This I Believe
It is all about the continuation, the next seven generations yet to come, this I believe to be the purpose of life. I have been blessed with life and then blessed again through the arrival of my children, each sent here to teach me one of life’s many lessons. Yet, tragedy surrounds my family like an all consuming night terror that has played over and over again. It is through the tragedy that I have come to believe that my children are my greatest purpose and that I am charged to love and protect them, so that they may instill some wisdom in me.
Too many young people in my family have died young. With each of these deaths I am reminded that I must live in the present and give the greatest thanksgiving for the blessings of my children. In my short life I have attended the funerals of 6 of my loved ones all under the age of 18 years old, this became almost a ritual until the Timber embarked on his journey to the West. I do believe that there are summers that we never forget, and then there are the summers that we will always remember.
I was the one who cleaned my Aunt and Uncle’s house- 5 days a week. I was there the day that Timber came home from the hospital and I can still remember how perfect he was in every way with the brownest skin and pin straight black hair and matching deep dark eyes- we all joked that he looked more Indian from India then American Indian. I was the first one to baby-sit Timber at only 3 days old while my Aunt ran to the store for milk. Over the next 3 short years I had the greatest honor and privilege of watching that little boy grow, just by being present in his life. I washed all of his clothes, washed his bottles and later sippy cups, drained his bath water full of soapy bubbles, picked up his toys, and organized his dresser drawers and closet- I was blessed by his presence in my life. Then that day that I will always remember arrived late in the summer, I watched helplessly as Timber fought for his life on the green couch that sat in their living room, I was present as he began his journey to the house of Katantowitt, and the tears have never disappeared.
With this moment I was forever changed as a mother, I never wanted to waste one moment with my beautiful gifts from the creator, I was charged to live my life basking in the honor and glory of their presence each day here on this earth. With time we heal and the profound effect of each event slowly begins to dissipate until we are reminded again of that pain. Often times the reminder comes through a vision, a message on the wind, a gift from the Creator, and then again sometimes our hearts have to be shocked back into the recognition that we must always remain in the present and honor every moment that we have with our blessed ones.
Two moons before Nkeke Waupianoohom (Otter Windsong named in honor of Timber) came into this world, his older cousin arrived and he was given the name of Strong Bow. These two boys most certainly would have grown up to be the bestest of friends…if the reminder of living in the present did not arrive in the midst of another summer that will forever remain etched in my heart. The tragic loss of Strong Bow was almost too hard to bear as immediately I was transported to the pain that my heart felt with the loss of Timber. Once again I committed myself to living for my children, because that could have been Nkeke who began his next life’s journey that morning.
The reality of it all consumed me for many moons, I felt too overwhelmed to move forward, and yet I looked at how strong these two mothers were who had lost their babies before they could become men. With this I looked at all of the women in my family who have had to bury their little ones and from that day forward I knew that my purpose was just and that I needed to live each and every day in the present, knowing that I am not guaranteed tomorrow. This I Believe is the reason that I tuck my babies in every night, shower them with hugs and kisses, never let a day go by that I do not tell them that I love them, struggle with the dual roles that I have as mother and advisor, place them before all others, live to spend every extra moment of my time living and breathing along side of them, give the greatest thanksgiving to the Creator for their gifts, and cherish every moment that I spend with them here on mother earth. If all I do right in this life is love and honor my children, then I have lived a full life…This I Believe.
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