We talk a lot about the lessons and medicines that we receive from the animal spirits and other living things on Mother Earth. We rarely talk about the medicine and lessons that we get from living humans and I think it is important that we talk about that today. My heart is a little heavy as my family had to say goodbye to someone who  was very special in our lives along with so many others that she touched as she walked her earthly journey. She has now crossed over to the spirit world and I feel that she will still be looking after all of us even from there.

This special woman that I speak of was not of my blood but married into my Mother’s family some 61 years ago. So, I don’t have a memory of her ever not being in my life. Oh, but the memories she has left with me and everyone else who ever met her. She was a hard working woman who helped her husband farm their land while keeping their house warm, cozy and clean. She was a mother to three daughters and a friend to many. She was a caregiver in the deepest sense of the word. She was not trained to do this as a profession, she just offered herself to give care when it was needed. As unselfish a person as anyone could ever be. I don’t recall ever hearing her ask for something for herself. She was a living example of how we all should live our lives.

Chief Joseph and Family Members, Circa 1877

Chief Joseph and Family

I have such fond memories of spending time on my Aunt and Uncle’s small little farm. She always made me feel welcome and I had so much fun playing with my cousins while experiencing life on the farm. As I reflected on those memories this last week, I remembered that I was not the only child who experienced her loving care. Just about every child in our family spent time in their home over the course of a summer. We all experienced her work ethic, heard her laugh and enjoyed her wonderful cooking. Teaching us by doing and not meaningless words.

If someone needed some help with canning, cleaning or other household duties…she was there. She would take people to a doctor’s visit when they needed a ride. Once she had battled cancer herself she often took others to their Chemo treatments because she understood how they felt and the questions they had. She did this for my own Mother when she was fighting pancreatic cancer. She gave her time and showed her compassion time and time again.

She was an example of someone who “walks the walk” without being strong on “talking the talk” if that makes sense. She did not brag about what she did for people, she just acted on what she knew people needed. As we gathered the evening before the funeral, the room was packed with people who came to pay their respects to those who are left to mourn her passing. For four hours people kept coming. At the funeral there were so many people that the funeral home had to open up another room. As I sat there a midst all those people I said to my own daughters, “It is quite a testament to the life one has lived to have this many people come to say good-bye”.

Sometimes we are blessed with a soul like hers in our lives. If we are lucky we get to be with that soul for many years and others only walk our journey with us for a short time. The time span does not matter as much as the gifts of learning do. We see by their example the way that we are supposed to live our lives with joy, giving, compassion and peace.

Dear Aunt G, we are richer for you having been in our lives and as much as we will all miss you we find comfort that you are now in a place where there is no pain and no indignity of illness. We will all watch after Uncle J as we know he will miss you the most.

~Beverly Two Feathers~

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