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 in those dark hours. 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 beautiful 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 am a queen. Yes, I am healed, risen and SOARING after an entire lifetime of “walls”. Yes, I am 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 TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS! PROTECT THEM! CHERISH THEM! VALIDATE THEM! HEAR THEM! CONSIDER THEM FIRST IN EVERY SINGLE CHOICE YOU MAKE FOR “YOU”! Worse yet, stop letting the people who hurt YOU continue to hurt your children! 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 8, 2021: “O’er Fodder & Field” …

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:

<<<CLICK HERE>>>

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 tiara on my head, but more so than that …

I’M MAKING WAVES!

SO CAN YOU!

PLEASE! 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 just never know who’s listening and watching or how far your ripples will reach into the ocean! 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 10, 2020: “A Tree For 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. {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

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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 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!

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!

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

Quora Question
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?” …

Quora Question
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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!

AUGUST 30, 2019: “Roses In 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}

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? 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.

MAY 21, 2019: “The Letter” …

"The God Of Thunder"
~ by Gia Embach ~

To Gia (my baby girl, my daughter and my princess),

I want you to know that I have been struggling with a lot of things here lately that have a lot to do with you but are by no means your fault nor have you done anything wrong, nor do you need to feel guilty or responsible for any of the things I’m telling or feeling. It is important for you to understand that you are not in any way shape or form responible for my happiness or well being nor should you make ANY significant life choice based upon how it will affect me or your mother unless it is something that is clearly stupid or hurtful to us or yourself. So if you see me upset or crying please don’t ever worry or wonder if you did something or if there is a problem with your mom and I.

I have come to some realizations with everything that has happened this past year with you, with boys, life changes and the stuff I found on your phone. I see now that you are not a little girl anymore and that my time with you is running out very quickly. It really caught me off guard and I’m really struggling with it because I always thought I had so much time left with you. Now that I realize you will be out of the house in 5 years and how little time that is there are so many things I want to talk to you about and tell you about to get you ready for the world and life without us to prepare you for what is to come. I’m trying to pace myself on these discussions because I want us to enjoy the time we have left and I don’t want you feel like there is always some heavy, serious or sad discussion that I’m always about to have with you. I know what a downer that can be and I’m sorry these things are uncomfortable but you know they are necessary and I am only doing this because I love you so much.

I didn’t really come in to your life until you were 4 and your mother and I got married  when you were 5 years old. It wasn’t until you were about 6 or 7 that we really loved each other and took on a father daughter bond. So I have really only been a true dad and parent to you for about 7 years or so and divide that in half because of split custody and it’s more like 3.5 or 4 years that I have actually had to spend with you as a father and much of that time has been spent trying to fill in the holes left by [Him]. It has hit me like a ton of bricks now that you are not a child technically that I have missed a lot of your childhood. This has left me feeling devastated for many reasons but mainly because its just not enough time with the only child I will ever have that I love more than anything on God’s green earth. I didn’t ever even really know for sure that you really really loved me and saw me as your real dad until you wrote me that card on Father’s day when you were 11 or 12 that you drew THOR on (I wish so much I was still your super hero). From the age of 11 till just before you were 13 as I really got to know you better as a person while you matured mentally and emotionally I fell head over heels in love with you as a daughter. I never thought I could love and care for a human being as much as I did then and I still do now. We have so much and in common because of things we have been through our lives. I feel like my love for you grows every day still. By the time I really understood this, this past year I realized you were drifting away and I had to find away to give you some space and start letting you go a little so you can eventually be your own person capable of making it on your own decisions without being dependant on me, your mother or anyone else for that matter. I have been inconsolable on many days since this all happened because I felt like I was losing you physically and emotionally. I could not understand why it was hurting so bad just to think of things being any different than they are now. Even you being distant from us while still here in the house gives me a knot in my stomach at times so the thought of you physically not being here for days and weeks on end was paralyzing to me. At first I thought maybe I was just leaning on you too much for emotional connection because of some kind of distance I was feeling from Mom but I started to think about your childhood and how much I missed when you were a baby and when you were [with Him] on his days even after I came around. I have been feeling unfullfilled as a parent and a father because I missed so many precious moments with you. Gia I would have given anything and I mean ANYTHING to hold you as a baby, look you in the eyes and know you were mine and only mine! That I was your everything and your whole world as a father. Your only super hero dad. I never got to change your diaper, feed you a bottle, help you walk or hear your first words. I will never get to share that with you or any other child and regret that so much. I thought maybe if your mother and I had a child together that maybe I would not feel this way but I realize that I would have only wanted that with you. I hate that I have had to and still have to share you with Pete. I know he was your first dad and that he will always have a part of your heart but it has always made me jealous and hurt knowing I will never have ALL of you which is not your fault. It’s so hard for me to accept that and I’m so sorry I was not able to be your 1 and only Dad from the start. I feel we both would be even closer and happier than we are now if that would have happened. I dream about that everyday now and it always makes me cry. Those were the cards we were dealt for some reason and I guess it was supposed to be this way. Regardless how much of your heart I have I want you to know that you are the only little girl that occupies my heart. You have and always will have all of me. I also want you to understand that I chose you and your mother Gia. I didn’t end up with you by default because you popped out of your mother. I chose to take you on as my daughter. Pete has an obligation to be your father, to love you and do certain things for you. He does not have much of a choice in that even though he does not do the best job at it. Gia I don’t need you in my life, I don’t have to be good to you, I don’t have to love you and I don’t have to care about you. I JUST WANT TO and I chose to. I was not forced to, obligated to nor was I expecting anything in return other than reciprocated love and affection from you. I am the only parent that specifically chose you to be mine and it’s important you know how powerful that is. I would not trade my time with you for anything!! I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have no real regrets about our life together other than the parts I had no control over.

I never considered having kids of my own because I was so content with you, I worried it would create resentment in you and I was so afraid I would not be able to handle the responsibility or that I would do to you or others the same thing my parents did to me(abandon, neglect and/or abuse) I never knew I would love being a father or at least YOUR father so much or that I would even be a good father. So far it has been the privelige of my life to call you my daughter and I have never been prouder to claim anything or anyone as my own despite ANY mistakes you have ever made or will ever make.

It’s been a sobering fact to realize than no one in my life has ever cared for me the way I care for you until you and your mom came along. My parents simply did not feel this way about me. I know that because they would not have done the things they did had the felt the way about me as I do about you. People make mistakes but a lifetime of neglect shows how they felt about me. This is why I have struggled with self worth and feeling like I don’t matter my whole life. I can’t have that with you. I will not allow you to ever live your life feeling like you are a piece of crap, a nothing or like you do not matter. I want you to know how loved and missed you are even now and also when you leave our home some day. I miss you every single day when you go to Pete’s and I will miss you every single day when you leave the house to go have your life. It’s just something happens when kids grow up I guess. I don’t want you to be sad about this FACT I want you to be happy knowing that even though your first dad was not able to be what you wanted and needed that THIS dad will always do his best to make you feel wanted and loved. You will always be my priority. That being said I am human and a broken human at that and I make mistake, little one and big ones. I am sure I will screw up between now and the rest of our life together and may at times do and say things that seem to contradict what I am saying here but it only because I am not perfect and just as flawed as anyone else but I will do my best and I will admit when I’m wrong or when I have screwed up then I do whatever it takes to fix it with you so we can move forward on good terms. I promise that to you and I hope you can remember all of this even if I’m not living up to my word and give me time to fix things if I do screw this up someday.

You told me your greatest fear was being vulnerable. Did you know that in studies showing vulnerability is quickest way to make someone like you and viewed as a sign of strength? It is our flaws, imperfections, insecurities and willingness to share those with others that bring us closer to the people we love. It’s true that it will backfire from time to time and people will take advantage of it which will hurt immensely and affect your ability to trust others but 9 times out of 10 it will go well. You just have to trust the right people to vulnerable with and we will talk about that more another time.

You have also expressed that you wish to change the world, have a close loving family and wish to be remembered. I assure you Gia if you stay true to your heart and continue to be the person I love so much that you will have these things. I will never forget you and no one who gets to know you will ever forget you either. I’m not just saying this because I’m your dad but you are one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. I know you are not perfect but you are smart, kind, beautiful and compassionate. I would not change anything about you other than the wounds that still hurt you to this day.

I have told you before but I will continue to reiterate until you really get it. You can tell me anything Gia!! Any problem you have even if you did something I told you not to do and I’m disappointed in you I’m still going to be kind to you and help you find a solution to your problem or just listen to you so you can get it off your chest and just feel better. A lot of girls/women do not tell there dad things going on with them, things they have done or problems they are dealing with because they are afraid of ruining their image of “daddy’s little angel” or “daddy’s princess” with their father or that he will think less of them, disown them or be infuriated. Gia I am telling you that I will never think less of you as a person. I know you are not perfect and I know you are going to screw up and do things at times that you are ashamed of and regret. WE ALL HAVE. I know what stuff I did and thought about from your age and on and you will not surprise me whatever it is that you get in to. I think you will make good decisions but if you ever get pregnant, addicted drugs, deal drugs, get raped, get an STD, steal, cheat, shank a biotch, kill someone, strip or even hook I AM STILL GOING TO LOVE YOU. I am also still going to help you anyway I can. I have scooped you off the floor before when things have happened and I will do it 1000 more times if I have to. I don’t think you will ever do most of those things but I really need you to understand that you will always be my daughter and I will always be there for you no matter what even when I know you are wrong at times. If I ever thought you were sitting in the dark somewhere going through something that you couldn’t handle all by yourself and you did not feel like you had anyone to help you it would BREAK my heart worse than any of those things listed above. Almost every horrible thing I went through in my life I dealt with on my own before your mom came along and it was a miserable lonely existence. Please don’t ever allow yourself to live like that EVER. I’m going to ask you to promise me that. If the walls are caving in around you, and they will before it’s all said and done, you have to call me or tell me or your mother.

I would only ask that before you ever make a decision about things you do with yourself, with boys, with other people or with alcohol/substances that you would ask yourself before hand, “what would my Dad think about this, what would my future kids think about this and would I be embarrassed or ashamed to tell someone I loved about this?? And if for some reason you make the wrong decision anyway that you have the courage to talk to me about it or get help if there is a problem associated with it.

I still have a lot to talk to you about on this stuff and I’m sorry this is so long but I had to let you know how I feel about you. I may not ever get to have another conversation about these things with you again because you just never know what will happen. People come in to this world and leave this world everyday and if you were going to know one thing about anything before I die it would be what is written on this paper. I want you to keep this paper and read it any time you feel bad or lonely or depressed and if I’m still around I hope you will call me or find me and let me pour my love and my strength in to you. If I’m already gone I hope you would remember me and call someone else you love to get help. Good night baby girl. Everyday is a new day and no matter how good or bad this day is the next day can always be better. Don’t ever forget these things.

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

Why does January 11th always have to be so fucking hard? Exactly one year ago today he was standing at the window in the kitchen of our beautiful castle looking out at everything he’d built … from NOTHING … absolutely NOTHING … after having spent a lifetime running from the pain from being thrown away by his mother. I was taking down Christmas decorations. I’ll never forget it – EVER. Especially because we were getting ready to take flowers to Gina’s grave for her birthday. I remember like it was yesterday … I walked in and saw him standing there with this cold, blank, lifeless stare and a single tear rolling down his cheek. I asked him what was wrong, and he turned to look at me. The look in his eyes leveled me – and I had an adrenaline dump right out the tips of my fingers.

Catherine, I can’t feel anything anymore.

I got so physically ill, because I knew just what he meant. In the months that followed, 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 literally swallowed him alive. In being honest, that was the day I lost him. From that point on he was merely “dead alive”, slowly headed towards the dying light.

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}

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 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 to 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 and complicated 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.

BUT 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 proof that you existed. Some early childhood records such as medical, dental, immunizations, or 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, how about the Census Bureau. Have you checked with the Census Bureau? Or your school district? What school district were you enrolled in? Can you get a letter from them?

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

Hmmmm. Okay, well how about some school pictures? Are there any school pictures? Yearbooks maybe? Do you have any childhood yearbooks?

BUT – NO ONE KEPT ANY RECORDS OF ME … THIS IS WHAT I’M TRYING TO TELL YOU! THERE ARE LITERALLY NO RECORDS OF ME ANYWHERE! HOLY SHIT PEOPLE! FML! ARGHHHHHH!

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 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”.