22 Jan Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!
You made Justin and myself, feel so welcome at our event at the Pender Harbour Secondary School. What an excellent group of people you are, and what a wonderful audience you were. It was a pleasure to read my stories to you, and to shoot-the-bull, after it was over.
I’ve been writing stories, and telling stories ever since I was in grade five. My maternal grandparents were Sechelt Indians. In fact, I descend from a line of hereditary chiefs. My next book will reveal the way I was raised. My grandparents hid me and my siblings away from the government, the RCMP and the residential school system. And because of them, I was raised the way every North American Indian, wished they had been raised – I was FREE! And, I have remained free until this very day.
My book, Etched In My Memory is no accident. It was meant to be. Many people offered to help me publish years ago, but the Creator said, “Not yet.” It wasn’t until I had a horrible, crippling accident, on August 16, 2016, when everything came to a head.
This is the way it happened: The Sunshine Coast had been suffering from a severe water shortage, which meant that gardens, berry patches, and fruit trees were being deprived of this life-giving liquid. I was in the kitchen washing my dishes. I saved every ounce of water to pour on some thirsty plant later. I looked out the window, and my poor peach tree came into view. This tree usually gifted me with a thousand or more peaches each year. The peaches hanging from the tree were about the size of small apricots or plums. I really felt sorry for my tree, so I decided I was going to go out right now and give it a good healthy drink.
I went into the living room and slipped on an old pair of leather moccasins. They were about fifteen years old, with no gription on their soles any longer. My seowen said not to wear them. I ignored it, put on the slippers, went out and dragged the hose and sprinkler to the tree. It was really hot out there!
I turned on the water, but not a drop came through the sprinkler. I searched around to see where the hose was bent, spotted it, went over and straightened it out, and like an idiot, I ran as fast as my 83 year old body could manage. I didn’t want to get wet. I must have thought I was made of sugar and I would dissolve. Phew! Foolishness.
As I ran away from the area, I tripped on some unknown thing, and I went flying through the air, just like the scoring runner in a baseball game, heading for home plate. In this case, home plate was a two-foot-tall ceramic pot full of geraniums. I hit it with my chest, right over my heart, I can recall thinking that I had certainly smashed my heart. I have always had a high pain-threshold, and I am able to mentally transport my pain away from my body; which gives my body the opportunity to begin the healing process much faster.
When I hit that ceramic pot with my chest, the pain was the very worst I had felt in my entire life. It was very hot outside, as it was around 2 pm in the afternoon. I was stretched out on the grass, my voice box was making this horrible high-pitched sound. I could see the short pieces of grass dancing up and down in front of my face. They were left over from the last time my grandson had mowed the lawn. I realized that as soon as my body could absorb the pain, and I could breathe again – the first things that went into my lungs would be those pieces of grass. I couldn’t speak, the pain was so over-powering, the sun was scorching-hot on my head and back. I had never felt so miserable, and there was no one around to help me. I knew I was gravely injured. I had never been broken before, but I knew I had broken bones this time.
With my mind only, I raised my right hand up to the Creator and sent a thought message to him. Creator, I have a destiny! I have responsibilities. I have so many things that you said I had to do – some are still undone! And just like that, all traces of pain left me. What a relief that was. And do you know? That pain never returned. Oh, the skinned arms and knees weren’t comfortable, but the pain from them was as nothing when compared to seven broken and shattered ribs.
I lay there, knowing I had to do something or I would have a sunstroke if I stayed there much longer. Fortunately, I had brought my telephone with me. I took it out of my pocket and wondered whether I should call my daughter, Holly Ann or 911. The Creator said, if you call Holly Ann she will try to lift you up and that will not be good. So, I was just going to dial 911, when the phone rang. I answered it. It was Holly Ann. Somehow, she knew that I was in trouble. She said, “Mother! Are you alright?” Long story short, she was coming right over. I crawled on my belly, just like a snake or a lizard, over to the shade, where the picnic table was situated. I couldn’t stand up, but I got onto my knees and rested my upper body on the seat of the picnic table. Holly Ann arrived and called 911, but she was too excited, so I took the phone and gave the information required. The ambulance arrived and transported me to the hospital.
The doctors kept expecting fragments of my shattered ribs to perforate my stomach, my heart or my lungs. They did none of those things because the Creator didn’t allow them to. Because of my age, the doctors thought I was going to get pneumonia and die, but I knew I wasn’t going to. I breathed in through my nostrils and out through my mouth; that way I could expel any moisture from my lungs. I stayed in the hospital for just over a month, left there, and stayed with my eldest daughter and her husband for about 3 weeks. I was back at my home before Halloween. I have only the highest words of praise, for the nurses and doctors (the name of the hospital, at the time, was St. Marys Hospital). They had me on so much medication. I didn’t wish to become a slave to them, so I decided to go cold turkey and take myself off all of them, and I have been off all medication since October 26, 2016.
This is the reason I say my life is meant to be this way. The “things” which I believe the Creator wants me to do, is to publish the stories I have been writing throughout my life. So, I have been doing exactly that.
I look forward to meeting with you again, at some future date. Xwu’p’a’lich Barb Higgins.