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Morning thoughts, April 11, 2020 🗝

The preparation for Easter Sunday began long before the day. Stations of the cross on Friday's, and somehow managing to have ”new to us clothes” set aside. Bathing in a metal tub on the wooden floor, with water that collected from the lake across the road, then heated on the woodstove, that brother chopped and packed into the little one-room house we lived.

Waking up and head still store from the tightly braided from the night before. Brother and Sister doing the morning chores, while slipping out of bed, wondering what the treat will be after Mass.

A bowl of oven-baked bannock covered on the counter, while the echo of encouragement to hurry murmurs through the house. Looking at the activities that are not hard to notice, hearing our Matriarch hum a song that was often heard on Sundays, catching her smile with the hint of gold on her tooth and the sparkle in her eye. Her Sunday best headscarf wrapped around her head as she speaks in our language. Time is ticking an off we go, to walk to the church called  ”Our Lady of the Snow.”

The select Sundays came and went, and learning years later of the atrocities that she endured brought forth the questions why she was devoted to a church that took her children away. She never swayed, to her dying day, she always had her faith. She prayed diligently, in the first language she knew and sang hymns that echoed in the church. I've never forgotten the sounds of her melodic voice.

Fast forward:

🌹July 2018, While participating in the ”Hope in the Darkness Walk for Youth Mental health,” and our Parents joining me on the journey.  Mother opened up little, listening to her talk of the devastation she experienced in the Lejac Catholic Residential School and how the stinging of the abuse, over 50 years later, is still being felt.

🌹April 2019:

Preparing to walk from Prince Rupert to Kamloops for suicide awareness and having the blessing from our parents. Not realizing this walk was far more than getting the conversations started about Suicide, but a continued healing journey for Mother.

🌹June 2019:

As the words echoed,” Take me to the Kamloops Residential School, it was a better school than Lejac.”

The conversations held, as reflections and memories flooded back. Instill wondered, as Sundays came and went, and learning of the atrocities that she endured brought forth the questions why was she devoted to a church that took her childhood away.?

🌹November 2019:

Weeks after her massive heart attack and stroke, she was ecstatic to hold her rosary and closed her eyes when people stopped in to pray. Even though her words would never come out right,  we knew she wanted to pray when she held her hands together.

🌹February 2020:

As we walk passed the Chapel in the UHNBC, she points, of her desire to go in, and again when she looks at the Bible, opening up the Bible and reading the passage,  ”Psalm 23”, asking her if she was ready, she tries her best even with the deficits to her right side, to bless herself. We read, and as we say prayers, noticing her mouth is moving.

The outing is from the rehabilitation unit, her trip to the chapel, that she enjoyed. Realizing that the spirit in our line of Warrior Women was not broken by the ”Church” nor by ”Catholicism.”

The atrocities were not carried out by the church, but by the few agents who ”represented” the church. The agents may have broken them emotionally and physically, but - the agents never broke their faith.

Sitting here reflecting, knowing she, if she can, she would be attending Easter Mass, having her faith brings her comfort. She is without her family physically today, knowing she has her confidence, resiliency, and tenacity to get through today brings some comfort.

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