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Edith Woodring Janis 1/16/1903 - 6/18/1982

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  • Edith Woodring Janis 1/16/1903 - 6/18/1982

    In loving memory of my Unchi, Edith Woodring Janis who is celebrating her 109th Birthday today in heaven with The Great Spirit along with two grandsons and four of her daughters.
    My Unchi was the most important person in my life. Her wisdom, compassion and understanding helped me become the person I am today. No matter what was happening in my life, both good and bad...especially the bad... she was there for me.
    She was constantly humming or lightly singing NDN songs that I can still hear today. Like others of her generation and wisdom she was a woman of few words...but while those words were few, they were inspiring and provided me with so much guidance.
    I was lucky in the fact that Unchi always lived next door to us when I was growing up. She successfully played a dual role in my life...that of the incredible Grandmother she was and that of a father who never made an attempt to live up to his responsibility. She took on this role without being asked to as she believed that family was the most important thing in our lives and regardless of where one fit in the family and which role they were to play, the most important thing was that they were there.
    I remember so many times when we would just sit silently, the only sound being her humming or singing, with her playing cards or crocheting. I never felt as though we needed to speak, just being together was enough.
    I always felt safe and protected whenever I was with her and after she left this earth, whenever I think of her, I feel her arms around me and I know she is right next to me.
    I somehow thought that time would minimize the hurt that her passing brought and in some small way it has. But as anyone who has lost a loved one knows, the pain does not leave you entirely. On holidays and especially on her birthday, that pain returns...but along with it comes so many of the great memories of special times we shared together.
    This past October I got very ill and ended up needing to have a pacemaker implanted. I was afraid that I would not make it and while that thought scared the crap out of me, the thought that I would be reunited with Unchi made all those bad thoughts go away. Just thinking of her and all that she endured throughout her life made me 'man up' and accept the fate that awaited me.
    Alas, my life continues and if I learned anything laying in that hospital bed it was that I needed to get back in touch with my Lakota roots, and that I did. I started doing research on the internet and found many sites that brought me back to the time she was with me. While you never leave your heritage and culture, sometimes in the struggle we go through to survive in the washecu world we tend to lose contact with that heritage. Thanks to this site and others I have reconnected with my ancestors and once again I feel like I did while I was growing up.
    And once again I felt her with me, softly singing her song just as she had done when I was a kid. And once again I felt safe...just as I do today on her birthday.
    So until we meet again Unchi and we celebrate our birthdays together, know that I LOVE YOU and I will NEVER forget you.
    "Sometimes the character of the opposition defines why something ought to be the most politically viable thing in the world that needs to be changed"

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