Sunday, March 24, 2019

My walk as an Elder

Photo of Swinomish Hats. Taken December 11, 2017

My Walk as an Elder
Within my family I have been taught through example to extend love and kindness and forgiveness to others. These lessons have not come without heartache and pain, through the witnessing of others suffering and the experiencing of my own. There have been many lived examples shared from my parents and grandparents, and ancestors for me to learn from as I walk. No greater lessons have I been given than from my own parents, who at this time are both heavy on my heart having both now gone on to enter the Celestial Concourse on High.  May their souls be in peace. My father passed over on November 14, 2018. My mother passed over on December 25, 2015.  
My gratitude is also deeply felt for the tribal communities that surround me. I have learned how to be a family and community member through my lived experiences of  growing up throughout my adult life, over the past forty six years, within the Swinomish and Samish tribal communities. It is to these communities that I offer much gratitude for being invited in to a friendship and the humble blessing of working alongside each other all these years. I have counseled many and been counseled by many. I have attended, through invitation, countless community gatherings, funerals, and celebrations.  I have been blessed to witness and learn the meaning of love and forgiveness within these communities. Because of these lived experiences, I have become a better daughter in holding my parents in their final months, days and hours of life. A more loving wife, as I witness my husband’s walk, as I walk beside him.  A more appreciative and fortunate mother and grandmother, for I am blessed with the gift of giving life to two daughters and sharing the joys of being at each of my six grandchildren’s births.

Prayerfully, I walk to be a more humble and understanding comforter as a wife, sister, auntie, grandmother, friend and relative during times of grief and sorrow. 
I am grateful for each and every experience as I have been able to give back what I have learned to my family and community. This circle has offered up courage and strength twofold. Now on my walk as an elder, I continue to work and share these great bounties, especially with my grandchildren. I am well aware that each day is a new lesson. My gratitude is overflowing.

From left to right: My Father and Mother, Chuck's Mother and Father.
The three photos above on the wall behind our parents are of our children's weddings.

Photo taken January 2, 2019. Our 20th Wedding Anniversary.