Transitions

What is even happening? Life seems insanely crazy these days. My mind and heart are not aligned and I feel at odds with life.

It’s been a while since I’ve attempted to write. A lot has been happening since I last wrote. I don’t even recall what I last wrote. The husband and I started updating the yard with a fence and a new coat of paint on the house (or modular home), but then I got a call for surgery. Within two days of getting the call, my palm was cut open and I was having carpal tunnel surgery in another province. Aside from that, surgery completely halted any further yard/house work we were doing because it’s near impossible to go to the bathroom, let alone paint a house. I probably picked the worst time to have the surgery but I have relief from pain and numbness so that’s the plus side of it all.

On top of all that, our community is divided and things are quite contentious because for one, it’s an election year and two, members are not being heard by the people they elected nor are they being consulted. I am saddened that this is the best our Council and Administration can do. It’s as if the members don’t matter. Election years suck. Rez politics suck. One dimensional leaders suck. Dictators suck. No matter who’s on Council, no one wins, especially when you have a select few people doing what they think is best for the overall nation without proper consultation. As Indigenous people we complain to governments and corporations about proper consultation yet don’t practise what we preach in our own communities and governments. Today, I’m making a conscious effort to focus on more important things, like my son’s upcoming graduation.

OUR SON IS GRADUATING!! Again, my first-born child is graduating!! Let that sink in. Imagine the craziness that alone brings. I’m losing my mind. My heart can’t deal. I don’t want my kids to grow up but I don’t have a say in the matter. They’re growing up and becoming their own people, young independent adults. It’s scary, heartbreaking, joyous, and exciting times. My husband and I didn’t graduate so this is a momentous occasion for us, somehow we didn’t completely mess up our amazing kids with addiction and chaos. Thankfully, we rose above for them and for ourselves. Our kids deserve so much better than we had and I’m so extremely grateful for my parents and family who helped shape our son and daughter in to the really awesome teenagers they are. I just know they’re going to do really great things with their lives. Sigh…transitions.

What else is there to say? Transitions. Transitioning. “The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.” Married with kids to married with no kids (at home). Kid-less. It’s mind-numbing and overwhelming to think of a life that involves only two people (mom and dad) where there were four (our son and daughter). What’s next for us as a couple? I don’t know but it’s going to be weird and it’s kind of funny to imagine. Life, one day at a time with the love of my life is all I can be sure of right now. I’m optimistic that whatever comes our way, we will deal with it and we will be ok.

Transitions.

 

Renee

 

Focus North

Good morning. We headed off to Fort Liard, Northwest Territories, yesterday morning after the kids headed to school and learned that the Elder we were going to see came to Fort Nelson, so we had passed him on the highway. Instead of turning around and coming home, as originally planned, we got to see family and friends we don’t often get to see.

On the way to Fort Liard, Greg and I talked about how he felt coming home and he shared he felt anxious. Ever since his dad passed away, he hasn’t gone to his home community very often. It’s usually only under my urging that we go or we go as a family for community events, but even those times, are few and far between. We probably only go once or twice a year, if that. I recall not going for about two or three years, and I think we went for a funeral.

I talked to him and told him how important his connection to his community is, for his healing and wellbeing and for our kids. They are a part of Acho Dene Koe (ADK); it is their family and community, too. I shared with him how much I love Fort Liard because it brought us together, and that had I never had the connection to Fort Liard, we wouldn’t be together. Fort Liard brought us together. I am so thankful for that.

My heart is connected to Fort Liard and the ADK people and has been for over 20 years now. It’s funny because I asked my Uncle Bonzo at the conference a few days ago if he had ever partied there, like I did, and he said he had. I think that’s funny that my uncle used to party there, too. He’s 40 plus years my senior. That’s how my connection started there, it revolved around partying, and through that I gained family and friends and the connection has since remained. Although those choices no longer control my life, I always love going back to Fort Liard; it will always be my other home.

We visited Greg’s elderly aunt and uncle at the Senior Citizen’s complex, got to take his Mom for a cruise, visited his cousin Derwin and got to meet his new baby girl, Dayna, stop in at his Band Office, and visit the craft shop. If you’re ever in Fort Liard, the craft shop and Liard Valley General Store are must stops. I love to just browse at all the items they carry. The ADK people are culturally rich and it shows in their traditional crafts. The craft shop has some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen. Wow. Before leaving, we bought a piece of Greg’s family’s work, a tiny Dene drum ornament made by his uncle Pierre Berreault. I got some earrings and we bought my Mom an ornament of a little pair of wrap-arounds. I wanted them to remind her of her Mom, my Grandma Mary.

So, that was our day yesterday, a little trip to Fort Liard and ADK territory, and our other home. Like I said, I’m so thankful for Fort Liard because it brought Greg and I together. Through years of partying to today, it was all meant to be and I have never regretted one day of my life, it brought me the best parts of that little community – my husband, Gregory.

Today is a new day. I am thankful.

 

Renee

Some of my Berreault family, Freda and Marsha (RIP)

Reconciliation

Did I spell that right? Rec-on-cil-i-ation.

I’m tired and it’s late so I’m simply going to share something Chastity Davis said today that hit me right in the gizzards. She asked, “What do you need to reconcile within yourself before you can offer reconciliation to the world?”

Wow, right? POW, right in the gizzards! I am thankful for today. Thankful for this amazing day amongst my relatives in Treaty 8 territory, the home of our people.

Before I go, I leave you with something else Ms. Davis shared that was shared with her also, “You are the healer you’ve been waiting for.” Meaning, everything we need to heal ourselves is within us, we just have to do the work. So, so true. How do I know it’s true? I know it’s true because I’ve done the work and the work continues, every day. It never ends. We are always “a work in progress” because there is always room for improvement. Every day is a new day to learn and grow; a gift to us from the Creator. I am thankful.

Again, one last time…

“What do you need to reconcile within yourself before you can offer reconciliation to the world?”

Good night, world. Be kind to one another. Thank you for your words today, Chastity. I look forward to exploring that question more for myself.

Renee