bolt. I saw a big frontier in front of me, and I heard Somebody say, “let’s go”! Saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze. Through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace. Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown. This is a life like no other, whoa whoa this is the great adventure. So come on get ready for the ride of your life! Gonna leave long faced religion in a cloud of dust behind and discover all the new horizons waiting to be explored. This is what we were created for. Saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace. Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown. This is a life like no other, whoa whoa this is the great adventure! We’ll travel long, over mountains so high. We’ll go through valleys so low. Still through it all we’ll find that this is the greatest journey that the human heart will ever see. The love of God will take us far beyond our wildest dreams. {Stephen Curtis Chapman}

NOVEMBER 23, 2020: “One Light Burning” …

ONE LIGHT BURNING

All alone in the dark. No walls, no windows. Trying hard to define Heaven from hell. Standing out in the rain with just one shadow. Nothing to see or believe beyond myself. See my life going by each moment I am alive. I keep reaching out, holding on, hoping somewhere in my life there’s one light burning. I feel it like my heart beating inside. Somewhere in my life, there’s one light burning. All alone with my fears. No words are spoken. A story yet to be told locked in my mind. Hope is somewhere ahead shining brightly, but the past is always following close behind. Somewhere in my life, t here’s one light burning leading the way. {Richie Sambora}

If you’re reading this …

… PLEASE REMEMBER …

It doesn’t HAVE to be the dark of night to get out there, Light ’em up and be that “One Light Burning”!

It’s Monday, November 23, 2020! So many kids are home this week with parents and families who are desperately thinking “WHAT THE HELL” – especially where this whole “holiday season 2020 COVID style” is concerned. Yah, it’s really kinda DARK outside, EVEN in the daytime!

Let me encourage you to to THIS …

While you’re out and about living life today, SMILE AT SOMEONE! Be kind to EVERYONE! Hold a door open. Pay for someone’s lunch. HELP where you can (smiles are FREE). Say “have a good day” (and really mean it) to a complete and total stranger and see how truly good and hopeful it makes you feel! Do it for them, do it for you, do it in tribute to loved ones you’ve lost who would WANT you to have learned to value humanity and cherish “the living” with their crossing. DO IT BECAUSE ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! Especially because, as we all surely know, NO ONE MAKES IT OUT OF HERE ALIVE! So many people, including our loved ones, do lose the hope they need to keep their feet on this foreboding and shaky ground we call planet Earth! YOU know that I KNOW this all too well! For those of us left behind in the wake of a loved one’s lost battle with the darkness, WE OWE IT TO THEM TO LIGHT THE WAY FOR THE OTHERS!

Listen! Just because you can’t see a burning flame in the daylight, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel a burning flame in the daylight. A flame is a flame regardless of its timing, circumstances or surroundings … IT GIVES WARMTH! So, get out there and make it a powerful Monday everyone …

Chin Up!

Knuckles Out!

LIGHT ‘EM UP!

ONE LIGHT BURNING!

NOVEMBER 19, 2020: “Carry On” …

If you didn’t already know this by now, my daughter isn’t just any regular kid. She is an actual superhero and I cannot say it enough. No one, and I mean NO ONE, will ever really know exactly what she has been through the last five or six years, or just how bittersweet this night is for us both. It’s the long-awaited series finale of her favorite show EVER … “Supernatural“.

There aren’t really that many words I have to write at this moment, because not only am I literally a raw and open wound after having watched it, I literally just don’t “have” the proper words. What I can tell you is that if you click right here you will be taken back to a post I wrote just over a year ago, “OCTOBER 23, 2019: Supernatural”, wherein you will catch a glimpse of what this show has meant to not just her survival journey, but mine as well … because … if I had lost her too the night Zack ended his own life? Well, I just don’t know where in the actual hell I’d be right now.

This show is the reason she was brave enough to reach out to the ImALIVE crisis helpline on August 22, 2019, when she began to realize that Zack (her “Bobby Singer“), was indeed going to end his own life that night, and THAT’S why we still have her with us. Because of this “silly show”. So, yes, this night is bittersweet for both of us. But, as I’ve told her all along … and as we’ve already “gotten” to learn … sometimes endings really are just beginnings.

Heaven ain’t just re-livin’ your golden oldies anymore … it’s what it always shoulda been – everyone happy, everyone together. It ain’t just Heaven, Dean. It’s the Heaven you deserve.

{Bobby Singer to Dean Winchester}

So, with that, I leave you now with the last two scenes from one of the most impactful eras of our lives. If you know our story? Zack’s story? You’ll understand exactly what these two fictional, yet poignant moments in time mean to me and my girl.

“Carry On” my friends … CARRY ON!

NOVEMBER 8, 2020: “The Day Of The DR Horton Hoodie” …

I didn’t want this day to go by without recognizing this very important “Facebook memory” from one year ago today.

It wasn’t clear WHY Gia was in such a panic getting ready for school today. Until it was. The revelation was just so bittersweet, and let me tell you why …

The Day He Met Don “DR” Horton! (August 25, 2018)

God, please let that hoodie reappear. Like me, one of the things she is most proud to say is “she was in the Horton family”. She knows how hard he worked to create the life he made for us and knows that company had so much to do with how we got here. Not just materially either. While all this “stuff” is super nice background noise, the best background noise we have is the beautiful reality that his very successful career at DR Horton gave him the sense of accomplishment, belonging and validation he’d needed for so long. Horton was his “other family”, and ours too, and for that we will always be grateful.

So much has changed in both her mind and heart since the day this post was made, and although we never found that hoodie, what I can tell you is this: We have found peace, solace, and so many beautiful reasons to be thankful as we keep sifting through the things that make us feel close. I’ve said it before … and I’ll say it again …

Despite the way this chapter of our story ended, we are still two very lucky girls!