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.

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 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 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 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 8, 2021: “O’er Field & Fodder” …

FODDER:

Indeed it is true that the “I got my heart broken and now I’m afraid to love” struggle is up close, personal and very real! But here’s what I’ve been tryin’ to tell ya folks AND PLEASE HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR! If I hadn’t truly believed in the existence and power of REAL LOVE all the while … and even though some of the most “forgettable” people almost destroyed me (one of whom actually leveled me SO badly that I tried to kill myself) …

I WOULD NEVER HAVE MET THE TWO LOVES OF MY LIFE!

That’s right my friends! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I have been truly and deeply loved by TWO KINGS in this lifetime. Not one – TWO! How many women can say that? While unfortunately their fates had to take them Home too soon, the love each of them gave me was enough to last me a lifetime if that is to be MY fate. Nonetheless it remains … TRUE LOVE IS VERY REAL … and the people that hurt you but the FODDER beneath your feet who prepared you for the greener pastures yet to come …

… meaning …

You will never be able to to recognize or appreciate your real king or a queen unless you’ve spent time in the company of an asshole! So, just keep stepping over all that fodder as you walk through to greener pastures towards the Light! Take it from me – the grass really is better on this side! AND FOR THE RECORD: YES, I still love Corey Hart, and YES I still listen to this song AND sing out loud with it weekly! It’s beautiful, and powerful, and if you’ve never heard it before … LISTEN TO THE WORDS!

TAKE MY HEART

Take me to the top again. Take me to the high road shining – ’cause you know I never seen the world like that! You take me to the top again. You take me where it’s slow and easy – ’cause you know I never dream inside like that. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. Won’t you take my heart? Don’t leave me here standin’! Take my heart where only you can. Take my heart – there is no resistance. I can only go as far as you can. Yeah, through the leaves of grass I search – and I follow like a soldier, where the battle rages on. Reveal what’s true. And I call to open skies – and I call to high plains driftin’ through the wintertime the Earth shall feed my soul. Discover borderlands that we have yet to run … and you can search forever never reach the Sun. And I can go on tryin’. And I can go on cryin’. Won’t you take my heart … where only you can? {Corey Hart}

DECEMBER 19, 2020: “I’m Gonna Love You” …

James kisses Margaret before he comes to see us. James kisses Margaret before he does pretty much anything.

{The Daily James}

Dear God:

Earlier today I got my saw this video on my Instagram feed, which I’m sure You already knew. Knowing my heart the way You do, You also already knew how taken I was, once again, by the way James literally bows to that Queen he loves so desperately, yet at the same time, no matter how high he places her above himself, he is only ever right beside her. As You and I both know, and as I finally got to learn in the most ethereal way, when a king loves a queen love so deep and so true that each of their hearts but serve the other, the balance of power is never a struggle and there is no “servitude” whatsoever.

As we have already discussed, You know that I know that I trust You implicitly. You and he both made me a queen, and there is no going back to where I came from. I will not and cannot settle for anything less than everything where another partner on this journey is concerned, and I’d rather reign here “alone, but not lonely” if that’s what Your plan shall be. That being said, if indeed there “one last king on Earth” You have waiting for me somewhere, can I please just ask that he really be a king. Like You. Like Zack. LIKE KING JAMES THE RAVEN …

THE RULER OF QUEEN MARGARET’S HEART!

It’s an impossible order, but hey, look Who I am talking to! I’ve had two kings before, and three is the perfect number, so maybe, just maybe, we shall see. In the meantime, I will just have to wait for the moments like these when the image of two love birds washes over me. “Just a chill in a winter breeze, standing in the cold debris that left behind so many beautiful memories.” Like every word that has left Your lips, and those of my beautiful husband, there are fingerprints everywhere to evidence the love that has committed me right back to “here”. I really do only want to be remembered for being that one who will always ever say “I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly” to that one last king who may be waiting to fly the remainder of my heart into eternity.

James almost always positions his head right below Margaret.

{The Daily James}

I’M GONNA LOVE YOU

Something still comes over me. Just a chill in a winter breeze. Standing in the cold debris left behind a memory. Every word that left your lips left behind your fingerprints. Every crime that love commits brings you right back here to this. I only want to be remembered for being the one who’d always say that I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly. I’ll never be one to yell surrender as long as you’re standing next to me. ‘Cause I’m gonna love you. I’m gonna love you endlessly. No escaping this embrace every time I see your face. Around the love I can’t erase. Wouldn’t want to anyway. I only want to be remembered for being the one who’d always say that I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly. {David Cook}

If you are interested in supporting the causes closest to “The King & Queen’s” hearts:

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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!

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!

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 22, 2020: “Remember Him” …

One of our favorite traditions was the once-a-year pilgrimage to the harbor at Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall to take “The Picture”. It started by happen chance several years ago when Gia was around age seven. We’d stopped into The Bass Pro Shop that abuts the harbor to simply visit the aquariums we’d heard about, at which point we’d decided to take a walk to the end of the pier. As was par for the course, although our little ball of energy and sunshine was always bouncing at least ten steps ahead of us wherever we went, she was never out of his sight. On that day, however, he was going to make damn good and sure she didn’t get too far ahead and fall into the water, so he grabbed her sticky little hand and walked her down. Thus … “The Picture” was born. The plan had long been that we would take the same picture year after year to memorialize the progression of her growth, then eventually end with “the final picture” of the two of them in her gown on her wedding day, at which point her husband could take it from there.

Unfortunately, as I have said before, it wasn’t too far into 2019 that Zack’s descent began to avail itself. Sure, we’d had our good days – and plenty of them. But with everything that was going on, somehow the trek down to the pier never happened. So, on this day, the two of us made a poignant decision together: “Let’s go to Red Robin (one of his favorite places to eat) then down to the pier to take the picture in his honor, then keep taking it year after year.”

So, WE DID IT! There she stood, alone and overcome with emotion, and we did it! Only, then there was a twist. A very talented friend of mine took the original picture of them on the pier and spliced him into the picture of her standing alone. Not only was it probably one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, but I’ve also now decided to keep doing the same thing, year after year, until, you guessed it – HER WEDDING DAY!

It’s been a long and sobering year for us my friends. Am I strong? Of course I am! I was forged under pressure and fire! What you see with me is as real as it gets. Am I absolutely refusing to let him down by seeing us fall apart? YUP! That has never been an option, nor will it ever … because … despite the unspeakable realities at the end that are now mine and my daughter’s, that king loved us with everything he had before he got sick, and believe or not, even in his sickness. So, with that, we are both choosing to only hold on to the good stuff and just leave out all the rest. THIS is how we will “remember him” always.

PLEASE REMEMBER ME

When all our tears have reached the sea. Part of you will live in me way down deep inside my heart. The days keep coming without fail. A new wind is gonna find your sail. That’s where your journey starts. You’ll find better love, strong as it ever was, deep as the river runs, warm as the morning Sun. Please remember me. Just like the waves down by the shore, we’re gonna keep on coming back for more, ’cause we don’t ever wanna stop. Out in this brave new world you seek … o’er the valleys and the peaks … and I can see you on the top. Remember me when you’re out walkin’. When snow falls high outside your door. Late at night when you’re not sleepin’ and moonlight falls across your floor, when I can’t hurt you anymore. {Tim McGraw}

AUGUST 10, 2020: “The Tree Of All Seasons” …

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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.

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

Don’t 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’RE REACHING NIRVANA!

You are EVERYTHING because you are NOTHING. You’re just a pebble in the ocean making ripples of change for everyone whose path you cross on this journey. Your purpose is to just 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. Just keep changing the story girl, ’cause the buck is only gonna stop with you, but only if you refuse to stop!

Love, ME!

AUGUST 7, 2020: “King Of Dreams” …

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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 a pirate who I follow whose posts I thoroughly 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 loved and been loved by TWO kings on this Earth? Some women never have one! My two kings loved me unconditionally to the depths of their souls with every shred of what they had and helped me become the true QUEEN I am today! These days in the queendom I’m an impermeable fortress and I just can’t say it enough.

My King in Heaven is pretty smitten with me, too, by the way … I can feel His hands wrapped around my heart every second of every day. My crazy 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.

That being said, I’ll admit that my standards are beyond 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 EXACTLY who I am, EXACTLY what I’m worth, and EXACTLY who is worthy of my time, attention, and affection, much less being put on a pedestal. Sufficed to say, I will accept nothing but a king again, so unless and until that day comes that the “one last king on Earth” comes to find me, I’ll continue to reign here in my kingdom happily alone but not lonely. Trust me when I tell you that this crown on my head is going nowhere. As for the next 50 years? I’ll be having the time of my life and simply enjoying being alive.

JULY 14, 2020: “AGAIN With The Flowers!” …

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As I’ve said so many times before, from the first week he married me there was never a time that there weren’t fresh flowers in our home somewhere for me. Some he sent. Some he picked up. The method of their delivery didn’t matter to me either way …

I LOVE FRESH FLOWERS!

He only had to hear me say it once and the rest is merely history. As our lives got busier and his career took off, there were some weeks that he just couldn’t get them, so I started making fresh flower arrangements on my own to fill the void. My little treks to all my favorite flower haunts soon became one of the brightest spots of my week (and still are to this day)! It always made him so happy to walk into our home and find that I’d “treated myself” like the true queen he made me. He always wanted me to see myself as one, with or without him, which is something I will not only cherish, but HONOR for not only him, but myself as well, as long as I shall live.

Sufficed to say, not a week has passed since the day he left, nor will there EVER be, that there haven’t been fresh flowers in this castle he left behind for me. I’m entitled to treat myself like the queen that I am, because I’M A QUEEN who deserves only the best treatment from anyone and everyone, up to and including myself!

Zack also brought flowers to our daughter quite often, and sometimes to ONLY her, which I loved and so did she. Part of my process with her now is to deeply imprint into her psyche that SHE TOO IS A QUEEN! It’s not uncommon for us to be at the market and her to run off and come back with flowers she chooses for herself. I’ve made her promise that when it’s time for her to leave this nest she’ll remember to get herself flowers often, regardless of whether there’s a man in her life. Because? SHE CAN DO THAT!

KINGS & QUEENS:

I once again challenge every one of you to and go and get YOURSELF some flowers this week! They don’t have to be expensive. You can make your own arrangement with flowers from the grocery store and wildflowers or even weeds growing on the side of the road, which is par for the course with me. If you do “go and get yourself some flowers”, PLEASE MESSAGE ME A PICTURE OF THEM! It would absolutely make my day to see that I’ve made a ripple in your pond with this thought process!

MAY 10, 2020: “Mother THINGS” …

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 his “mother THING” 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!

FEBRUARY 5, 2020: “The Worst Case Of Mental Illness I’ve Ever Seen” …

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Quora Answer

My own husband, who I lost to suicide August 22, 2019. He was the Godsend game changer for me and my daughter, larger than life with a heart the size of an ocean, but had been discarded and abandoned by his mother like common garbage. She left him permanently at 18 months, and I suppose his father did the best he could with lack of parenting skills he had, but he was then and is still but a grown child himself. He was left alone most of the time from a very young age and his basic needs were never properly tended to. Eventually, even the father and his three adult siblings discarded him away as well.

We didn’t realize his ACS (Abandoned Child Syndrome) even existed until five years into our marriage, but once faced with the sobering truths of his traumatic childhood, every bit of strength and fortitude he’d managed to find and survive with in his life of solitude before finding us, the first and only real home and family he’d ever had, began slipping right out from under him. The abandonment issues that led to his mental illness were further complicated by the fact that for some unknown reason the mother was able to manage to have a maternal relationship with the older siblings she’d had with the same father, just not him. And again, his entire family abandoned him on the proverbial “curb of life”. Not just the mother, but neither the father or three older siblings could be bothered with him whatsoever. His two older brothers would often refer to him as the “Zack of shit”, and although he would laugh about in their presence, those words tortured and haunted him incessantly. This heartless, selfish, numbingly ice-cold and shallow brood of people literally broke his heart into pieces that could never be put back together.

There were demons living in the hole they burned into his soul we fought desperately to keep him from drowning in, but in the end, the demons won. The last months of his life it appeared that he was in the early stages of psychosis, if not schizophrenia. He’d been hearing voices, seeing things, missing “blocks of time”, and ultimately just vanished completely within himself. He said he couldn’t “feel anything” anymore, and honestly, we lost him months before he put that gun to his head. It was a living nightmare to witness and the worst kind of heartbreak to suffer. He died of a broken heart that led to his mental illness and suicide, but not before he hurt not only me but even more so our daughter very badly. The trauma that he bestowed upon her in his final psychosis and “separated from self” state of mind is beyond comprehension, barely fathomable, and one that may unfortunately take her own lifetime to heal and overcome.

I’ve been writing tirelessly about not only his, but my mental health journey as well, in “The Diary Of My Perfection”. I’d be honored if any of you would care to read, follow or share it, as it is now my mission to try and be a Light in other people’s darkness. Thank you for the kind words and vast support of this post. It means everything to me. I cannot let either his lost battle with mental illness or anyone else’s have been in vain.

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

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

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Quora Answer

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

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

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

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

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

JANUARY 25, 2020: “His Wish For Her” …

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Desires

Today was one of the most bittersweet of my journey thus far … her first high school interview, a day that Zack and I had been dreaming of for years. If you knew him at all you knew how important her education was to him and that it was the initial source of inspiration for the lifestyle, he was determined to give us. He wanted her to have every “thing” and opportunity he never had as a child and wasn’t going to let anything stop him from laying the world at her feet from the ground up. It was no secret that it was my husband and not her “real dad” who single-handedly paid for every cent of her primary education at St. Mark’s. I fondly recall the very day this journey began …

We were freshly married and still living in our little apartment in Fairview when first grade finally arrived. Since our address fed into in a public school with less than favorable stats and Christian had been privileged with a private education, Zack and I assumed that her dad would be on board with affording her the same opportunity and thus willing to split the cost with us, which, not gonna lie, at that juncture was going to be a stretch. Especially inasmuch that my “wedding gift” to him was: Me, a little girl, a recent stay at one of the most exclusive psychiatric facilities in the world, $35K of unsecured debt, a car we couldn’t afford, a mental health resume about 62 pages long, a less than supportive family that all but despised if not cursed the day he was born, and oh yah, I wasn’t exactly what one would call “employable” then. YET WITHOUT HESITATION HE STEPPED UP TO THE ENTIRE PLATE FOR HER! Go figure, I’ve digressed. The day I called her dad to ask what he thought about sending her to St. Mark’s like her big brother, with a knife through my heart and a shot heard ’round the world his verbatim response was this:

Nope. Not happening. Guess you should have thought about that before you left here. Your gravy train is over honey, so why don’t you let the moron pay for it (then he literally laughed out loud). Have fun explaining to her one day why she couldn’t go to private school like her brother. Good job mom! Good job!

I was stunned by his callous response! What in the actual HELL? “MY gravy train?” This wasn’t about me! IT WAS ABOUT HER! How could he be so cruel as to punish her just to punish me? DON’T get me wrong, by no means am I saying that public school is a punishment. I have always been of the mindset that an education is only as good as the student himself and a truly good student can and will flourish in any school setting, be it public, private, or home. That’s not what this post is about and hopefully you understand where my heart and mind are in this regard. When I called Zack to tell him what her dad had said he was outraged in every sense of the word. “Let the moron pay for it? Really? He said that? Okay then, I WILL, just watch me! I’ll take care of EVERYTHING, and he can ride his selfish gravy train straight to Hell!” It was in that moment that my husband’s relentless fire was fueled with a determination like nothing I’d ever seen before:

Catherine, I can do this! I’ll empty out my savings. I’ll get a second job. Whatever I have to do, I’ll do it. If I have to sell my soul to the Devil, she’ll have EVERYTHING Christian had. EVERYTHING I never had. She’s GOING to St. Mark’s and she’s GOING to a Catholic school. Trust me, SHE’S GOING!

When he got home that night, he explained how he planned to handle things for the first year and assured me that by the second grade he’d have the rest figured out. Then this is what he did: HE EMPTIED OUT HIS LIFETIME FITNESS CENTER 401K TO PAY FOR HER FIRST YEAR’S TUITION! The very 401K he’d been faithfully contributing to with the specific intention of eventually buying himself that brand new car he’d always wanted. Yes, he did that for her. My husband. Her “stepdad”. HE DID THAT! The rest is merely history and many of you have good sense about everything he ended up “doing for us” in just under ten years flat. And please do not mistake this post as braggard. If you know me at all you know damn good and well that I have never forgotten how this story began: With sterling silver James Avery wedding bands, a tiny one-bedroom apartment and nothing but a pocket full of dreams.

Yes, today was bittersweet. I’ve thought crying so many times since waking up to the cold, hard reality that he’s not here to revel in the triumph, pride, and joy of “this day” he’d worked for, dreamt of and looked forward to since the day she bounced into his life, but I didn’t want to rain on her parade. Despite the impossible strength she very clearly recognizes in my process and recovery, the road to her process and recovery from the trauma that was his ironic and tragic parting gift to her is still so long ahead. There’s an unspoken rule between the two of us right now: She knows I’m okay, and that I know she’s going to be okay, but for her sake alone my darker days, tears and moments are best spent in private. At the end of the day however, as I sit with all this emotion, I am once again comforted in this peace: HE WAS WITH US TODAY! He’s with us every day. Knowing the God Whose hands are wrapped around my heart like I do? The actual reality is not as cold and hard as I thought. He is reveling in the triumph, pride and joy of “this day” he made happen for her with his legacy of love! He’s watching us from “the next room” through his Supernova telescope.

MY WISH

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow, and each road leads you where you wanna go. And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose, I hope you choose the one that means the most to you. And if one door opens to another door closed, I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window. If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile. But more than anything, more than anything … My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to. Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too. Yeah, this, is my wish. I hope you never look back, but you never forget all the ones who love you in the place you live. I hope you always forgive, and you never regret, and you help somebody every chance you get. Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake and always give more than you take. But more than anything, yeah, more than anything … My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to. Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too. Yeah, this, is my wish. {Rascal Flatts}

AUGUST 30, 2019: “Roses In The Grey” …

What most people don’t know is that Williamson either sent or brought me flowers literally once a week from the day we got married, November 1, 2010. Initially, they were just a simple bouquet, or a single rose, but as his many successes and accomplishments ensued, the weekly deliveries became “whatever he felt like sending” from his partner in the crime, Dream Petals Florist! He had already warned me a couple of months ago that I should be prepared for a house filled with “50 arrangements” the week before my birthday since we were supposed to be getting on a plane to Switzerland on my birthday.

Catherine, there will be SO many flowers in this house that you won’t be able to walk through the house.

So, guess what? I just counted, and you WON’T believe how many arrangements are in this house. Yup. THERE ARE 50! In the foyer, in the kitchen, in the bathrooms, in our bedroom. Everywhere. They’re EVERYWHERE! Thank you so much to everyone who unknowingly became cohorts in his “50 arrangements for my birthday girl” plan. I love all of you and feel surrounded by so many beautiful ironies today in the midst of all this grey.

And if I should fall, will it all go away?

No, my king, it shall never go away. I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grey.

KISS FROM A ROSE

There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea. You became the light on the dark side of me. Love remained a drug that’s the high and not the pill. But did you know that when it snows my eyes become large and the Light that you shine can be seen? Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey. Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah. Now that your rose is in bloom, a Light hits the gloom on the grey. There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say. You remain my power, my pleasure, my pain. Baby, to me, you’re like a growing addiction that I can’t deny. Won’t you tell me, is that healthy, baby? And if I should fall, will it all go away? I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grey. {Seal}

AUGUST 27, 2019: “How Did You Love?” …

REALLY?

HOW DARE YOU POST THIS ACTUAL GARBAGE! IT’S AS LAUGHABLE AS THE “GARBAGE” YOU MADE OF MY HUSBAND!

YOU – LEFT – HIM!

YOU AND THE “OTHER” SONS AND DAUGHTERS YOU MANAGED TO HAVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH?

YOU – LEFT – HIM!

“You have returned to sender, my love.” HE WAS NOT YOUR “LOVE”! He was NOTHING to you! He’s someone you birthed then DUMPED! YOU LEFT HIM!

“It is not possible to express enough emotions to convey our broken hearted loss of you in this world”. YOU ALL HAD AN ENTIRE LIFETIME TO “CONVEY AND EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS” TO HIM! BUT WHERE WERE ANY OF YOU WHEN HE NEEDED YOU THE MOST? YOU LEFT HIM!

“Your gift to this world consists of ….” WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU KNOW ABOUT “HIS GIFTS”? YOU DIDN’T KNOW HIM! YOU LEFT HIM!  

“Your legacy of love is here to stay in our hearts – forever.” WHAT DID YOU KNOW ABOUT “HIS GIFTS”? YOU DIDN’T KNOW HIM! YOU LEFT HIM!  

“Your gift to this world consists of …” WHAT DID YOU KNOW ABOUT “HIS GIFTS”? YOU DIDN’T KNOW HIM! You knew NOTHING about him! YOU LEFT HIM!  

“Our sorrow is only relieved by the realization of your relief from your own undeserved pain.” WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU KNOW ABOUT “HIS PAIN”? YOU DIDN’T KNOW HIM! HE CRIED FOR YOU! HE ACHED FOR YOU! HE NEEDED YOU! ALL OF YOU! YOU LEFT HIM!  

“It is our goal to love as you loved …”. WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU KNOW ABOUT “HOW HE LOVED”? YOU DIDN’T KNOW HIM! YOU LEFT HIM!  

“And you will always be our pride & joy.” WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK? YOU LEFT HIM! HE WAS OUR FUCKING “PRIDE AND JOY”! NOT YOURS! HE BELONGED TO US! NOT A SINGLE ONE OF YOU! DO. NOT. EVER. FORGET! Trust me, HE DIDN’T, because …

YOU. LEFT. HIM! 

TO “MOM”, “BIG SISTER” , “BIG BROTHER” AND YOUR “SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY” BITCH OF A WIFE:

May the endless tears he cried for you, “his family”, darken every day of your SELFISH lives and THE SHADOW OF HIS BEAUTIFUL FACE STARING BACK AT YOU WHEN YOU LOOK IN YOUR OTHERWISE EMPTY MIRRORS NEVER CEASE TO REMIND YOU OF THE “ZACK OF SHIT” YOU LEFT BEHIND!

HOW DID YOU LOVE?

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LIFELONG AND OFTEN IRREVERSIBLE EFFECTS ABANDONDED CHILDREN, AND SPECIFICALLY, MEN ABANDONED BY THEIR MOTHERS:

Abandonded Child Syndrome

Effects Of Maternal Abandonment On Men

What Happens To Sons Of Unloving Mothers

When Mothers Leave

Understanding The Pain Of Abandonment

The Abandoned Child

JUNE 16, 2019: “King Of The Supermen” …

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DEAR SUPERMAN,

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No man in his right mind could have grown up “dreaming of the day” he’d run into some mentally exhausted single mom in $35,000 worth of debt and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but here you are standing strong and fearless, a beacon of light shining brightly behind me, my two living babies and the ghost of another, ever present, always faithful, and often at the sacrifice of yourself. How could you have known as you arrived to work that cool October day in 2008 that every plan you’d ever planned, dream you’d ever dreamt, or wish you’d ever wished for your own life, family or future was completely unraveling in that one exact moment in time?He was standing in front of that one big window at the gym, turned his head, our eyes locked! YOU KNOW ALL THE REST! You made me sick, I ran away, didn’t come back for months, and so the story goes. By then it was too late though, and little did we know that Destiny had already stepped in to begin weaving the fabric of “us” on Her loom. If only someone could have told you, then maybe you could have worn one of those ever-so-cliche’ expectant father t-shirts with sparkly pink letters across your chest that screamed “I’M GONNA BE A DAD … IT’S A GIRL”! Hell, you could have even passed out some cigars! But I digress, and here we are.

I want you to know that I am ever so graciously aware that none of this has ever been easy for you, although to those who don’t know what really lies beneath the frosting of the beautiful cake that you are you DO make it all seem so effortless. But this job you never imagined you’d be showing up for on an equally cool night the following November came with so many unseen challenges and struggles, most of which have fallen on your shoulders without complaint.  I know we weren’t the family you were expecting – “some other guy’s leftovers”. And I’m guessing she wasn’t quite the “little pink bundle of joy” you may have once pondered welcoming into your very private world.

As for all the many things you have been, done and given to her? You didn’t have to do ANY of them. And no one ever asked you. You just did them. And you still do. All the tears you have cried with her. For her and about her? They matter and I’ve counted them all! He breaks her. You fix her. He makes excuses. You search for solutions. He hurts her. He hurts you. He lets them both down, but you keep picking them up. I suppose the defining moment as to who and what you are as a father was that morning just a few weeks ago when you were first reduced to tears at the realization of how much she has grown in the years since you first met her and how quickly time is speeding by.

I only have five years left with her and then she’ll be going to college. It seems like a lifetime when she’s only gone for two days, so what’s going to happen when she’s gone for months at a time? And then gone for good? Even just thinking about it makes me physically ill and I don’t know how I’ll survive it!

Meanwhile, and I suppose I could be wrong, but it sadly appears that “real dad” is just counting down the minutes until he finally gets to live the life he really wants to live with the woman and her child whose words, deeds and actions have all but slain both my children to their knees.

You’re a beautiful human being Zachariah and your heart’s depths seem to have no bounds. You could have had anything. Anyone. To this DAY I cannot understand why you’ve done the things you have done for us, and more than that, why you didn’t run as FAR away as any other man’s legs could possibly have carried him. I was so beaten down, tired, weary and ragged and had literally NOTHING to offer you whatsoever. A father who wouldn’t accept you. An ex-husband who maligned you. A pile of debt. A broken body. An empty womb. The two ghosts. And “his” kids. But? You. Chose. Us!

I want to say thank you my true and faithful King. THANK YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL. You are … so much. So much of everything and more! You’re the love of my life that I never knew “I’d never had” until that that moment “I finally knew” what the selfless, unconditional love of a man and a father was supposed to be. I know this may sound crazy, but it’s because of YOU that I now fully realize how God pours His own love into all of us. When I look at you? I see Him. You’re just a mortal man, imperfect in so many ways, but your honor, intentions and steadfast love and devotion to this family are unwavering, and always “for better worse”.

These are your truths that are held as self-evident as far as she and I are concerned: You’re the beating of our hearts, the voice that calms our fears, the words to all our songs, the hand that wipes our tears, our eyes when we can’t see, our lungs when we can’t breathe, our legs when we can’t walk and our arms when we can’t hold ourselves upright. You have made us both believe that we’re the two most treasured prizes any man could have ever won and that our many flaws and weaknesses are just as beautiful as you claim we both truly are. You are the mirror we gaze into when our own reflections fail us and we are never prouder and more confident than when we’re standing behind you, beside you or with you at our backs, whichever the circumstances require. We belong to you Zachariah, and for some reason it was just supposed to be this way. You have given us a home … and your heart … and pretty much everything we have today. We love you more than any of my endless words could ever say.

Happy Father’s Day to our REAL LIFE “Superman“. We waited so long for you to finally show up. Thank you for picking us up in your arms that carry EVERYTHING! We love you always … and we will forever … “Everyday” from now until Eternity.

~ Us

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

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

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

Catherine, I can’t feel anything anymore.

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

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

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

DYING LIGHT

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

MAY 24, 2018: “A Castle Of Stone & Brick” …

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DEAR FROG:

3,286 days have passed since the first time you said “I love you”.

2,342 days have passed since the Christmas morning you promised to build me “a castle of stone and brick”.

3,054 days have passed since the night you gave me your heart, a little silver band, and a promise of the best life any man could provide.

3,055 days have passed since my daughter and I moved into your 600 square foot apartment in Fairview after my father said these words to you: “You’re a loser who will never amount to anything and you’ll NEVER be my son in law. MY son in law lives there!”(Then he pointed out the back window to the very beautiful house I’d long since left behind and was never going back to.)

Countless days have passed since our story began that you still never cease to amaze me! You are still my hero, and if we had to go back to the apartment in Fairview I would happily go. I could live anywhere, as long as you’re there. It’s not about the “house”, it’s about the “home”. You’re a prince among men and I am so thankful for you today. You have continued to give us EVERYTHING, and I’m so damn proud to be your wife!

Love beyond words …

BUTTERFLY

JULY 26~August 4, 2017: “The Williamsons Take Alaska!” …

SCRATCH THIS OFF THE BUCKET LIST AND PUT IT RIGHT BACK ON!

From Seattle to Victoria and all the way right back and we even got bring mom! Not only was it one of THE most epic adventures of a lifetime, but it’s one we’ll definitely repeat! This was Zack’s baby … not mine! The funny thing is, when he ever first pitched me “a 10-day Alaskan cruise” – I ALMOST HIT THE FLOOR! Nooo husband – NOOOO! Umm, hello? HAVE YA MET ME? You know I don’t like boats … you know I terrified of the ocean … you know I’m “pretty sure” I don’t like Alaska AND I CERTAINLY DON’T LIKE FISH! So, what are ya doin’ to me here Williamson? Lol! Meanwhile, can I just say this? Oh, wait, I think I just did! This was THE most epic trip of a lifetime, and one we will DEFINITELY keep repeating!

Of note, of all the beautiful pictures that were taken on this wonderous voyage of ours, perhaps the favorite one of all was THIS of me and the boss! It was the last night of the cruise and Gia snapped it without us knowing! We didn’t even find it until we got back home the next day and it literally reduced me to tears! Cama-ihi, Alaska!

OCTOBER 17, 2016: “10-5-82” …

Can you imagine being 20 years old before ever having a “Court Order Delayed Birth Certificate” issued to you, because, in no uncertain terms, your “birthday” didn’t seem to matter? Not your father. Not your “mother”. Not your siblings. NO ONE! Then, adding insult to the original injury and salt on top of the wound, finding out years later that because of the extremely vague details contained on said “birth certificate”, it was theoretically useless? Well, it just so happens that I know a guy … the love of my lifeTHE KING OF MY HEARTwho knows EXACTLY how it feels!

In case you didn’t know, my husband’s childhood was less than optimal. His mother all but threw him away beginning the day he was born, then walked out on him for good 18 months later, because, I suppose, he wasn’t as “stellar” as his older three siblings (also her children) who were good enough to stick around for. It was only ever him she didn’t want, and trust me when I tell you, it’s been a sobering truth reality for him to wake up to every day. Keep in mind also that almost from the onset of meeting him, and especially once we got married, I’d been asking (if not begging) for the “family” he was left with after “the thing that gave birth to him” kicked him to the curb to please find some pictures of him as a child. Even one. JUST ONE? Does anyone have even ONE picture of this man from his childhood? But I’ve digressed.

Last year, ROCK STAR won us a company cruise to The Bahamas for his outstanding sales achievements, but because we’d be crossing international waters, he needed a US Passport. If you’ve ever gone through that application process, you know this all too well … ya can’t get a passport without a birth certificate! We diligently began by first having to obtain a “certified copy” from the courthouse since, PS, adding even more insult to the aforementioned injuries, his father, who received it from the court way back when, lost it! As in, he couldn’t be bothered to keep hold of it … HE WENT AND FUCKING LOST IT! But I’ve digressed again. So, we got the certified copy and turned it in with the passport application.

APPLICATION DENIED!

To make a very long, complicated, and infuriating story as short as possible, it was denied because to information on the “certified copy of the delayed certificate of birth” was so vague, lacking even so much as an official time of birth or the signature of the midwife that delivered him, the State Department wouldn’t accept it as valid enough proof that he WAS indeed actually “born”. Eventually, we ended up sitting in the office of our local state representative, Sam Johnson, explaining all the sordid details to his assistant, who ultimately stepped in, worked a little magic, and managed to get him a one-year “temporary” passport so that we’d be sure and make the cruise. But since we are indeed hoping to travel internationally as much as possible if and when time allows, we still had quite a process to go through in order to obtain a full United States Passport, which “process” sent us on a wild goose chase that looked and SOUNDED something like this …

But, Mr. Williamson, in order to issue you a passport, we need your ORIGINAL birth certificate.

I DON’T HAVE MY ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE! THIS IS WHAT I’M TRYING TO TELL YOU! The only record of my birth that ever fucking existed is the “Court Ordered Delayed” birth certificate that was sent to my father years ago and he went and fucking LOST IT!

But Mr. Williamson, the information on your delayed birth certificate is just too vague. We need more information. What about the hospital you were born in? Did you check with them? Surely, THEY have an official record of you?

I WAS BORN IN MY PARENTS’ HOUSE IN IRVING, NOT A HOSPITAL! THERE WAS NEVER AN OFFICIAL RECORD OF MY BIRTH, OR, IF THERE EVER WAS A RECORD OF ANY KIND, IT NO LONGER EXISTS, BECAUSE NOT ONLY DID SHE NEVER WANT ME IN THE FIRST PLACE, SHE CERTAINLY NEVER KEPT A RECORD OF ME!

Well, we’ll need some documented proof that you existed in the system. Perhaps some early childhood records such as medical, dental, immunizations, or maybe even a letter from the school district you were enrolled in.

NO ONE KEPT ANY RECORDS OF ME … THIS IS WHAT I’M TRYING TO TELL YOU!

Well, what about the Census Bureau? Have you checked with the Census Bureau yet? Or your school district? What about the school district you were enrolled in? Can you get a letter from them?

Why can’t you understand this? NO ONE KEPT ANY RECORDS OF ME! I don’t know how else to explain it to you!

Hmm? Okay, well then how about some school pictures? Are there any school pictures of you? Yearbooks maybe? Do you have any of your childhood yearbooks?

NO ONE KEPT ANY RECORDS OF ME! THIS IS WHAT I’M TRYING TO TELL YOU! THERE ARE LITERALLY NO RECORDS OF ME ANYWHERE! NO ONE KEPT ANY RECORDS FOR ME! HOLY SHIT PEOPLE! FML! I FEEL LIKE I’M GOING INSANE!

After well over a year of arduous detective work and emotional pain, not the least of which was the ultimate slap in his already tender face by his “big brother” (who after having been asked for help by my desperate husband answered with a silent NO), my husband finally received his FULL United States Passport valid for ten years until October 16, 2026!

With all of the above being said, I would now like to say this to my KING of a husband who has worked so hard to give me and mine the actual WORLD on a silver platter … the day you were born was indeed one of the miracles of MY life. I love you, Zachariah. I’m so beyond proud to be your wife.

On 10-5-82, the Sun shone a whole lot brighter than it ever had before. Smiling down on me. At only-God knows what time, both hands of time stopped turning and you came waltzing in to change my world for good. And I really don’t know exactly what was going on, but I bet I laughed a lot harder on that day, ’cause my whole world was changing on 10-5-82. On 10-5-82, you breathed your first breath. Suddenly living life meant so much more on the day that you were born. And I didn’t have a clue of all that was transpiring, but I bet the sky was blue and all the world looked new, ’cause everything was changing on 10-5-82.

JANUARY 21, 2015: “He Didn’t Have To Be” …

… that moment you take her into Barnes & Noble, but rather than picking out a treat for herself, she opts to have you buy a book for her “stepdad“, at which point she proceeds to go home, write a love note inside the cover, then hide it under his pillow to find when he goes to bed tonight. We are the two most blessed girls in this entire world. Thank you God for our “rock and stable ground” day and night!

He didn’t have to ….

… but here he is “rockin’ it!

DECEMBER 31, 2012: “What It Really Means To Have EVERYTHING” …

TPMU

This Friday, Zack and I closed escrow on a brand new house for a dear friend and client. At almost 50, this GODLY, Nigerian man from London, England who’d been saving every penny for years finally got himself a piece of the “American dream”! There are no words to describe the look of pride, accomplishment, and gratitude on his face at the last signed closing document, as if he couldn’t believe what he’d just done. He was like a little boy sitting in front of a tower of presents on Christmas morning! It was hard for me not to cry, but indeed I resisted, because this was his moment, not mine.

He’d been living at his brother’s since having arrived from London three years ago. He’s a simple man of meager means, but after the closing Zack said to him ..

So, when’s the big move? Can we arrange to get a truck or help in any way?

Oh, no truck necessary friend. With the exception of my mattress and a small bedside table, everything I own will fit in my car.

Wait! What? You don’t have anything?

Oh, please don’t worry! My God has blessed me with a brand-new house with a brand-new roof to keep me warm and dry, and I have PLENTY of food to eat! I have the rest of my life to fill my beautiful new home with all the “things” I know God will provide.

With that, Zack and I both left feeling sick to our stomachs and wishing we had a million dollars to just zap him a home filled with “things”. Later that day, Zack shared the situation with his best friend, Rick, who generously gifted our client with a beautiful dinette. Such a blessing! So, we picked it up and headed to Tony’s with the surprise. He answered the door of his very empty house – and when I say empty – I mean empty! 1,700 empty square feet, except for the mattress on the floor in his bedroom, some blankets, pillows, a nightstand, two lamps, some pots, pans and some dishes.

Can I just tell you how genuinely happy this man is for all that he has been given? He said, “I’m not missing a thing”, and let me assure you that he meant it! He is just as content with his mattress on the floor as any of us would be with so much more.

Those of you who know me well know the some of the struggles I’ve overcome, not the least of which is that I was once a girl who had every “thing” a girl could want, yet still had nothing at all. I walked away from the life of a princess in hopes of finding not only myself, but more so than that, the truth. I didn’t quite get to the point where I had to live under a bridge, I do now know how it feels to be “homeless and broke”. More importantly, however, I now know what it means to “lose much but gain all“. I am SO beyond grateful for every single “thing” I have in my once again flourishing life, both tangible and intangible, and I thank God every single second of every single day for every breath that I am given.

Ironically, this client of ours is a clerk at the dry cleaner we patron. Not once in the years that I’ve known him has he failed to greet me with a smile. “How are you this blessed day my dear Catherine?” He watched my life go from better, to worse, to “EVERYTHING”! First I’d rolled up in a $100,000 car, fingers and wrists encrusted with diamonds, to an old Ford pick-up truck worth $500 bucks at most, and me just barely hanging on. All the while he was such an encouragement to me – always kind, always positive, and always reminding me to “keep my eyes upon the Cross and remember what’s most important … MY God, my health and my family“! The day I passed my Texas real estate exam, I just so happened to stop by the dry cleaners on the way home. After my Husband, Sister and Son, he was the fourth human being I told, “I DID IT”! He literally almost cried tears of joy for me! “YOU SEE! I TOLD YOU YOU COULD DO IT! YOU HAD NOTHING TO FEAR BUT THE FEAR ITSELF!” And a few weeks later when I got finally got my business cards? Yup! You guessed it! I happened to stop by the cleaners! He was the first human being who I ever handed my card to! I truly believe this man is an angel in my life, and we are SO blessed to now call him “family and friend”.

DECEMBER 25, 2011: “A Man Of His Word” …

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Merry Christmas Catherine!

Catherine I hope you know how much I love you and the things I plan for you. I know you have not had many princess moments so far but I WILL change that this year. I want to build you a castle of stone and brick, buy you the finest things money can buy and I want everyone to you how special you are as a person and to me. I want everyone to envy us, not for our money but for how great our relationship is and how much I do for you. Though we may not get to spend as much time together this year I promise you that I will make it the best times we have ever had together. I know I am flawed but I am go to do everything I can to be the perfect husband. I will forgive you for all your mistakes if you will forgive me for mine, so that is going to require a lot of forgiving from you! Today is Christmas you know and who was better at forgiving than Jesus? All I want is for us to be happy this year this year baby and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. You are my princess and I will show you that this year. I am going to make you feel more special than you have ever felt. Catherine I love you please accept this promise with the gifts I got you.

Merry Christmas baby.

MAY 25, 2009: “Vindication” …

It happened on a Monday night at a hole in the wall pizza joint on Virginia Parkway in McKinney, Texas – “Brooklyn’s”. I could see that something was a little off with him and wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, but just chalked it up to everyday stress and just kept trying to lighten the mood with my silly jokes and wit. He’d finished ordering and paying for our pizza and returned to the table with this “look” on his face. It was serious. Something was wrong! Honestly? For a minute I thought he was about to say something like, “this relationship of ours is just too much, not working out and I think it would be best if we just go our separate ways.” But then, and I remember like it was yesterday and can still see his face looking at mine, and hear his voice, and his words, and feel the moment his hands reached across the table to take and hold mine:

So, listen, I need to talk to you about something. (At which point my stomach dropped … but then …) You do know that I love you Catherine, don’t you?

And so, I laughed back at him, “Oh you LOVE me, huh? Well I love ya too Williamson!

No, Catherine, this isn’t funny. Be serious for a minute and listen to me. I don’t just ‘love ya’. I. LOVE. YOU. I’m in love with you. IN LOVE WITH YOU! Really, I am. I’ve tried over and over picturing my life in every possible way without you being in it … and just can’t. So, yah, I love you.

All I remember from that point on is my jaw hitting the table. And I cried. Of course, I cried. I’d already beaten him to that punch of course when I’d figured out that “I loved him” while I was away at The Meadows. The first morning I woke up there to any sense of coherency – I knew. I. Loved. Him! But I’d long resolved myself to the fact that we would NEVER work “that way” under any circumstances and was okay with “just being friends”. He was important to me … my eyes, my ears, MY HEART. My Williamson.

Monday, May 25, 2009: “Vindication” for BOTH of us and the first day of the entire rest of our lives. The black Spiderman suit I’d been wearing since the day I was born was falling to the ground in glorious, shredded tatters …

VINDICATED

Hope dangles on a string like slow-spinning redemption. Winding in and winding out, the shine of it has caught my eye. And roped me in so mesmerizing so hypnotizing. I am captivated. I am – Vindicated. I am selfish. I am wrong. I am right, I swear I’m right. Swear I knew it all along and I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself. So clear like the diamond in your ring. Cut to mirror your intention. Oversized and overwhelmed, the shine of which has caught my eye. And rendered me so isolated. So motivated. I am certain now that I am – Vindicated. I am selfish. I am wrong. I am right, I swear I’m right. Swear I knew it all along and I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself. So turn up the corners of your lips. Part them and feel my fingertips. Trace the moment, fall forever. Defense is paper thin. Just one touch and I’d be in too deep now to ever swim against the current. So let me slip away. So let me slip away. So let me slip away. So let me slip against the current. I am – Vindicated. I am selfish. I am wrong. I am right, I swear I’m right. Swear I knew it all along and I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself. {Dashboard Confessional}