I have spent much time in your life, as a step mother, adopted mom, youth care worker, friend, mentor, and a unique individual.
It is important to me to share my journey with you. Our journey so far has been one of honesty, awe of where we have been, in knowing where we are in this moment in our history and our life together.
Our time together has been great even with the difficulties and changing times we have encountered. Our world is changing and we continually grow together as the unique individuals we are with and without the labels that we wear.
I am proud and happy to be a part of your life, just as I am proud and happy that you have come into my life and be a part of my life to teach me much about myself that I can not and could not have learned any other way.
Our paths have been pre-destined and aligned for good reasons. The greatest reason is so that we learn all that we need to from one another. What a sacred path that we have chosen in finding each other in this life time.
Thank you for being, and for what we share.
My mother told me many years ago that what we do in this lifetime is make memories. She was right! We have certainly done this and will continue to do it! I am and will always be eternally grateful for our memories in this lifetime here on earth and beyond.
We are all related, we are all one! I love you all.
This is the eulogy I wrote for my foster son Mischick, who passed away on December 2, 2001. He was 10 months old.
On May 4th,2001, I met and fell in love with Mischick. He became my son. He was three months old. By the end of that day my husband and the rest of our children had also fallen in love with him. He was a beautiful and very special child. His father told me that me that his name , Mischick, meant Little Branch in Cree.. I didn’t realize then how appropriate that name was for him or what an unbelievable journey he would take us on. I believe I understand it now. For many years, I’ve believed that each one of us is put on this Earth for a reason, some to learn, some to teach…Mischick was here to teach and he did. Mischick didn’t have a very long life, today as we say goodbye, he would have been ten months old. He struggled, suffered and fought for each day he had. He overcame so many obsticles with dignity, courage and the strongest spirit I’ve ever met. He was also the happiest baby I’ve ever met. Right till the end, no matter how bad it got, still he fought, didn’t surrender and did it all with a smile on his little face and a twinkle in his big brown eyes. His was a gentle soul. He made us laugh many times a day by lifting his eyebrows and sticking out his tongue. He loved to cuddle and be right in the middle of the action. He radiated love. Mischick taught us many lessons….. – not to give up – to be patient – to smile and give joy – to live each day with joy – to be thankful for all we have – to accept what can’t be changed – to right the wrongs we can – how sometimes, you must love someone enough to let them go. You may be wondering what I meant when I said his name was perfect for him…….. The first time my mother met Mischick, she said he was too small to be called Little Branch, so she called him Tiny Twig. Well, it didn’t take very long for the Twig to become the Branch and although Mischick’s body may never grow to be a mighty tree, his Spirit already has. A Mighty Tree with a trunk made strong by Mischick’s spirit, courage and loving heart. Boughs of two different cultures who came together with respect, trust and to learn from each other. Branches made up of grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters. Many leaves of relatives, friends, band members, medical personel, and anyonewho ever met him. And Roots, sunk deep in Mother Earth, made of two families, joined in loving, caring for and doing what was best for one small boy. Today, we must give Mischick back to Creator, but we do so knowing that the Tree he became will continue to grow and join us all for many years to come.
Mischick, we miss you, we honor you, we love you. You will live in our hearts forever.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to go on a trail ride through the mountains on a wonderful horse named Dolly. In my life, I had built up an unbelievable fear of horses, and I was very apprehensive about going across very narrow mountain passes on a horse. My fear of horses stemmed from visiting farms and riding stables where I was placed on the back of horses that I did not know. The horses reciprocated by being as freaked out as I was that someone would actually place me, a city raised greenhorn with no knowledge of horses on their back. I went on many hair raising rides, with the horse taking total control and desperately wanting this unknowing greenhorn off of them right now. I was dragged through bushes, run through fields, and totally unaccepted by these animals in their need to get back to a place where they were comfortable and happy. Back to their stables! So, actually, apprehensive is a mild word for what I was feeling at the moment I was to mount a horse and take an 18 mile ride across the mountain trail to spend four wondrous days in a remote bush camp in the mountains. I was totally paralyzed with fear!
The owner was a very experienced cowboy. We he realized the dilemma he had on his hands, he said, “I have one horse who is really gentle, her name is Dolly and she will get you there and back with no trouble at all”! ”She understands your fear and won’t let anything happen to you on the way”! He left, headed for the stable and brought back a huge horse which really left me quaking in my newly acquired boots. My 5’2” body could not see over the back of this horse, and he expected me to get on her and ride on steep mountain trails. Another fear quickly arose when I saw her. The fear of heights, how on earth would I get on her, sit way up there while I was on a narrow mountain path? At that time my whole physical body became paralyzed. My legs locked, my arms stiffened and I realized that there was absolutely no way that I was going to attempt such a ridiculous challenge. The trail boss knew what he was doing! Everyone else had mounted their horses, and I could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air. How could I possibly back out of this? I was in he middle of nowhere, everyone else was ready to go, I had no means to get back to town, and my only choice seemed to be to get on the horse and take the trip. I became very creative and decided the way around this fear would be to just walk and I would lead the horse. Dolly and I would be fine, I would load my few personal items onto the saddle, and she and I would enjoy our leisurely walk through the mountains. The trail boss, realized what as going on, and I attempted to manipulate him by saying, “don’t worry, we’ll be just fine”! At that time he reminded me of the bears, cougars and other wild animals that also lived on the mountain, and said that it was a long 18 mile walk, and if I chose to do this he would see me in two days. Well, he was another fear to add to my fear of horses and heights. Now it was bears and cougars! It was amazing how quickly I actually mounted Dolly, and began the trek through the mountains.
Once I got onto Dolly there was no way that I was going to get off. The mountain pass was really narrow and there was shale falling down the mountain as we progressed along the pass. Dolly was sure footed, and she seemed to know that my life and future depended on her every moment, every step along the path. Other riders had dismounted and were leading their horses across the ledges, not me! I was now totally frozen on the back of Dolly, my fear of horses, heights, bears and cougars totally intact and radiating from every pore in my body. Two or three hours later, we stopped by a mountain stream to have lunch. I attempted to get off of Dolly’s back and found that my legs were locked and two able bodied men offered me some assistance to get me down to the ground. The whole time, Dolly was patient, kind, and understanding. She looked at me and her eyes told me that she understood how I was feeling and wanted to reassure me that she knew what she was doing and would continue to take care of me until we reached our destination and that’s exactly what she did. Without my animal friend Dolly I never would have got into the camp.
Two days later, I went on a day ride with Dolly. I was feeling a lot more comfortable with her, and I decided it might be fun to head out into the woods with my kind and compassionate equine friend. We were hiking along a mountain stream, the air was fresh and alive, the scenery was totally awesome, and I was leading Dolly. We had to cross through a patch of entangled trees, and Dolly got stuck in a tangle of tree roots that resembled an X and O Game. She panicked, jumped out of them to free herself and her hoof landed on my left heel. I hollered, cried, removed my boot to make sure nothing was broken an then I looked over at Dolly. She was looking at me and the look and sense of compassion radiating from her was immense. In that instant I knew what compassion was all about. Dolly had taught me. She and I were joined through spirit! She put her head down, nudged me as if to say, I’m so sorry, get up on my back and I will take care of you again. I did, and she did not falter for the remainder of the trip with the compassion she radiated to me. We made it through the remainder of the trip, she walked me back down the mountain and she and I were totally connected spiritually through compassion and experience.
I realize today that Dolly was a great teacher, only because she was different from me. I could sense what she sensed, feel what she felt, and take direction from her because her realness, clarity and compassion were not clouded with my negative thoughts. She was genuine, unique and wonderful!
It amazes me today how experiences come into our lives to guide us. It is no accident we end up in situations to prepare us to move forward. Since my experience with Dolly I have been able to assist two very dear friends (horse whisperers) to set up programs to teach Life Skills through horses and help many to learn and grow with these four legged friends. We are all one!
In memory of my dear friend and mentor Dave! Blessings and Thank you!