OCTOBER 5, 2021: “When Freedom Seas You Home” …

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 am 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 finally starting to understand why I’m so fascinated by birds and anything with wings. Of course it’s cool that they can fly, but more than that, they always find just the right place to call home. They’re beautiful and free and independent spirits, and anywhere they plant their feet can be their home, because their feet are attached to them!

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.

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 that girl who smiled every time it rained, danced after 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 had to rewrite her fairytale ending an infinite number of times, but never once did she cower at the thought of starting over. Deep in her being, she’d somehow always known that endings were just beginnings, and even the most beautiful seasons had to change.

Each time the abyss 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 own divine 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 the dark, please let me to encourage you. PICK UP THE CROWN THAT THE DARKNESS KICKED OFF YOUR HEAD AND PUT IT BACK WHERE IT BELONGS! Not just for you, but for the others who are standing beside you. They may need your light to see the way out of their own darkness!

We are all created from perfection.

We are ALL divinely inspired.

We are ALL a product of the Light this world wants to extinguish.

Find the faith that is buried beneath all your ashes and the Light you just can’t see right now will radiate from your soul. Before you know it, you’ll be punctuating this world with all the things mortal eyes can’t see.

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 10, 2021: “My Grey-Aversary” …

On a beautiful Tuesday 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 AM 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 on stage. That will be the night I finally let her read the words he wrote “in case he was gone tomorrow”. PLEASE listen to this song. It may just change the trajectory of your 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:

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!

In the meantime, I’ll just keep PRAYING that someday I don’t “get that call” that a child I once knew swallowed a bullet because their SELFISH parents “deserved the life they deserved” and 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 …

“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 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 …

Awwwe, 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 raw, 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 their “hero” 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 joy and treasure he brought to all our lives in the decade we got to have him and leaving out all the rest. Likewise, “when my time comes” I hope that my own legacy is none the worse for the wear despite all the wrong that I’ve done!

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}

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!

NOVEMBER 1, 2020: “Crossing Over” …

CROSSING OVER

All perched alone he sits there broken. An eldered man with storm clouds setting in his eyes. He counts the sands of time – remembering day’s gone by. It seemed like yesterday before it washed away. Hey, don’t wait for me there – just find your own way. Hey, don’t wait for me there – ’cause I’ll be there soon enough. The widow’s life ticks out like clockwork. A thousand tears she’s cried a hundred time’s before. But now that he is gone, she’s ready to move on. It all just fell away – it seems like yesterday. {Five Finger Death Punch}

Some days I rise with all the words I need to say just pouring out of my soul, and often because of a dream. Like today, which would have been our 10th wedding anniversary. It’s been just over a year of on this road I never planned to travel, and though I knew it was fast approaching, I also knew it would be a major turning point in my final ascent out of the darkness and into The Light. Let me tell you how my beautifully shattered life works

To begin, indeed I dreamt last night, but not before closing my eyes to the sound of the Halloween shenanigans of my daughter and her crew. Did I ever tell you that the singular flaw with Williamson Manor is that her theatre and game rooms are directly above my bedroom? Yup! That’s true! As it turns out, however, it’s not a flaw at all! Believe it or not, especially in this last 438 days, those echoes of stomping, laughing and chaos into the wee hours of so many nights are a lullaby to me. It’s why he built this home, from the ground up, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Knowing she’s here, happy, safe, and whole, is one of the realities that comforts me the most. But damnit, I’ve digressed! Where was I?

My dream! I was front row center at a Five Finger Death Punch show, but instead of a traditional concert venue, it was an intimate gathering where Ivan was singing to me:

The widow’s life ticks out like clockwork … a thousand tears she’s cried a hundred times before. But now that he is gone, she’s ready to move on …

As he was singing, a tear fell from his eye, but it wasn’t Ivan’s face. It was Zack’s face, on Ivan’s body, holding that legendary mic stand in one hand, while reaching out the other to me like a muse. It was the most beautiful insanity imaginable! In the dream, I was thinking, “This means something! What does this mean?” Then I woke up and I knew.

In order to fully appreciate where I’m going with this, you must understand that I am led solely by intuition and feelings. Call me a spiritualist. Call me a “good witch”. Call me whatever in the actual hell you want. It’s my truth and it’s never gonna change!

In every thing there is a meaning, in every moment a message, and something means everything, even if it’s nothing!

Am I bat-shit effing crazy? Perhaps I am. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, and let me tell you why: What if I’m RIGHT? What if it’s true? What if the Cosmos really is trying to speak to me? What if it really is Zack communicating with us through the fog and the crows and the lights in the bathroom? That, my friends, is the “crazy” blind faith that costs me nothing, but gains me everything. Sooner or later I too will cross over, and either I’m right or I am wrong. Meanwhile, just after waking from that most ethereal dream, this was right beside my bed. It’s nothing, really. Nothing at all. Just one of Gia’s bracelets that either Good Cat or Bad Cat must have found and deposited at the exact spot my foot hit the ground. “C’mon Cat, it’s just a bracelet.” Umm, ya think? But why did it show up in the endless twist of “F8 this way?

IN CLOSING …

Ten years ago today, I kissed a frog who turned into a king. Five years ago today, that king turned me into a princess. Today I woke up from a dream on the edge of literal “eternity”. With that, I was reminded again of the endless joy he brought to my life that I get to keep until it’s my time to see the brighter side of grey. There will never be a day that I’m not eternally grateful for the true love and immeasurable gifts he left me with, not the least of which is the fire he lit in my soul that will light my way through every darkness. Loving that man changed my life forever in every best possible way, so it’s no wonder that losing him has done the same.

Today is the day! It’s time for me to move on, whatever that actually means, and I’ve asked God to show me what’s next. Sufficed to say, my heart is completely open to anything and everything. So, now I’m just going to take a deep breath and hold it in for as long as I physically can, knowing full well that when I let it back out, I’ll be making all the space I’ll ever need for whatever in this world is coming next for me. Knowing me the way I do, and knowing GOD the way I do, chances are that it’s probably going to be something extremely wonderful and sublime. In the meantime, win, lose, or draw, this is the beautiful picture of the me that I’m always going to love the most, and “me” I’m always going to strive to be in my soul …

Happy Anniversary Williamson!

I don’t mind you hanging with us as long as you feel it’s necessary, but hey – don’t wait for me here. I’ll be there soon enough.

OCTOBER 30, 2020: “A Better Version Of Me” …

PEOPLE WHO TAKE SELFIES ARE NARCISSITIC AND VAIN!

~ By The Former Mislead & Completely MISINFORMED “Not So REAL” Cat Williamson

Yes, these are the words I used to say about “selfies”! Upon further deliberation, however, I have since changed that narrative to something more like this:

Selfies, self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-LOVE are okay in appropriate doses, if not a necessary evil.

Here’s the deal …

If I don’t love me, 100% unconditionally, and value, see and treat myself as the QUEEN I KNOW I AM, why on EARTH would anyone else? We treat others as we wish to be treated, right? Well, today I’m treating myself with the utmost of appreciation and importance. I am literally my own biggest fan these days! Well, me and the Big Guy that is … and HE DOES NOT MAKE TRASH! If He adores and values me above all things …

SO SHOULD I!

Look … I’m the one who “gets” to spend the most time with me of all, so, isn’t it a damn good thing that I’ve finally reached this place in my journey? Hell – if I had to be stuck with that “old me” I DESPISED for the next fifty effing years? NO THANK YOU — I’LL PASS! She was her own worst enemy, not a fan of me at all, and didn’t deserve to wear the crowns that once adorned her jacked up little head, because she didn’t believe she deserved them!

Hi everyone, it’s The Real Cat Williamson! I am Fifty-ONE-Derful years old and fearfully and wonderfully made!

~ By The New & Improved “Better Version Of Me” REAL Cat Williamson

Now then …

Excuse the mess – I didn’t see you from behind. I caught a glimpse, but the reflection’s only mine. It’s almost like I’m paralyzed and locked outside myself. I don’t need to concede, because I won’t be someone else! I am not perfect and I don’t claim to be, and if that’s what you wanted, well then I’m so sorry! How about a better version of the way that I am? How about a better version that makes me understand? How about a better version of the way that I am? The way I look … the way I speak … HOW ‘BOUT A BETTER VERSION OF ME? Excuse the wall I put it up from time to time. A silver shade, and the design is all mine. It’s just a maze that everyday I seem to be stuck in. It never seems to fade away but I pray for the day it ends. {“Better Version” by Shinedown}

To call it one of my favorites would not do it any justice. It’s so much more than just a song to me – it’s an entire way of life! I will never forget the first time I heard it. I was at the gym in the middle of a workout with the King who insisted that I already was the best version of “me” whatsoever. As I listened to the words, they ripped me to shreds in a hundred different ways. It was good, and bad, and beautiful, and awful, and absolutely AMAZING all the same! After that, I would listen to daily, sometimes over and over and over, until it actually became one of the processes that completely rewired my broken self-image and head. Truth be told, if I wasn’t pretty much out of space on my body to ink out any further mantras in as dignified a way as I have thus far (if there is such a thing, lol), I would have every word of this most empowering song tattooed in its entirety onto my body! You’ve heard it said before, “we are what we do, say and think”. I’m FINALLY the BEST fucking version of “me” that ever was and ever will be. Thank, You, GOD!

I want to challenge ALL OF YOU to post a selfie very soon. Because … YOU ARE PERFECT … and it’s OKAY to love YOU … as long as you’re doing it from a truly humble place and always keepin’ it real!

OCTOBER 5, 2020: “Name” …

NAME

The time has come to break the silence. To tell truth behind the rage. The years of living in denial. The time has come to turn the page. But it’s hard to forgive. Even harder to forget. I am a son without a father. He gave his name and walked away. I am a man, now a father. And I swear my son … oh … will never know that pain. I was a child, I was abandoned. To young to fight to have a say. Oh God, what seemed so heavy handed made me the man I am today. It’s so hard to forgive. Even harder to forget. I am a son without a father. He gave me his name then walked away. I am a man, now a father. And I swear my son … oh … will never know that pain. I will … I will… be the space between the shadows. I will … I will … be the light inside the sorrow. {Scott Stapp}

The time really has come to break the silence. Although, by this point one can clearly see that I have long been relentlessly breaking silences all the while.

SECRETS MAKE ME SICK NO LONGER!

Indeed, there are so many truths behind the rage, insanity, and broken-hearted despair that devoured not only my beautiful husband, but so many countless others that have walked this Earth “abandoned”.

He was a man without a mother. She gave him life then walked away.

SO DID THEY ALL! His “brothers”. His “father”. His “sister”. Every single one of them abandoned him! It’s been 411 days since he left, by the way, and even his ashes were abandoned! They could neither be bothered with him in life or death! It’s been hard to forgive, although never will I forget, but indeed I have forgiven ALL OF THEM FOR WHAT THEY DID TO HIM! And for the record, that was the kind of forgiveness that was for me, NOT for them!

So, with that, I must unfortunately only say this …

I am girl without a father. “He gave his name and walked away.” But I am a woman, now a mother, and I swear on my soul – my kids will never know that pain!

I will … I WILL … be the space between the shadows.

I will … I WILL … be the light inside the sorrow.

I WILL! I WILL!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZACHARIAH LUCAS WILLIAMSON!

You may have been your family’s trash, but you were ALWAYS our greatest treasure!

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020: “The Last One Alive” …

… because sometimes all you have to “say” is a song. Make it a good, bright and powerfully POSITIVE day my friends. That’s what I’m gonna do. Eyes on the prize people. EYES ON THE PRIZE!

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

I did it people!

I SURVIVED!

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

AUGUST 10, 2020: “A Tree For All Seasons” …

NBKB0485

DEAR CAT:

Let me remind you of the words to that song he would sing to you:

“There’s a light in you that tears me down to nothing. There’s an angel in your eyes. There’s a hope inside that you can make it better. You see right through my disguise. When it rains it pours, and everybody stumbles. I won’t let them bring you down. I won’t let you down when the seasons change. I won’t go down. I’ll fight through the pain. I’ll be there right by your side. I’ll never let them bring you down when the seasons change. There’s a hope in me that I will die for something. Was the fire in my eyes? All this pain inside. Will it be this way forever? I can run but I can’t hide. When it rains it pours, and everybody stumbles. I won’t let them bring you down. When the seasons change and we’re in for colder weather look for me on The Divide. {Five Finger Death Punch}

You see? None of this is about you.

It has NEVER been about you.

IT’S ABOUT THEM!

Not just your babies …

… all the lives you’ll have touched before your time is done … if only for a season.

Your greatest treasure and greatest triumph are in knowing just how insignificant you really are in the bigger scheme of things.

Your “valuelessness” is your greatest value!

Your “powerlessness” is your greatest power!

YOU ARE REACHING NIRVANA!

You are EVERYTHING!

Because you are NOTHING!

You’re NOTHING but a pebble, to be dropped into your ocean, making ripples and waves of outward change for everyone whose path you cross on your journey.

Your purpose is to keep working the roots of this new and healthy family tree you’re now growing — free from the black toxicity that suffocated and broke all the branches of the tree that we came from.

KEEP CHANGING THE STORY!

THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU!

Your children’s children may never get to meet you, their “Crazy Grandma Cat“, but your legacy will live on through them! HIS legacy will live on through all of you!

Keep working.

Keep sowing.  

You’re doing a good job.

… and (PS) …

I love you! We got this! I WON’T LET YOU DOWN AS THE SEASONS CHANGE!

~ Me

img_2468

AUGUST 7, 2020: “King Of Dreams” …

GHVZ5582

KINGS AND QUEENS

I saw these words posted on the Instagram page of a friend of sorts. He’s a musician, an inspirer, a widow, and also a pirate that I follow whose posts I adore:

… listen to her thoughts … adore her like no one could ever do … be more than just a text message … be the air they breathe, future they plan and smile they wear everywhere … live to have her hug you from behind … write her letters and hold hands while kissing … love until your heart is empty … and then love some more … BE HER EVERYTHING.

{from The Diary Of An Outlaw Music)

How lucky am I to have had TWO kings on Earth? Not just one … TWO! Some women never have one! The “two kings” loved me to the depths of their souls, with every shred of what they had to give – UNCONDITIONALLY. The two of them made me into the true QUEEN that I am and I cannot say it enough! I’M A FORTRESS NOW PEOPLE! An impermeable FORTRESS!

My King in Heaven is pretty smitten with me by the way … I can feel His loving hands wrapped around my heart every second of every day. My truly blind faith in Him only pales in comparison to the faith He’s had in me since before I was even born, and He has loved me like the QUEEN He intended me to be long before any man on this Earth ever did. Is there to be “one last king” in this realm for me? Only He knows that and He’s got this! If there is, there is. If there isn’t, so be it. I’ve been there, and done that, and the legacies of love the two of them left for me are more than enough to fill my heart for the NEXT fifty years without them if that is to be the case. My standards are obnoxiously high now, and as I’ve said before, it would take one HELL of a powerful presence of a man to stand with the shadows of the two loves of my life that came before him. I know who I am, EXACTLY what I’m worth, and EXACTLY who is worthy of my attention and affection, much less being put on a pedestal. I will accept NOTHING but a king again. “Everything. Nothing. ALL OF IT!” Unless and until that day comes that “the last king on Earth” comes to find me, I’ll continue to reign here in my kingdom “happily alone”. THIS CROWN ON MY HEAD IS GOING NOWHERE! As for the next 50 years? Only time will tell!

AUGUST 5, 2020: “Open Up Your Eyes” …

IMG_4652

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

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

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

WHAT did he see when at last he opened them?

HE SAW JESUS!

I JUST KNOW IT!

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

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

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

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

Death Is Nothing At All

MAY 30, 2020: “The Pain Is A Gift” …

THE DANCE

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

MAY 15, 2020: “Back To The Castle” …

IMG_2084

Okay people, I’ve been SHOOKEN by a “Ghost” again in ALL the most beautiful ways …

Ivan

This is Ivan. He’s the lead MANIAC for the band of my life, Five Finger Death Punch! Ivan isn’t your run of the mill guy, and to some he may seem kinda scary. Covered in tattoos as he serenades the world from the darkest depths of his being, he’s the living embodiment of alchemy, and one of my very few heroes! He level’s up his “Phoenix” to an entirely different vibration if you can just look past the scars on his bleeding soul. “What you see is what you get.” Nope! Not with Ivan! He’s a completely open book and a total mystery, as on one hand he seems to be telling us everything about himself, while on the other no one really knows him. That’s how I feel about myself by the way, but where in the HELL was I going with this? It seems I’ve run amuck yet again.

Ah, yes, “the video”. Earlier this week he posted a clip of himself “TikTok-ing” with his daughter which immediately cut my heart in a brand new place that I never knew needed to be cut. It was one of the sweetest things I think I’ve ever seen, while also one of the saddest. You see, I am a daughter who cannot help but wonder, “What could have been if my larger than life dad had danced with me in the living room”?

HERE’S THE THING: He’s probably worth a gazillion bucks and has a cult-like following worldwide. But when the lights go down at his final show, what do you think that beautiful little girl of his will tell her about her daddy? “Grandpa Ivan was a rock and roll star” or “Grandpa Ivan danced with me in the living room”? I’m betting it’s gonna be the latter.

HEY DADS …

Now, about that legacy you’ll leave behind. WHAT’S YOURS GONNA BE? You may not be a perfect parent, because no parent ever is, but trust me when I tell you that it’s NEVER too late to change the ending of your story. This, my friends, is what us “knuckleheads” call “The Brighter Side Of Grey“, and I’m here to tell you IT’S EVERYTHING! Despite the mottled undertones here about the struggles with my own father, I very much want to end this entry with a “brighter side of grey” I’ve found …

My daughter had two dads to take her to the castle, which I find rather amazing. While her “step dad” escorted her to most of them, her real dad escorted her to a couple too. Neither of them was perfect, and both of them hurt her in complicated yet delicate ways, but at the end of the day I just know in my heart that she’ll treasure those dancing days forever! She’s an incredibly lucky girl, but I’m an even luckier mom, so beyond thankful for both of the Princes who danced with their Cinderella!

MAY 10, 2020: “Why?” …

While I am more than thankful to claim the highest honor of “mother” of two living children, a son and a daughter, and one angel baby in Heaven, I am ever so mindful as I end this bittersweet day with the heart-breaking awareness that not every child “celebrated with their mother” today. As you’ve already read in the admonishment to “her”, on this day one year ago the abandoned and motherless man that I was also honored to call “mine” began his painful descent into the darkness she left him in that literally devoured him alive and indeed ended the most beautiful chapter of my life.

So, with that, if you are a mother who has abandoned her child? Know that the unfathomable wound you left them with will never truly heal. If, on the other hand, you are a child whose “mother” walked away from and abandoned you? Please know that I (like all the other mothers in this world who understood the magnitude of the job we were given to have you) am crying and praying for you tonight. It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t deserve to be discarded. YOU are a gift to this world too! I’m so sorry that happened to you, from the depths of my soul I am, but remember this always: Our Father in Heaven doesn’t make trash! So, “Chin Up! Knuckles Out!”, and never wonder “WHY”. You didn’t deserve it … you are loved, needed and valued here on this Earth!

MAY 10, 2020: “In His Remains” …

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

{Author Unknown}

TO HIS “MOTHER”:

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

YOU LEFT HIM!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your “son” stopped living the day he was born, but it was one year ago today that the hands of Fate threw the very last spin of the wheel that ultimately led to not only his demise, but the end of the most beautiful chapter of my life. Looking back, I can honestly say that the very first hint of change in him was June 5, 2014, as that was truly the day the “rock” that was our Zachariah began crumbling inside. Slowly, subtly, yet ever so steadily, he began slipping down the hole that devoured him alive on January 11th this year, but it wasn’t really until May 12th last year that he started coming apart at the seams. I remember that morning as if it were now, down to exactly where he was standing, the look of angst upon his face, what he was saying, the tears falling from his eyes, what he was wearing, and even how he smelled. Sufficed to say though, indeed it was “Mother’s Day 2019” that earmarked the beginning of his end.

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

On the surface, he seemed to have made peace with the way his “brothers and sisters” dumped him too, so he moved on down the road. We made our own little family and he left you all behind in his dust. “Their loss, not mine”, he would say, and he couldn’t have been more right, as none of you were good enough to be graced by his presence! Trust me when I tell you that because of our professions, we knew plenty of people who “know them”. The general consensus about your other Williamsons? You know, the ones you actually managed to want? “They’re selfish, shallow, greedy, social climbing wanna-be’s in one of the greatest shows on Earth.” Everything about Zack’s character was so far removed from and theirs that no one who realized their familial connection could fathom it. Watching strangers literally scratch their heads and hearing the things people said about them were amongst the highest compliments he ever received, and he absolutely reveled in knowing that no one could correlate him to “them”. But I’ve digressed. Sufficed to say, it was indeed “every Mother’s Day” that hurt him the most, even more so than all the birthdays you forgot as he waited for you year after year, phone in hand, for you “to remember him”.

Here’s all you REALLY need to know, “mother” Of My Fallen King:

It’s Mother’s Day 2020, and 264 days ago your “son” shot himself in the head with a Springfield handgun and a hollow point bullet just before midnight on. You were nothing to him but a stranger, and what a shame that you never knew what an amazing human being you threw away and the gift he was to this world (though unfortunately he never believed it).

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

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

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

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

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

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

… “Daughter-In-Law”

IN [HIS] REMAINS

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

Momn

APRIL 2, 2020: “With Silver Bells And Cockle Shells” …

This morning I was “daydreaming” again – making plans for a future I’m not so much planning as I am “visualizing”. It’s this whole thing that Williamson taught me: “If you want it, SEE IT, THEN GO AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!”. Now, I’m sure some of you may be thinking, “Well, then why the hell didn’t he just SEE himself out his darkness?” Unfortunately, mental illness doesn’t always work that way, especially when a human mind ends up literally splitting in two.

Zack and I always talked about “the little cottage in Europe” I want so badly, and indeed he vowed to make that happen before my time was done. So, he would make me visualize it: “Close your eyes Catherine. Tell me what you see. Tell me EVERYTHING you want at the cottage.” Then I would close my eyes and tell him:

It will look like a fairy tale … small and cozy … surrounded by trees … covered in climbing ivy with a stone chimney up on top … SURROUNDED BY HYDRANGEAS, YELLOW ROSES, SILVER BELLS AND COCKLE SHELLS …

This morning while I was daydreaming? Once again I closed my eyes and “saw it”. My little cottage, that I’m going to have, with the climbing ivy, stone fireplace up top and surrounded by my favorite flowers. Then all was well and my day progressed.

Twenty minutes ago my doorbell rang. “Who in the world?” When I opened the door, my stomach hit the floor in the best possible way, with that all too familiar adrenaline dump I’ve come to know so well during the worst and best moments of my life. It was his florist! The only one he EVER patroned … his “partner in crime” when it came to knowing exactly how to make me smile … with this arrangement for ME:

Good afternoon Cat. These are from Diane. She just wanted you to know we’re all thinking of you constantly.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

Dismiss it as just a fluke if you must, but nope, not me, NOT EVER! Never will I fail to heed the signs of life that flourish in the darkness! To me, it’s all serendipity! My husband, my fate, and even God Himself all screaming to me out loud! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am one blessed and very lucky queen! No, Zachariah, not a single one of your years in this realm were in vain. Every gift you gave and dream you dreamt is going to carry on, because that’s just how it’s supposed to be.