My story of healing:written in 2006

MIND YOU I aint the worlds best writer..hehehehehehe

We Learn From Life

It is the story of all life that is holy and it is good to tell, and for us two-leggeds sharing in it with the four leggeds and the wings of the air and all the green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is one spirit“( Black Elk Speaks p.1).

When Black Elk tells his story I believe he is reminding us at that in every story there is something holy, and good to be exchanged. From every person’s story we all learn a little bit more about how to be a good person or how to handle a problem or go about something. I feel that, by relating my own story to the stories and words of the great intellects of the past and present, I can find help and gain more strength to do the best I can in the life that I was blessed with.

My story for you starts when I woke up on the road, my body was twisted, and I couldn’t move. I realized at that moment that something horrible was wrong. I was lying there and my first thoughts were to pray. I didn’t scream out or go into shock; my first reaction was to stay calm and just pray that it’s not as bad as it all looks. I didn’t know if I was the only one alive or not. All I knew is that there was a morning mist surrounding my broken body and blood was running down my face. As, I prayed I could hear people screaming and I heard my son Nakeezaka crying. I looked back as best I could; my neck bones were broken as well, and I seen my son sitting next to my husband’s body crying. I seen my brother-in-law’s come running over and grab Nakeezaka, to comfort him from the horrible sight, he was only six years old. This is the moment that I realized life would never be the same, and that will probably never fade from my memory. This journey I’ve had, has brought me to realize the meanings of my life and the understand the indigenous concepts of life, death, spirituality and it gave me a sense of what religion means for me, as an indigenous woman, it’s a healing process and this paper is a small piece of that process and a small piece of my life journey.

There were four of us in the Ford F-150 double cab, it was bright red and we all felt “cool” cruising in it. My husband Daryl, my son Nakeezaka, my daughter Maliah, my little sister Leela and I were traveling back from a memorable weekend. The Chippewa Cree Powwow in Rocky Boy, Montana was quite a celebration; we were invited to many feasts, the champions of special contest dances and enjoyed an exceptionally nice weekend. It was a weekend I will never forget because it was the last weekend of happiness that I’ve had in my life so far. I was only 24 years old and still hadn’t lived up to all the dreams I had for my family.

As a family, we camped at the celebration with my two sisters Lacey and Leela, my three cousins Challis, Joseph, and Summer, Summer’s boyfriend Everett and Lacey’s boyfriend Thomas. Daryl and I had just bought a new tent and air mattress so that we could feel more comfortable; almost make a little home of our camp. We had the same tent as Summer and Ev, so we all decided to set up our camp so our tent doorway’s would open to one another’s. We had lawn chairs and ice chests for water and food. It was great because the two tents were 10-man tents each and there were only 11 of us camping. Looking back we all agree that it was one of the most perfect and peaceful weekends of our lives. Yes, we had been there to powwow and were dancing in the competitions, but we did spend a considerable amount of time relaxing, talking and eating. We even went swimming. It was a weekend that I will never forget. There is so much to talk about, I remember so many little details of the last days I had with my family.

The celebration started on a Thursday, but we arrived Friday morning, bushy haired, happy and rearing to have a good powwow weekend. Our camp was always filled with laughter, the kids were always doing crazy things or someone would come walking through our camp and stop for a quick visit, usually leaving a funny joke or story with us to giggle about. This was the way it was, it was about loving life, being happy and not worrying about the little things in life, just living it. Life is our blessing and if you take care of and nurture that blessing, more life blessings would come our way, that was what me and my husband always lived by. We lived by, what I call the “Indian way”, which is when you always take care of your family, friends and those in need, because these are the people who will be there for you when you need help the most. My grandmother taught me that, she would always give us advice on the how to be a good person, she would always get mad at us when we’d get greedy or when we’d get lazy. Those were some of the lessons or teachings we traveled along the “powwow trail” with. And our children were being raised with these teachings as well, it made us feel grateful to have such good families whom carried those traditional values for centuries, so that we may be blessed by them.

As we camped, danced and enjoyed the powwow celebration we were unaware of the tragedy in our lives that would come in a few days. One thing that was very clear in all of our minds was the great harmony, beauty, and perfection of our lives. There we were, all happy as can be, enjoying what little we had. Sitting and laughing, dancing and feeling good, visiting and sharing the kinship and love of our other Indian friends. There were families camped all around us and we noticed that there was a feeling of comfort and harmony on the last day of the powwow, we were full from the feasts we had been invited to, and it was time for all the dancers and singer’s to get ready and dance. Yet, no one in any of the camps was getting ready, the M.C. was saying, “Come on dancers and singers, grand entry is in 20 minutes”, everyone was busy enjoying the feeling of that day.

The day started very hot, my daughter danced in her new jingle dress and our whole group of friends and relatives went over to observe what she had learned from her observations of the older jingle dancers. We noticed that she danced like one of our friends who is a champion women’s jingle dancer. Maliah, raised her little turkey fan on each honor beat and moved her little head in a very professional manner, we could all tell that she had it in her to be a great dancer someday. She would come back to us after each song and we would encourage her and cheer her on. My husband told her “Maliah, dance hard and we’ll get you a snow cone after this song, ok baby”. She nodded and went back out to the arena making all of her family and all of our friends proud to see her carrying on the powwow dance.

So, there we were after that hot session of dancing enjoying the cool breeze, feeling full of good feast food and feeling good from the way our weekend and our lives had come to be, we noticed that life seemed perfect. It wasn’t just us, one of the men from another camp came into ours and said “This is what life is about!” we all agreed, we were doing what we loved with the people we loved. I felt a breeze blow across my face, a nice August breeze. I listened and I could hear birds, there were bee’s buzzing about the empty soda cans, and the sky was clear and blue. The sun was just above the horizon, the children were playing, the adults were visiting and from every camp you could hear all the families just being together and laughing. Life was beautiful, what more could one ask for. We had been blessed with the ways of our people, the life that we lived and blessed with the people who walked our lives with us. No one was getting ready, still, the M.C. was calling for all dancers and singers to report to the arbor for grand entry, and everyone continued to sit at their camps laughing and visiting. My husband and I lay in Summer’s tent and giggled with her and Ev as we talked about how good our weekend was. My daughter came in and wanted us to get her dressed, but we had only 10 minutes to get ready, so I told her to wait until after grand entry.

We all rushed to get dressed in our regalia’s, by the time I was dressed the men’s categories were leading in the dancers. I glanced over and saw my little daughter carrying a big woman size fancy shawl. It was dragging and the fringes were getting weeds and dirt caught on them. I tried to catch her but she dragged her shawl into the arbor and grabbed her father’s hand; they dance their final grand entry together. It was a sight to be seen, the sun was on the horizon and the singers were “blasting” an awesome grand entry song, the men were going for it and giving it their all. There were Daryl and Maliah dancing their final grand entry side by side. It was almost a sign, that they were going to be dancing for us forever and this was a sign that creator meant for them to be together in life and in death.

I don’t know how this paper fits the concepts in class, but I know it fits the concept of being Indian. We learn from the lessons life has taught us, we are given different blessings, we learn from the experience of our lives, the experiences of our bloodlines and from what we are taught in “talk-story” from our elders. I know that life is a philosophy. Life is a blessing, life is a story and life can be shared forever. In many of the different readings and books I have read in this course and others, from Vine Deloria Jr. s God is Red, to Black Elks Speaks, to Wisdoms Daughter’s, I find a common theme, and this theme is that life gives all of us the lessons that will carry on our bloodlines and take care of us as human people. It is experiences and stories that can help us learn or help us cope with problems and difficulties.

The next morning after Daryl and Maliah entered the dance circle hand-in-hand, they left this world, as we traveled home after winning championships at the powwow. Maliah had a short life; she was only four years old. I don’t think I’ve actually come to terms with her death, I am still healing. Right now, I am just doing what I have to do to ensure my son understands that we must keep going. I “knew” something was going to happen to her before I went to sleep that morning. I asked my cousin Summer to let Maliah sleep in her car because there was no room in the back of the truck cab. But, as soon as I handed her off she heard my little sister Leela announce to Daryl that she had cookies. Daryl was laughing and trying to steal as many cookies from Leela as he could. Maliah heard their exchange of words and laughter and woke up, saying “I want to sit by my daddy”. I felt strangely afraid to allow her in the front of the cab, my mind flashed a thought that I wished never happened. In my mind, I thought, “If we get in a wreck she will be the first to go”. I laid back down and let her sit in the front and waved Summer, a “never-mind” signal. Maliah was asking her daddy about our pug dogs Mugwa and Mooshu, I had a strange foreboding. I was laying there mad for thinking horrible thoughts, I dozed off before I could say a prayer to ask for traveling mercies.

I woke up, I didn’t understand at first whether I was in a dream or awake. I remained calm, I knew that freaking out would only make things worse. If this was a dream, I wanted to wake up. It wasn’t a dream; it was a nightmare come true. I remember everything clearly. I think somehow, I was helped by the creator or by something I cannot explain to help me remain calm, helping spirits or my teachings. I didn’t cry, my Grandma always said “Don’t cry like someone died or the Creator will give you a reason to cry”. I wanted to be sure that the others in the vehicle were taken care of; I didn’t care whether I lived or died. All I wanted was my daughter, I can’t explain the feeling, but I knew she was gone. I could “FEEL” it. The ambulance arrived quickly, we happened to wreck a few miles out of Butte, Montana on Interstate 15.

When the ambulance loaded me into the vehicle, I remember asking how everyone was, and I remember asking if my daughter was ok. They didn’t say anything; they told me that they will let me know because their concern was with me. I didn’t care about me. My son was loaded into the same ambulance vehicle, I held his hand tightly. I told him that we will be fine, that help has arrived, mommy is here with him and I will never leave him. I told him that I loved him. I don’t know how I must have looked because a portion of my scalp was ripped back from my forehead. I didn’t care, he needed comfort more than I did. So, I comforted my son, in my softest voice I kept reassuring him that we were ok. As, the ambulance was getting ready to transport us from the accident scene to the emergency room I listened to the driver call-in the details. “We are now transporting an adult male 25 years old, an adult female 24 years old, a female 14 years old and a 6 year old male”. My heart sank, I asked the paramedic where the four year old girl was, I asked why they weren’t transporting her. I still didn’t know where she was but that “feeling” that she was no longer “here” in this world was strong. I didn’t want to believe the “feeling” so I held my tears back and tried to concentrate on my son. I squeezed his hand and repeatedly explained to him how much I loved him and would be there for him. I didn’t want to freak out about my daughter in front of him. Later the nurses told me that they were amazed at the calmness I kept, for the love of a mother can keep us strong in times of need.

We arrived and the emergency room was frantic. The paramedics put all four of us in different rooms. I still didn’t know how Daryl or Leela was doing. I thought Daryl was ok, because I had seen him crying out “WHY?” as he struggled to look around. Later, I found out that he was motionless. Perhaps I saw his spirit. I have no idea. I was laying there just sobbing, because now it was my chance to cry, my son was in another room. I was sobbing in pain and fear. I was scared. How could this happen, we were good people? The ER nurses were cutting my clothes off and they were washing the rocks from my scalp. They were trying to straighten my broken body, and told me to just be strong. My pelvic bones were both cracked; one was cracked almost completely in half and my pubic bones were crushed in. The right side of my body was twisted over my left. Below my waist, I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t feel my legs. They washed me and prepped me, gave me some pain medications and sent me to x-ray. I couldn’t hold still because I was in so much pain. I think I was near shock. The doctors were discussing my condition and luckily the only doctor in the whole state who would attempt to reattach my pelvic bone with pins and a plate was in town for the day. Was this a miracle?

Before I went into surgery, I remember asking a nurse whether my son was ok, and than I asked about my daughter. There was another nurse with her, they both looked at each other, than she grabbed my hand and started crying. “I’m sorry honey, she’s gone”, I will never forget the look on her face as she told me this. I wailed out. I didn’t want to live anymore. No mother wants anything to happen to her child, not even a scratch. But mine was gone, I couldn’t hold her, I would never get to see her grow up. I think I went into shock. I can’t even remember much. I remember bits and pieces, like sobbing while I had my MRI done to check on my neck, I cracked three vertebrae, they needed me to be still but my sobs were so strong my whole body would cry with me. The doctors were concerned because my nerves were crushed. They told me that, because of my injuries, it looks like I won’t be able to walk again.

A medicine man once told me that every person has medicine that will protect them. You just need to find that medicine within yourself to get you through hardships. I think my inner medicine was taking care of me. I don’t know where my strength to not cry in front of my son came from. Perhaps it was my medicine. The Tewa woman, in Wisdom’s Daughters said something that helped me realize what that medicine man was saying.

“Remember we’re spirit, we’re body, and we are mind. As people we try to be spiritual, we try to be with our spirit as much as we can every second of our lives… god is you, in you, a part of you. So we carry that with us and teach our little ones while they’re still little how to pray. We have our ways of teaching them how to pray and so they see that” (Wall 1993 p.19).

Medicine and the Creator’s protection was in me, and Creator’s medicine was protecting me. I think the prayer I had said at the moment of the accident may have helped me be strong. The prayers from all corners of Indian country helped me be strong as well, it helped me heal.

The accident happened August 8th; on August 11th was my daughter’s funeral. I remember seeing her lying in her little casket. She had on a bandana to cover her head injuries. My sister made her a new outfit. I guess she asked my daughter what she wanted while they were at the powwow and Maliah said she wanted a new outfit. So my sister made her a sparkly new dress. Maliah had her hair in two little braids, bracelets and traditional shell earrings. She was dressed in her best, and had her favorite toys and things with her. One item that she always carried around was a purse; she liked lip gloss, glitter and stickers. One time she even stashed a corn dog in her purse for the whole duration of a powwow. Maybe she liked it so much she wanted to keep it. She was a daddy’s girl; he lived his life to please her, maybe she was saving it for a special picnic with him. Maliah knew that she was very loved and she was full of life. Always doing funny things, like a few weeks before she passed on she ran into camped dressed like a hula girl (she dressed herself) and threw my new silk champion jacket onto the dirt. The jacket was her platform and she entertained her aunts with her hula skills from the movie Lilo and Stitch. She always made us laugh. I touched her lifeless hands, I wanted to pick her up and hold her in my arms. I hadn’t seen her since I let her sit in the front of the truck with her daddy. She was so peaceful, she looked like she was just sleeping, even in death she didn’t look hard and lifeless. She looked like she was asleep, not gone. I couldn’t really see her well because my neck was braced up and I had no movement in my legs. So I just touched her and sobbed. I wanted my baby back. The pain is like no other, losing a child is very hard. I spent a long time asking the Creator “why?”, but I realize that it is an empty question. The Creator doesn’t take from us, he gives to us, and in everything, there is a blessing. I realized now, that I must accept her death because it’s just a part of life, I must thankful for the blessings of her. This is my understanding from my teachings and beliefs.

Later that day her body was sent to the reservation and my family gathered all her things and took care of them. My family also prepared a give-away. I didn’t get to put her to rest, sometimes I wonder if that’s what makes me feel so sad. Maybe, my sadness comes from incompleteness, its still my burden. I cut off my hair that day while I mourned from my hospital bed 300 miles away. More, events were to come about soon. The doctors came in and told me that Daryl wasn’t going to make it. I needed to decide whether to unplug him from life support or not. I couldn’t decide this. It was too much.

I got this “burden” feeling back while I was in a class at Haskell Indian Nations University this spring. We discussed a short story by Louise Erdrich called “The Shawl”, about a man who carried a burden, the grief of his sister’s death and the anger he had for his mother (Lecture March 2007). The man, at the age of five was raised in the woodlands of the northern Midwest. In that time there were only wagons and sleds for transportation. Fur was a commodity and trappers were killing all the game for predators such as wolves. The boy at five years old was being left by his mother whom had a baby from another man. The boy had an older sister; the sister was going with the mother and the new baby. They were being transported to another area of the woods so that the boy’s mother could be with the other man, and the boy was to stay with his father. When the mother and the girl began to leave, the boy ran after them, until he fell in exhaustion. At this time he probably didn’t understand what was happening. There happened to be a pack of wolves chasing the sled that carried the new -man’s uncle (was driving them), his mother, the baby and his nine year old sister. The boy remembers shadows surrounding him. His father came after him and brought him home from the snow. The boy related his story to his father. The shadows from the boys story made the father curious about what they had been, spirits? The father went out to where the boy lay, and seen that the sister had been eaten by the wolves. All that was left were the remains and pieces of her shawl. The father told his son, on his death bed, that the mother threw her to the wolves. The boy only had a piece of her shawl to remember her by. He grew up hating his mother for leaving them for another man and killing his sister. This was his burden. Anger and not letting the death of his sister go. He carried this burden and a piece of the shawl into his adulthood; it was a haunt in his everyday life.

I listened in class, holding my tears back, because I have that same burden. I had been feeling sad and angry for various reasons involving the tragedy. One of the girls in class was asked what the symbolism of the shawl meant. She said, “It’s a burden. The man carried that burden all his life and he became a drunk and a child abuser”. The man became a father himself, and ended up losing his wife, he was left to care for three children. The man was an alcoholic and would beat on his children often. One of his children, a boy, grew strong enough and decided to fight back. The man got beat up by his son. After the fight, the son cleaned up his father’s blood and found the shawl. The shawl made the father have an awakening. It represented all that made his life bad. He had all his pain in that shawl. The boy, years later after hearing about the shawl and thinking of his father, decided to suggest to his father that the shawl must be burnt. The things of those passed on are not kept; the shawl should be with the man’s sister. Than the boy suggested that maybe, because the girl (the man’s sister) was raised traditionally, kindhearted and knew the teachings, that she sacrificed herself. The girl sacrificed herself for the life of her family and her little brother. The man changed his perspective and gave up the burden of the shawl and was not angry anymore. Upon hearing this, I ran out of class.

My burden that day was only one of many; the burden was that I would have to decide for someone else’s life. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I didn’t answer the doctors, I told my mother and my mother-in-law the news. So, my mother, feeling my pain decided to go outside and ask the creator for mercy. Our people believe that the creator is in everything, that sometimes a tree or a bird can help you, because it is as much a part of the Creator as it is a tree or bird. My mother ran outside crying for me, she grabbed a tree and asked the Creator to have mercy, she asked Daryl to not let me make this choice. She cried. I see so much of this experience and the things we read about in class coincide. The idea, all things are related, in this world, all things are the Creators creation, the water, the sky, rocks the animals, trees and humans, everything. So, with this concept instilled upon my mother, passed on to her from our ancestors, my mother used the tree to help her and carry her prayers to the creator.

In “Black Elk Speaks“, there are many references to all things being related. In prayer Black Elk offers, “Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice. You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer. All things belong to you- the two-leggeds, the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all the green things that live. You have set the powers of the four quarters to cross each other. The good road and the road of difficulties you have made to cross, the place is holy. Day in and day out, forever, you are the life of things” (Niehardt 1995 p. 272). From my up-bringing and taught to me by my elders, is much the same belief offered in Black Elk’s prayer. All things are related and we are connected in spirituality. Therefore, my mother asked this tree to carry her prayer, there was no tobacco near by, or anything formally used to offer a prayer.

Later that night, my daughter had been buried and the doctors were waiting to hear my answer, my son came in and gave me a rock. I held that rock, I wasn’t able to understand. Was my son giving me something to help me with my prayers? I still have the rock. It was a very eventful day; the doctors were reviewing my latest CT scans and MRI scan to check on my vertebrae damage. I had to wait till the next day to hear whether I’d be stuck in a wheel chair forever or not. As, I slept the night the nurses came to wake me, I was full of morphine and my memory of this is hazy.

Daryl was having heart failure, his brain stem had been crushed in the wreck, bones broken, and his body skidded across the interstate upon ejection from the truck. He was on life support, his head was swollen from blood, the inner part of his brain was being crushed from the swelling as well. I didn’t know what to do. I was half there. I just sat in my wheelchair. The doctors and staff were doing all they could to revive him, but he left this world on his own. I sat next to his body and sobbed for a while. My medications made me to drowsy to stay long. My mother’s prayer was answered, she asked that Daryl make his own choice and that I would not have to carry the burden of guilt for his life, and she asked that he would be strong and perhaps live, but he left on his own. I think to be with his beloved daughter, he lived for her.

Waking up the next morning was just as horrible as the day I woke up on the interstate. My daughter was gone from my life forever, my husband didn’t make it, and I was alone and didn’t know how I to feel or even be. I just wanted to die. It is the most painful feeling to have. The doctors came in and had a meeting with my parents; I was to be able to walk with-in a year perhaps. They said that my vertebra wasn’t as severely damaged as they thought. I was fine in that department and I needed to remain still until I was healed. It was bittersweet. Little did I know prayers were offered up from all corners of Indian country on our behalf. I think that Daryl may have blessed me, so that I can continue to dance and feel good. He loved my dancing and I loved his, he told me as we left Rocky Boy powwow, hours before the wreck, that if anything ever happened to him, he’d want me to continue to dance. I do.

My little sister was ejected 75 feet from the car, and she had some brain trauma as well. The doctor said that she is a miracle, had she been out on that road 10 minutes longer she would have died. The impact caused massive swelling and the blood was crushing her brain. Amazingly, she was able to walk out of the hospital four days later.

Since the wreck, I have been through many ceremonies, churches and other forms of religious or emotional aid. I know that the words of Chief Seattle are true, “Death is merely a changing of worlds” ( Deloria p. 181). Many signs have shown that they are around us, in all things. By sharing my story, I hope to capture the essence of being Native that we are always learning and can take something from each and every experience. The stories of other people have helped me through many of my rough patches, in some I find an answer to a problem that I’ve had. I wanted to share my story, I don’t know what good it will do, and I hope that sharing it can help me heal. Maybe, it will help someone else heal as well. In all of the readings of the semester, something has always stood out to me, and it’s that learning from life is of great importance for Native peoples for time immemorial. As Native peoples, life is our philosophy, the lessons of those who’ve gone before us are still living today, in our memories, stories, prayers and everyday interactions. In essence we are all connected, in mind, body, and spirit. I know that somehow, the prayers offered for my family in this tragedy were answered. If they had not been, I think I would crumble in sadness. Something held my son and me together; we are still striving to be stable.

“It is the place where one comes to know what it is to be related. It is the place of sharing life through everyday acts, through song, dance, story, and celebration. It is the place of teaching, learning, making art and sharing thoughts, feelings of joy and grief. It is the place for feeling and being connected. The community is the place where each person can, metaphorically speaking, become complete and express the fullness of their life. Community is “that place that Indian people talk about”, it is the place through which Indian people express their highest thought” (Cajete 1994 p. 166).

I read a book, not long after the car accident, called Pretty Shield; it was about a Crow woman who had been through many hardships in life. I read the book and felt inspired by her strength, no matter what happened she still kept living her life. She took each memory and learned from it, each loved one she lost, was a blessing for her, as she was to them. On moments that made me want to give up, I’d look to my son. Looking to him for strength was like looking to my future, he is my mountain. The choices I make impact his life, if I choose to disconnect and wallow in grief he will not know how to cope when his life gets hard. In sharing our stories, we give up some of our burdens. I hope that this sharing with you will help release some of my pain. I have been through hard times, but I will try and look to my son, and help him move forward.

Our lives came to a halt, to explain the days after Daryl’s death is more than I can handle. For now, I will end here, and let my experience and personal knowledge flow with knowledge I gained from each author of every reading. I have learned a lot in each reading, One thing that is important is that “It Doesn’t end goes on, in another place, on the otherside” (Marshall 2001 p. 229). Life carries burdens for everyone; we have to carry our burdens the best way we know how. For me, its helps to learn from the experiences of others, their lives are woven into mine and give me the strength to cope. My life isn’t done, nor is my story, but I wanted to share it with you. I wrote this paper to not only end this semester, but to bring forth a new season of healing. With this paper, I will give up some of my pain. I tried other remedies to help me relieve my grief, but sharing it with others helped me to let it go, little by little. Thank you for sharing in my journey, so that I have not walked alone.

“Life goes on, it continues to cycle. The sun comes up each morning and with it comes new opportunity, new hope. No matter what kind of mess I’ve made the day before, no matter what victories I’ve celebrated, each new day is a chance to set the record straight, atone for a mistake, achieve another victory, and take another step on my journey. Each new day is ” inikagapi”, a chance to be renewed and reborn- another opportunity to be part of the circle that is life, knowing that it is a journey, not a race, and that one doesn’t travel it alone” (Marshall 2001, p. 229).

(ANYWAY Here’s a lil tidbit)

I learned from Luci Tapahonso’s hardships to cope with the death of her grandchild. Her experience “spoke to me”. The Shawl by Louise Erdrich was an awakening, it was almost as if the whole entire story was something that I have been feeling, the burdens we carry will lessen if we learn to let go and let the Creator take them away. Black Elk’s words were important for me, they are the words of man whom I will never know in this life, but his life is intertwined with mine, his story is mine. Simon Ortiz, shared with me that our traditional beliefs can carry us far, even to the top of a mountain. Cajete helped me express that sharing with another is the best education. Lesli Silko helped me realize, in Tayo’s journey, that we have to look to our teachings to help us through hardships. Joseph Marshall knows that storytelling equals healing and lessons for life. There are even more to discuss. I mostly enjoyed Joseph Marshall’s book. In each story is a lesson, the lesson can help us in our everyday life, even through time and space. The lessons and experiences are our blessings as people and we must share our blessings with others. Life is our medicine.


OK that was what I wrote for Class.if U have time..enjoy L8erz & if you want sources contact moiby Roslyn Wahtomy


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Truly an inspiration. I’d heard about what happened and have seen you around Indian Country, but to read this from your own words . . . . I’m so inspired.

  2. Howka…Your story is powerful willow. I’m sure we all can relate to your story in some way. Your story has given me some insight to not let negativity surround me and my daughter (in any form). To move on from whats holds me down. I am very inspired as well!

  3. Wow. As a grown and somewhat cynical and jaded individual, you have brought tears to my eyes. in avery sincere manner, i get this out of it that your experience has to be… about life. it is a realization. that our people were strong in such ways, that they still carried on in the face of such great adversity. That no matter what, we have to carry on. I truly thank you in deep sincerity for sharing your story. I myself feel humbled, and so often we don’t say things to people, so, I wanted to comment a little because of the depth of empathy that i had reading this that you made me cry tears for you. In he most respectful manner, i want to say Ah-ho to you.

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