Long Forgotten

I wrote this in memory of those I grew up with and still think about.

IMG_1025I lay in this box, not a smile on my face, nor a tear in my eye. My heart no longer beats, but I have taken you with me to a special place. The memories you have, I pray brings a smile to your face. Though I am gone and in the years to come I will fade, as a dream long forgotten, remember me as I was. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but when surrounded by laughter my imperfections had reason. The wind will still blow and the sun still shine. When life is in overdrive and you feel a crash is near, hold the ones closest and embrace what is next with no fear. Fear brings a pain, it may be silent or loud, no soul can fix. If you know who I am and your heart skips a beat, memories may flash, the river start to stream or the light seem dim, all I ask is this, when the sun is aglow and no clouds in sight, take my hand in the wind and walk with your feet in bare and dream of a better tomorrow. For the past is the past as heartache is heartache, but a new day is in sight for new memories to be made.

Beloved you are!

IMG_0002The 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 won. 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.

 

From the fisherman to the fisher of men.

IMG_0064.JPGI worked on a fishing vessel called the Alaska Ocean since 2011. I spent 16 hour work days every single day while at sea. My wrists paid the price working on the inspection line. This fishing trawler is the largest fishing trawler in the United States. I met people of mainly minority blood, like myself. We all worked hard but a lot of people didn’t like working with me because I tried so very hard to do my very best. Then one day a guy I worked with asked me why I try so hard, as an inspector our job is to make sure there is no bones or imperfections on the fish fillet, I told him somewhere out there a child is going to eat our product. If that child gets a bone in their meal there is risk of choking, if I let even one bone pass me I did not do my job because there would be the risk of someone getting hurt. He was dumbfounded and could not believe the words coming out of my mouth made so much sense everyone did their very best. When you put our children in the forefront of everything we do we create a better world for them.

I recieved more training and attained my Able Bodied Seaman Certification and moved to a smaller vessel called the Pacific Glacier. I was the first woman combi on this vessel. That means I was a deckhand during net shoots and haul backs and also worked in the inspection line. Combi is a very dangerous job and physically exhausting work. The guys said I wouldn’t last two days, I lasted two seasons not knowing I was pregnant. I was the first female pregnant deckhand and factory worker on the sea. I did not listen to my body when all the signs pointed to me being pregnant I was in denial. I just started earning sea time and now I would have to put my career on hold. I went from depending only on myself to having to depend on Ash. I was receiving 500 dollars a week alone on unemployment to a 50 dollar a week allowance from Ash for gas and groceries. This was a hit to my independence and I did not like it. I absolutely dislike depending on anyone but I learned my very own faults make me flounder and sometimes God sends an angel to help us on our way to His way. Amen

Give the glory to God

IMG_6477Imagine, your whole life, and having the ability to remember any memory you have. Now, it goes further, imagine every dream you’ve ever had and they are stored away with the ability to remember them. Why is it that when people die their whole life flashes before them? Some die and some come back. I thought everyone had a good memory and that people dream dreams. I’m 34 and remember my whole life. I kept journals and pictures and videos of my life because one of my biggest fears is that I will forget, when I don’t forget anything. I talked with my older sister and she said that it is nothing special to have a good memory. That was a lie because my memories make me, me. Without them I wouldn’t be able to draw back on experiences to help guide me. I spent a lot of time trying to wash my memories away after my two older sons left Alaska. I tried to forget everything through alcohol and weed. I was a stoner to the max and my brain is healing from my actions. I have a severe problem of acting on sheer emotion and I pray I can heal and be the patient loving woman God knows I can be. I pray for my brain to heal and I believe that connections skewed or lost can be reconnected and repaired through love and by reading the Word, God’s word, but also, write your love letters to Him. There is beauty and healing when we give all the glory to God. One of my mentors growing up thanked Facebook for a memory once and it made me mad because Facebook doesn’t deserve thanks, only God does. I left Facebook for the year 2018, but I still needed an outlet to get hope and love out in the World Wide Web, hence WordPress. Share your story, write that poem on your heart, give that compliment to that stranger or simply give a smile freely without any expectation of anything in return and always always give All the Glory to God, for He deserves it and Him alone. Amen.

A quilt for my mom

IMG_6501.JPGGod was presented with quilts and each represented the life of the giver. The quilts were starting to look the same after awhile, each pattern repeated with straight lines and the quilts shared a similar structure. Then, He paused for a moment. To inspect this humble quilt pieced together in a mess of patterns. Looking carefully at the beauty of the quilt in all it’s madness. Not once did the little girl stop loving her Father in Heaven. The pain in the quilt, endless bottles of tears, but all beared truth to the love of her God. It was beautiful and He shed a tear. All her pains and worries were washed away. The quilt was not folded away for storage, but displayed for all to see.

My dream for Us

we will unite

the native tribes will stand in unison

it will not be a fight to the death

our weapon is love

you cannot combat us

our hearts bleed innocence

they have bled long enough

the streams of blood flow

Gathered at the basin of the dead

they will not consume us

we have stood idle long enough

we have been awake

your lies do not shake us

we shake the earth

hear our war cries

tremble in fear

our hearts will soar

carried by our eagle

the time is nowGertz