Well here I am, writing again. Twice in one day. Actually, now it’s past midnight, so technically it’s the next day. I just think of it as the same day because I have not slept yet.
The reason for me writing again is because my biological family had a bit of a scare tonight. We almost lost someone valuable to us.
My cousin found out that her mother was hospitalized, and that she was drinking and nearly froze to death. My heart sank when I read that on Facebook. As I’ve mentioned before, freezing to death is how two of my uncles passed away, and my grandmother.
My aunt and my uncle are the only elders left of the Kings. There’s only two left standing. And the way I see it, they are the closest connections I got to my deceased Mother, and any family history that we may have. So yes, it would be a tragic loss if either of those two were to die.
The good news is, my aunt is okay, and is recovering.
My cousin is pretty hurt, angry, sad, worried…a whole bunch of emotions regarding my aunts addiction to alcohol. Understandable, it is her mother in the hospital. Of coarse she’s going to be frantic.
Sadly substance abuse is how a lot of our people cope with life as a native. Many residential school survivors use substances to bury the pain and trauma. It’s not really an excuse, but the truth of our cultures past reality. It clearly still has an impact to this day. Very devastating.
I remember when I went up north for the family reunion, My Aunt, another relative and I went to the bar. My aunt did drink quite a bit. I don’t think she remembers telling me what she told me regarding her own experiences in a residential school. She kept her head down, her back hunched, what I saw and heard was a woman in severe emotional pain. I listened and hugged her. What she shared with me, I will not repeat. I think she trusted me with that, which is why she told me. That is her truth, that I hope she can gain the courage to share wide open one day. Anyways, I didn’t drink that night. I drank lots of Pepsi and 7Up though. It’s a good thing too, because I was able to walk my Aunt back to where we were staying. Too bad nobody sober was with her this time around.
Regardless, I am glad she is okay, and that we didn’t lost another King. I worry about those two, my Aunt and my Uncle. They are homeless. So yeah, it’s hard to keep track of where they are, and how they’re doing.
However, there is a way to help somewhat, by helping their local emergency shelter. I just checked the Aviva website, even though the shelter didn’t fund-raise enough, or get enough votes, there’s still an option to donate to the Red Lake Area Emergency Shelter. So if you can donate, please do. Miigwech in advance.
I think I’ll finish this post off with a poem written by my Aunt. One of my favorites. If you like it, find her on FB and inquire about her book; A Book of Poetry. Anyways, here it goes;
An Indians Tears
In the realm of my dreams
no artistry comes to mind this artist has become blind
eyes that once shone with pride
behind dark glasses, they now hide
memories of days gone by
remembering, she begins to cry
“Indians don’t cry”, so they say
their pride won’t let them anyway
Too often I have cried in sorrow
wishing only for a better tomorrow
this Indian woman is not too proud to cry
you have witnessed my tears, and yet, don’t ask “why?”
is it out of respect or out of shame
that you huddle close, as you whisper my name
Don’t worry yourselves so
for I already know
my tears are a hindrance to you all
But, they will continue to fall
who knows when this face will smile again
who will be around to ease the pain
no answers reach my ears
as your eyes now too, fill with tears
don’t hang your heads in shame
for, our tears have a name
© 2008 Sarah Jane King
Thanks for reading. I know my family has it’s problems, but I love them. Society played it’s part when it comes to colonialism. There’s no doubt about that. So there is no point in blaming the victim. Maybe it’s time to wake up and take a real good look at how First Nations people are treated, in the past, AND in the present. Perhaps it’s time to make a right in a more positive direction. Fuck your racist elitists!
Just the fact that I can relate to my aunts poems regarding racism, and being native in this world, scares me. Especially because she wrote those poems years ago, and I am the next generation. Wow. that is pretty shocking. Are our children going to feel this pain as well? – Pooks
“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching
— they are your family. ”- Jim Butcher