The first time I felt true panic was up the Unalakleet River by my Uncle Doug’s camp site, one of my mom’s favorite salmonberry patches. My baby brother Chad was two and all bundled up in warm gear for the boat ride. The boat we used was an aluminum 16 footer my dad built in his brother’s shop, Gert and Gals was our boats name. The siding was raised enough to where you would think we were safe looking over the edge at the water. We were watching gugeelees or what you call minnows. As fast as Chad fell over the swiftness of my mom could not be matched by the swiftness of the current that was sweeping him away. She was our hero. We call it guqamuk when someone falls into the water. The instant it happened my heart missed a couple beats in sheer fright of loosing him but that was quickly relieved by our mom. Her love for her children will endure as long as the earth endures.
My Mother’s Shield. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of me shielding my mother’s face with my body. All the while she was taking blows to her body, begging me to call the cops. 911. I knew their number. I was three or four and I ran for the telephone mounted to the wall that seperated the living room to the kitchen. Before I could reach it my dad threw it on the floor in front of me. When the phone shattered my little heart shattered right along with it. I was a daddy’s girl who loved both my mom and dad the same. I hated alcohol. I Prayed to a God I did not know and begged for delivernace which was a word I didn’t even know. That same year my dad got sick. He was told by the doctors that if he drank again he would die. His liver could no longer handle alcohol. That was a miracle. My mom continued down her path of alcoholism and still is an alcoholic today. That is ok because I will love her still.
I’m not the first or the last to come from a broken home. I’d later on in life hear the harsh realities my mom faced and endured. She’s a most beautiful soul masked by alcoholism and depression. Something I’ve struggled with as you will come to find.
There is one thing that I have noticed, the more each generation strives for a better life than they had growing up, the more we see generational healing and spiritual redirection.
A part of who I am stems from being a daddy’s girl growing up. My love for my dad will never fade and no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. I do not give up on my family and I never have. I threw fits so bad I had to hear about them as an adult. I suppose I was two or so and tired of walking. I threw myself on the ground whaling like the baby I was kicking my feet, hands and head on the dirt road. My dad tried to just keep walking but he didn’t get very far. He had to lay down on the dirt and position himself just so. I didn’t want to use not a single ounce of effort to pat-pat (backpack). He didn’t think anyone was looking, no one appeared to be around because he did the complete three sixty look around. Little did he know that a group of ladies were on coffee break at the district office and whitnessed the whole ordeal.
Growing up, if one of my siblings or I wanted something, I was designated to go ask dad. Later, if that failed, we sent our baby brother Chad to go ask mom. We all grew up in the same boat, literally and metaphorically, I mean this is Alaska. All were dedicated at the insistance of my mom, to the Unalakleet Covenant Church, Evangelical of course. We all accepted Jesus into our hearts. Pivitol times in our lives, no struggle aside, we were all each other had at times. OH, by all means don’t get me wrong. It’s a rough and tumble love, especially growing up. The best competition, biggest arguments, I had to win at all costs. My tongue was sharp before my heart was filled with love. It could cut grown men down to their knees.
For anyone, it will take a lifetime to learn to tame your tongue, it is then we can no longer speak. To shed light onto darkness it must be exposed. Something I’ve been praying for since October, for God to shed light on the darkness. Sweeping issues that are close to Our Father’s Heart under the rug will no longer happen. Jesus said Himself, “Harm not one Child.” The things my Savior put on my heart were only revealed to me after I was baptized.
That is to protect our children, in order to do that we need to protect our land and continue to pass down our traditional knowledge of the land. How to survive when big brother is no longer there. The way the world views love today is far from what Love is. Love is Jesus and God, and you will never know this love unless you accept Him into your heart.
Unalakleet is a small village, and I say village because it is only accessible by plane or boat, and I like to throw dog-team in there as well. As long as I can remember we always had a flush toilet and running water in town. Our family spent the school year in town and as soon as school was done for the year we were all ready to go to our cabin 11 miles up the Unalakleet River. Our childhood playground. Where we made up our own games hard enough to showcase our competitive nature. Obstacle courses were constrewed of sticks linned up that you had to jump over, crawl under and run as fast as you can. We were all fast but Axel and I would usually win. We did our best to win that day, but did not give up hope if we didn’t win because we could race again tomorrow. We would all have a chance at doing better. Sometimes your worst competition is yourself. It’s what holds most people back from interacting with strangers, sharing a simple smile, the every day simple acts of kindess that show love.
Don’t give up your smile, don’t give up your story. Let your story shine and give all the Glory to God! His strength is not fully revealed in this world because we all are not saved. The warfare that is going on in this day and age is like that of no other. One smile can make a difference, one smile can change the world. A mother’s love will change the world. Bless and be blessed. Love and be loved for you are beloved. We are all highly favored people it simply starts with accepting your new destiny that awaits you by accepting Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior.