Adapt. Overcome. Persevere.

Posted on July 31, 2012 by Catherine Hickland | 6 Comments


"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." -Albert Einstein

Because of what I do for a living, I deal with people’s creative imaginations, I get to travel a lot and spend much of my time on stage laughing. The subconscious mind can be so comically bizarre and off the wall; performing my show never ever bores me. Though what I do doesn’t demand a high level of intuition (it requires more skill for reading body language and facial muscles) it sure doesn’t hurt, either.

I’ve always been a highly intuitive being. I quite often know things about people before they tell me. I don’t mean in a talk-to-the dead kind of way, but more of an "I-can-feel-your-feelings" kind of way. I meet tens of thousands of folks on a summer tour, and each city I play brings me new faces, new friends, and new experiences. I love spending time in the heartland of this great country, but sometimes I get lonely for my little family when I’m on the road.

I have a small family.

Growing up, I never met either Grandfather, as they had both died young. Both of my Grandmothers were strong and very independent women. I was about five when my family fell apart, and after a few scattered years of being separated from my siblings, I ended up being raised for a number of years by my grandmother, who we called "Gram."

Gram was my constant. I always knew when I came home, she’d be there, and that she would take care of any needs I had. I slept in her bedroom in one of the double beds and when I was with her I just felt safe. She was a tough, no-nonsense farm woman, and I knew no one would ever harm me if she were present. She would have kicked them into their next incarnation. I loved her deeply, even if we didn’t use that word too much in the house. The truth is, we didn’t need to. We had an understanding. Actions speak louder than words.

Like many people, I had a chaotic childhood, but as luck would have it, I didn’t know any different, so to me it seemed normal. As I grew up, and began to compare my life experiences to those of my friends, I began to understand the way things were, and unconsciously rejected any notion that I was somehow unfortunate or different in a bad way. Many children, especially today, are raised for a time by their grandparents. God Bless them.

Gram was a huge influence on my life.

Until I was an early teen and went to live with my mom (who is one of my very favorite people on Earth), Gram was the biggest influence on my life. I am a fiercely independent woman, though I’m getting softer on that. Like many children whose parents didn’t get along and divorced badly, my lack of an intimate love relationship model reflected in some of my early choices, and I unknowingly caused myself an unreasonable amount of unnecessary drama. 

I learned from the emotional school of hard knocks, I worked on educating myself in the ways of emotional intelligence, I finally grew into my emotional life (wrote a book about it) and the sweet revelation of it all turned out to be that life really is, for the most part, what we make it.

My Dad passed away almost 30 years ago, and in such an awful way, that a year later, Gram (his mother) passed away also. Losing my Dad was hard, but losing Gram was really hard, because for the last year of her life, amid all of the chaos, I didn’t even know where she was.

After she passed away, I would often think of her and how proud she would be of some of the things I managed to accomplish. She wouldn’t have gushed, she wasn’t like that, but I would have liked to thank her for the stability, and look into those deep-set, soulful eyes once more.

And then something absolutely Godly happened.

For the past few weeks, I played 18 performances at the Delaware State Fair. I had never played that fair before, and it was a state I had not been near since I was just a little girl. I had been booked over a year ago for this fair, and the closer I got to the date, the more I thought about Gram. I wished her relatives were still alive, because I recalled they had lived somewhere in the state. Even so, they would all be gone anyway.

Gram would be 110 by now and her nine brothers and sisters were all very close in age. I thought so much about Gram in the weeks leading up to going to Delaware. I wondered what her last days were like and if she watched over me from Heaven as she did on Earth.

Two days before it was time for me to finish my run in Delaware, I was alone in my hotel room when my cell phone rang. It was someone who had known Gram’s sister, Christine. I remembered Christine very well from when I was younger; she was so very kind and sounded exactly like my grandmother, which tickled me. I met her a handful of times but 1982 had been the last time I had seen her.

The angel on the other end of the phone was named Bev, and she tracked me down through the fair; actually had reached me through an assistant I hired locally for my run. He didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to give out my personal cell number.

Thank God he did.

I was really surprised to get the call, and thanked her for going through the trouble of finding me. After a few moments, I asked how long ago Grams last sister Christine had passed away. “Passed away!” she said with a chuckle, “she hasn’t passed away, she’s still here! She’s 98 years old!”

She then asked where I was staying and when I told her, she informed me that my Great Aunt was a mere ten minute drive from my hotel. I got goose bumps on my goose bumps. I told her I would meet her there at noon the next day, and asked if we could surprise her.

I was so excited! At noon the next day, I knocked on Christine’s door and when Bev led me in, it took her four whole seconds to realize who I was. I kneeled down and took her hand, and when I looked into her eyes, I saw my Gram. Her voice sounded just like Gram too.



I did not let go of her hand for over an hour. I felt tears roll down my face at this incredible moment. At 98, she is sharp as can be. She had lived in that same house since 1943. It turns out I had driven past her house 6 or 7 times during my stay in Delaware and I had no idea at all. I knew then, I was supposed to be exactly where I was.

I must have asked her 50 questions, as she filled in the blanks of Grams last year. She is such a lady, so graceful. Looking into her eyes, holding her hand, I knew at that moment that I had wished this experience upon myself. I had spoken it into existence, and but for God it could not have happened any other way. I believe Gram orchestrated this from the beyond. As always, the timing was perfect. I was at peace. Without question, I felt Gram in the room.
For the first time, I felt her peace. 

As I write this, I am on the flight home from Delaware to Las Vegas and once again find myself reminded that there really is no coincidence. We really do speak and think ourselves into situations and dreams. With the self-talk we do, we can also speak and think ourselves into things we really don’t want.

Take a moment to think about what you are focusing on, and be sure it’s something you would be happy with. We really are very powerful beings, when we aren’t giving it away. No matter where we are in life, we must use our power for good; we must change our thoughts and self-talk to empower our lives forward.

Adapt. Overcome. Persevere.

I have manifested both hard and great experiences into my life. I much prefer the great.

I am believing for wonderful “coincidences,” greatness and happiness in your life too…

I hope to meet you this summer!

Love always,
Cat XO
August 2012

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6 Responses

Kristin@BringPrettyBack

August 17, 2012

Cat , I agree with you – I don’t think there is ever a coincidence either – everything
is exactly as it is supposed to be ~
loved tis story ( :
Have a pretty day!
Kristin

Helene

August 05, 2012

That’s so wonderful, Cat! What a story of love… The new website rocks, as do you! Love you

Bev Thawley

August 02, 2012

It was so nice of you to take time to visit Christina.I saw her yesterday and she is still excited about your visit.If you go to facebook and search for Renee Morris you will see her 2 granddaughters and your 2nd?cousins at an award ceremony for Longaberger baskets in Ohio.(that’s why they couldn’t be there last Friday to see you.)Thanks again for making such a nice time for your great aunt.

Flo DiBona

August 02, 2012

Cat – I thank God for people like YOU sweet lady. We all have dark and light in us. You not only choose to give the dark no power you ARE the light! Thank you for you and your light. It helps more than you could ever possibly imagine. You not only sought out this reunion, you deserved it. Peace and love always! xoxo

Lynn Johnson

August 01, 2012

Cat – What a beautiful story. I loved that you shared it with all of us. Thank you. I am such a fan of your products, been using them for years, Always, always get compliments on my face! Thank you for reaching out to all of us, and thank me for letting you in. Peace. Lynn.

Judy Proulx

August 01, 2012

Catherine-
So glad to see you back! When I lived on CT I always wanted to book a makeup lesson in NYC but it never worked out. You sound like a woman who has been on quite a journey. Welcome back!

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