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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 4)

Posted 11-29-2007 at 01:57 AM by woggs
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).
Total Comments 1


Lakota_winyan's Avatar
thanks for sharing...and going forward in your healing journey.
Posted 08-20-2008 at 01:10 PM by Lakota_winyan Lakota_winyan is offline
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