22 June, 2019

Red River, Waterfront, Winnipeg
I dropped my kids off at Camp Good Mourning yesterday.  I cried.  In fact, I couldn’t hold back the tears.  Not because I was leaving my kids for a few days.  I cried tears for all the parents I saw bringing their littles to Mourn well.  All of us together mourning, loving, learning.  And I cried for my baby girl.
Eric and I are now in Winnipeg.  It is indigenous peoples day.  We rode the greenway, and I was struck by the red dress display- as I was last year.  Too many native women are abused, neglected, taken, enslaved, raped, forced, deprived, and murdered.  And we all seem to carry on like it is not happening.  We took Mita out for a walk on the greenway first thing this morning.  On our way back to the hotel we heard a woman screaming on the river.  The we saw her- floating paddling, her shoes off her feet moving with the current beside her.  She was silent now.   I watched.  I wondered,  does she need help? Why is she swimming on this cool morning? 
I was almost back to the hotel.  The river is wide.  Very wide.  She paddled in silence flowing away from me.  Then, she started yelling again. 
The river was flowing the opposite direction that I had been walking, so I turned and began to jog in her direction.  She was quite far away.  I called out to her, but she did not answer.  I got closer, stepping over muddy logs and brush. 
“Do you need help?”  I called out a few more times.
Finally she answered.
“Of course I need help!, what does it look like?” 
I couldn’t hear her well.  But I did hear her yell out “Gabby”.  Then it struck me. She is looking for someone.  Someone else out there. 
I called 911.    Continuing to scan the river for signs of life.
The dispatcher told me to keep my eyes on her- and if she goes under to keep my eyes on the spot.  He kept asking for land marks, and names of bridges and streets, of which I am not familiar.
I tried to keep my eyes on her as bushwhacked through the vines and trees.  I passed through some empty homeless camps.  The river moves swiftly.
After several minutes I heard sirens.  Paramedics  and water rescue had arrived.  I ran to them and directed them to the panicked woman in the water.  I stood with them and watched as a boat came and retrieved her from the water.  A native woman with dripping long dark hair walked up the bank with a rescue worker on each side holding her steady.   I wanted to wrap her in a blanket.  Still wanting to turn back and look for her friend.
Just Fifteen minutes earlier I almost ignored the woman I thought to be swimming.  I thought she was yelling to a friend.  She WAS yelling to her friend.  Why was I drawn in to the situation?  In many ways it looked like a  little rough and tumble recreation.    The more I was drawn in the more I could see and feel the distraught woman’s fear. 
Bikers and joggers passed by.  People walking dogs.  Oblivious.
I don’t know how much longer she could have made it in the cold water.  She seemed confused.  Ironic that today is Indigenous Peoples day.  May I, may we all be more mindful of our Native women, sisters, friends.  May no more mothers mourn their daughters death because we were not listening.

Native women isolation
Culture stolen

Mothers scorned
And forgotten
Daughters born

Torn away
Abused neglected
Drowning dying
Force subjected

Born of the land
Later banned

A girl drowning
Plunging screaming
A world ignores
Goes on mainstreaming

The River flows on
Howling fades
Another life taken
duty evades

Stand up now
Don’t be deceived
Listen to us
Actuality believed

It’s time for change
With you it begins
Silent bystanding
Never wins.

23 May, 2019

Day of Life- Happy Birthday Baby Girl

 Unable to celebrate you living

I want to honor you by giving

Giving my time
Offering hope
Loving the earth
Helping folks cope

You gave to me
The most valuable teaching
LOVE is what matters
So make it far-reaching

Love your neighbors
Love your friends
Love your enemies
Love without ends

after the darkest storm
Brings on a rainbow
Sky transforms

across her face
Despite the pain
She feels grace

A year or so after Lizzy died I hit a time when I was feeling particularly low.

Grief is a strange beast-  and an ongoing process.  I was feeling that I had somehow failed her.  Failed my baby girl.  Not being a good enough mom-  not being what she needed,  all sorts of emotions and just really down on myself.

On a camping trip RubyCatherine left her "Lizzy" doll on the sofa with my Lizzy's hat.  Unable to read at the time Ruby slapped a few stickers on her doll and went off to play.  Tidying up I found my much needed message.

The WOW sticker was upside down-  so it read Mom, Great Job!

Tears fill my eyes again as I remember holding the doll like my baby, rocking her and thanking her.

I love you Lizzy.  I miss you everyday.

30 March, 2019

Bemidji- Paul Bunyon

RubyCatherine and Simone had fun all weekend. 
I ran into my friend Laura in Bemidji.  We went to high school together in Pocatello, Idaho.
We had been pleasantly surprised to bump into each other 10 years ago in Bemidji as well.  

Spring is springing  I first noticed the Lilies coming up 24 March 2019.

29 March, 2019

Its Official - He is a Teenager

Hap, hap, hap Happy Birthday.  Elias I love you more than words can say. 
You give me purpose.  Your light shines bright.

28 February, 2019

Grammy Lamby Visits the Great White North

Eric and I went away for a night in Winnipeg and Voyageurs Festival 

Grand Forks had its own Winter Festival

20 January, 2019

Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Ruby Catherine gave Winnipeg a nice warm hug for her birthday. 
Miles of ice skating paths on the river and through the city, kids museum, Fort Whyte Alive Nature area, and delicious restaurants,
Good times.

Fort White Alive was wonderful-  Inside and out!
Ice fishing, tobogganing, and nature walks-
Inside Elias found his favorite bird-  Still a Peregrine Falcon.

A delicious meal at the Clay Oven. How we love Indian cuisine.

-26 °F   Not a problem for these hot heads.

Red River, Waterfront, Winnipeg I dropped my kids off at Camp Good Mourning yesterday.   I cried.   In fact, I couldn’t hold back the ...