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I will share with you my feelings, my soul. I will let my pains go and let my hardship be lessened. I will share myself with you. This is my blog, my words that I wish to share with you. OOSE

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MY MEDICINE, MY life (part 3)

Posted 11-29-2007 at 01:55 AM by woggs
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.
Total Comments 3


This post is good. It reminds me a lot of what I went through when my cousin died in March. Trying to stay positive, understanding that death, like life, is a gift is one of the hardest lessons I've had to learn. and yes..death is merely a change of worlds. and this life we have a purpose and in death, we have a much higher purpose to serve. yet, I know that it is still so hard to accept sometimes...especially when you ask why did this have to happen? You have a good attitude and a lot of inner strength, energy, and spirit that will help you make it very far in this life. You and your son obviously have a purpose that is yet to be fulfilled on this earth. Anyways, to get to the point, good blog. Keep it up.
Posted 12-05-2007 at 07:48 PM by marichriaddi marichriaddi is offline
WocusWoman's Avatar
wonderful Woggs, so glad that other young women are respecting, understanding and passing on their traditions also. I wish I had heard this lesson when I attended Haskell in the late 80's....
Posted 01-15-2008 at 02:42 AM by WocusWoman WocusWoman is offline
The loss of a child can be one of the hardest losses of ones life. However it sometimes helps to rember that for some reason the Great Spirit knows best and takes someome to a much better place. Prayers and Blessings
Posted 05-02-2010 at 01:30 AM by Oldernighthawk Oldernighthawk is offline
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