Saturday, February 24, 2007
That is what my aunt Darla said to me yesterday as we went out to my dad's. We had errands to run and I decided to stop and see him. I was also talking about my stepdad to her and filled her in on the details that she missed because she was out of town.
We stopped at my dad's little trailer tucked in the side of a hill, but I knew he wasn't there. His doors were locked and his car was there. I still knocked of course and I was right. I left him a note and we went on.
At the next stop I bought my stepdad a cup of coffee, just the way he likes it. Strong. I held it in my hand all the way until we got to his place. My daughter, aunt , and I walked over. She immediately begin standing up old floral arrangements that fell and I put the coffee down right where his head would be. We both said prayers for him and left.
Robert was in my life for the most part of the last 24 years. He was so smart, made me fascinated with the law, and he loved corny jokes. He also loved being a father as he brought up 11 children in this world.
My father Bob, really wasn't in my life as much as I wished from the time I was 6. He spent some time being incarcerated, alot of time growing up, and finally he did grow up. I know he is sick or something now, something he still chooses not to share with us. He has given us copies of the will, showed us his life insurance policy, and other things I would rather not talk about with him. He made a lot of mistakes in his life that my brother and I have always forgiven him for. How could we not, he is our father?
I am blessed, I know this. Some people are not so lucky.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Something comes along, something that could be big or small that hits you where it counts.
Something that makes you realize who you are
what is important to you
It can spin you around and show you exactly what you need to do in life.
At age 34, I am glad to know what I need to do in this lifetime
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
What I would have wished.....to see things through the eyes of Van Gogh.
This is for Dorid's Classic Image Challenge. I thought these challenges were so cool and looked like fun.This is my first time and I am still messing with Paintshop, while I have the trial version. A few years ago my sister painted Van Gogh's Starry night and I thought it would look good with different cityscapes. This is Minneapolis. You can still make out the IDS building, kind of, it is the one that is all lit up on top. (Where The Jets made their "Crush on You" video, if anybody remembers that!) I hope it looks ok.
(repost from last year..i adore photoshop)
Monday, February 19, 2007
I called you over tonight because I know you write. I have something you need to tell, people need to know.
It was late when the old lady called me over to her house. She is going to be 77 this year and still works full time.
She started to talk and I listened, because that is how we do it here.
When I was a little girl, I don’t even know how old I was, so don’t ask. My grandma used to always be at our house, she used to baby sit us sometimes, but she was always there...she took care of us. Back in those days we didn’t have the kind of help you could get now...just our rations so we always made bread. Making bread was so much a part of our life because sometimes that is all we had to eat, but because of grandma we still ate and that is why I taught every girl in our family, or tried to teach them to make bread...even if it is just gabooboo bread (skillet bread.) Because you never know if that bread will make you a stronger person, inside and out..
Anyway grandma taught us to make bread, she told us stories, one day she was too old, she said.
She called me and my brother over....Takojas (grandchildren)come here...someday I won’t be here and you need to hear this story. so my brother and I, we went over.
Takojas, I am going to tell you what happened to me when I was a 14 year old girl. I was in Ft Yates (North Dakota), that is our people, that is where we are from when my mother and my father died from a flu. I had nowhere to go or stay and I was only 14. I was taking care of my brothers...they were babies yet, 3 of them...one of them I still had to hold. That is when Gaca (Grandpa) Sitting Bull called me over.
“My girl” he said “I am sending you down to your moms family down in Pine Ridge. I have people going down there, you can ride with them....tell your mother’s people that you and your brothers are pitiful and they need to take pity on you.”
She was scared but knew she had no family left really in Ft. Yates. So her and her brothers rode in a wagon and slept on hay and covered with blankets to keep warm. It was cold, real cold, they stopped in Wounded Knee and the girl got out of the wagon while her brothers slept...she sat under the wagon with another girl that was traveling. They tried without success to make a small fire. that is when she heard the gunshots and seen the soldiers coming on horses. She grabbed her youngest brother and ran. The two that lie sleeping in the wagon were shot before they could even wake up.
The girl held her brother and ran when she was approached from the front. She was shot but it was her baby brothers body that saved her...she fell with her brother as his blood ran down the front of her. that is who she is, who she was, that is what she went through.
She told her two takojas to come closer and look as she lifted her dress. She was an old woman, and would have never lifted her dress ever, but she wanted these two kids to know, to see. They looked closer and suddenly they realized why she was in pain all the time, why she walked funny, why she sat outside at night and cried.
She had a bullet hole by her hip and one in her private area that had never healed. The bullets still in her and worms living there. Long worms with pinks heads. The kids screamed and ran from her...the little girl puking.
The old lady looked at me and said “Unci (grandmother) told me to never tell anyone...never to tell. But i am getting old and I wanted to tell you because you like to write. Please write this down.
I then told her, You know some people will say “That is history, you Indians got your asses kicked, forget it and drink your firewater” What do you say to people that say that? I was very hurt when it was said to me.
That is why they need to know, those Indians that got their asses kicked were babies, 14 year old girls that carried those bullets for the rest of her life...she never had kids of her own, always taking care of the rest of us. Yes, our people suffered, but how will my Takoja’s know who they are? How will they know what they are if someone doesn’t tell them what we did survive? Yes, we are healing...but we will never forget. I don’t tell white man to forget about Pearl Harbor, or to forget about 9/11. You respect the dead. I say anyone who says that had horrible parents. You write this down...you are a voice and you sing. If I could have named your column I would have named it Singing Woman, because that is who you are. Don’t stop singing, Dana. Don't let anyone make you stop singing.
*conversation I had late into the night last night, with my kids great grandmother.
Recipe for Gabooboo Bread
flour (half 5 lb. bag)
baking powder(3 tbsp)
powdered milk(palm full)
a little sugar(palm full)
and warm water (about 3 cups)
Stir all together without the water, add a little oil to your warm water and mix together with water. I am not sure of measurements but the consistency of the bread should be sticky. Have a large skillet heating with a little oil. When you hold hand over it should feel the heat. Make dough into large patties and cook in skillt covered for about 8 minutes. Flip over when one side is browned. Cook other side for another 8 minutes. Bread is soft, warm and delicious.
Someday I hope you know how bread can make you a stronger person, inside and out.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
I called the place. It was like a super secret society. Look out for us, she will pull up in a blue van in 20 minutes. Are you ready?
Yes I said. As ready as I will ever be.
I looked at my 3 sons, sitting on the couch and my ehart literally hurt. Here I was dragging them away from everything they knew once again. I felt the familiar kick in my belly and knew I had to go. I was pregnant, I had not told anyone. The father didn't want anything to do with me or a new baby. So I only had one choice.
The blue van pulled up and my boys and I packed everything that mattered to us in the back.
The lady said hi and smiled. We talked for the 40 minutes that she drove me to another location, where I was picked up by another lady waiting. From there we drove with only one pit stop. She stopped at a gas station and I knew the boys were hungry. I had 5 dollars in my pocket. I bought them some snack and on we went. We finally arrived at our destination.
I knew it was when I seen the building. Set in a residential community but with a huge "fort" looking fence around the back yard. We walked in the office side where I finished my paperwork and then we were led to the other side. There, we was assigned a bedroom, given a tour and told how things ran.
I had 30 days they told me to get situated in this new town I decided to make home.
It took me 34 days to find a place to live, find a job and make a new home for my boys.
The Missouri Shores Domestic Violence Shelter in Pierre, SD helped me so much in assistance. They not only gave me a new start on my life but they also gave me the confidence to "start over." Domestic Violence is serious, including all four types of abuse. Physical, Emotional, Sexual, and Neglect. Some people may suffer from abuse and not even know it. The hold of being emotionally abused is so draining of who you are as a person, woman, mothjer, you lose all sense of yourself. There is help out there, you just have to be the first person to accept the help.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) http://www.ndvh.org/
Please remember when spring cleaning or when the holidays roll around and everyone wants to give, there is a shelter in your community and they do take donations of all types. I have seen some women go to these places with only the clothing they have on.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Like a book unread
Unopened over time
Among great novels
Someday the book will be found
Eyes pouring over
The literary gems
The smell of the pages as they turn
The delicious words laced together
A whole new world
If given the chance.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Why be fake....do you even see when you are fake? Do you even know that you are fake? And why am i asking that...most fake people live in such a freakin fantasy world they don't even know that they are fake.
Sometimes it makes me wonder...is it easier to say you are for real, even when faking? To me being real is the easiest and most rewarding thing...being fake is not hard, but you do have to act...why act? When you can be the great person that you are, why be someone else? I don't know...lately i just hate meeting fake people.
For one thing i can see right through them, how can they live their life being who they are not...maybe that is what draws me back to blogspot...you think?
Well no matter, i would rather have a few REAL people read me here than alot of fakes...thanks guys for being who you are, maybe i don't know who you REALLY are but I can feel that you are real.
Monday, February 12, 2007
My grandma is moving away, well in my world she is my grandma and in your world she is my great-aunt. Her two sons lives miles away from her. I am slowly inheriting all her knick knacks, ceramic owl collection (::shudder::), her dishes , plants and artificial floral arrangements. She is moving in with one of her sons. When I asked her why she was moving she was "Last weekend I didn't even hear my own voice, you have no idea how that is."
I didn't say anything, maybe silently cursed someone who may have caused her epiphany of sudden flight....but I realized...WOW....that is lonely.
I treasure my alone time, I do. I awake early just to capture it for an hour or so....
But I wonder if someday, that alone time will be convenient...too convenient. Will I come to regret it and not want to get out of bed early because of the silence I so treasure now?
I know I am still young, but that is a scary thought.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
I am not a perfect parent...I probably will never be a perfect parent. More than likely. Parenting is a learning process that takes time to develop.
It would be nice to "know everything" that there is about parenting and to be able to tell people how to parent like Dr. Phil or Oprah...whom i might add is not a parent. It would be nice to be able to automatically know all the answers to all the questions that your kids ask. to automatically know what is right and what is wrong. I remember my early years when my firstborn was a baby. I gave a hand to my mom with her babies in my teen age years, so when I had my first son at age 20 I thought I knew it all. Then he got a rash on his face. I called my mom immediately and told her I was going to the emergency room. She made me calm down, told me to breathe and also told me newborns have sensitive skin. I waited until tomorrow because I was so sure it was some flesh eating virus and that the Center for Disease Control would be at my door with their suits and cleaning supplies, plus a big plastic bubble that my baby would have to grow up in. Well I woke up the next morning and looked at my little Tyger...his rash was gone and the CDC never came to put him in a plastic bubble.
I thought of parenting today after I saw a couple of kids, probably about 3 and 4 on a Big Wheel riding down the hill in the middle of the road and narrowly missed a head on with a teen-ager speeding by.
I may not be the perfect parent, and I never will be, but I do know where my children are at all times. I am going to be that old lady in the nursing home that had so many kids, she always stood looking out the window, yep...that will be me.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
I love Food Network. I don't get that channel at my house on the reservation and because I am at my mom's housesitting, I have been soaking it up. I would like to be a chef, but I am only a cook. I can guess what will taste good by throwing some spices together and such, but that is only because I have watched so many cooking shows. I learned from chefs. Food is so important to one's soul...more than anyone thinks.
Whenever something happens, take for example my stepdads funeral...oh let me blog about this because I always meant to but I never did because of some of the insensitivity on 360. The day after my stepdad passed this lady who is a clairvoyant (She also works for the same newspaper as I do.) called my mom. My stepdad had gone to her the night before. He told her he left and he wanted her to tell my mom some things.
He said he was sorry, he said he didn't want to go and he was just as sad and in complete shock that he died. He didn't want to leave his kids like that, and definitely didn't want to pass away in front of them. He told the lady that anytime anyone feels sad, that he will be to the right of my mom and a little behind her and to remember that. His parents had come for him but he told them that he wanted to saty until the end of the funeral, then he would go. He also told the lady that my mom had a book he didn't get to read yet. He wanted her to open it with a cigarette on top of it. (Tobacco is an offering to the spirits in my culture) The book was "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama. (He was leaning left in his old age :)We found it to set it out for him...it was the only thing he put on the bookshelf into the new house they were moving into...well that and picture of my 3 youngest siblings. He had taken one load of stuff over there and had his heart attack after that. Anyway at the funeral I knew he was there to the right of my mom. When we buried him there was a balloon in one of the floral arrangments. A helium mylar balloon. It was snowing and about 20 degrees out. Have you ever seen a helium balloon in the cold? It shrinks and it won't float. When the last shovel full of dirt was put on his grave, the balloon (a rose) took off. It floated and floated as my brother and his friends sang the Sioux Honoring song. I knew it was him and I have never seen something so beautiful.
After the funeral, we gathered in the school gymnasium it was held in. There was a feast. None of us kids had to get our own plate or get in line, we were served our plates. The food was delicious, soon we were talking, laughing and reminiscing. The food started our healing process.
So I am not a chef, plus with the many other things on my mind, I don't think I could creatively and methodically cook the way they do.
But to see and hear the sounds of food being cooked on tv soothes me in some way. Food is just as important to the soul as it is to your body. It sustains us in so many ways.
Friday, February 2, 2007
JAN 25 • When I read your 12/30 column, I was not sure how to take what you said. But you write well & I have continued to read it. The 1/7 column & today's show that you are a strong, intelligent, proud Lakota. Would that more were like you! The nation would be in a much better place. How did you learn that inner strength? Who taught you? Does anyone teach the children of today? Perhaps you will.
That was a comment on the paper's website the other day about my Martin Luther King entry...it got me thinking....
Where do I get my inner strength?
First off, it surprises me when people think of me as a strong person. I know in my heart that I am, but I feel it doesn't show through...or shine. Yes I think shine sounds better for inner strength.
Is it something you are born with?
Is it something acquired from a hard life, because to be honest my life wasn't that hard....until I took on the role of "single mom."
So did I find my inner strength from that role? Or did it come one day in a dream.
I don't even know what inner strength is...but I do know this is who I am:
~I am honest when I write...with myself especially because why lie?
~I write what I feel at that moment....and from the heart.
~If I feel a need to write about something I see right or wrong I will.
~Even though I am a proud person, I do walk with my head down....I like to watch my feet where I walk and I don't believe all that hoopla about having to walk with your head held high...I still have self esteem, which took me years to find but I acquired my style when I walk and I am sticking with it.
~I have children, if I don't show them how to be in this life who will? God knows we have enough youth in this world that have no direction and end up on a statistic sheet in some government office gathering dust and proving that funding needs to go somewhere, just because of that sheet of paper, gathering dust in the office of some pot bellied guy who could give a rat's ass about that youth that is a statistic on his desk.
I don't know exactly what inner strength is...other than a need.
I need it for me, my children and my people.
I don't know if I ever really found it, I think it found me as a need to be who I am today.
I totally didn't make sense, did I?