Sharing Our Stories: Her doll/Akoia’tón:ni

A few weeks after everything, she did call me and asked me if I could come to her house.

She was sitting in the bedroom of her son. The way he left it is the way she left it.

“My sisters keep telling me to take everything away from the room to then use it for something else,” she said. “I don’t want to.”

It just hit me.

“I’m leaving it in here because I can still smell him,” she said. “That’s what I do. I come in here and I smell him. And while I’m smelling him, I’m having a hard time to let go.”

I said, “I know exactly what you’re talking about. I went through the same thing. I used to put her coat underneath my pillow. Nobody knew. And her doll. And I used to smell them. I could still smell her on it.

We shared tears, we shared experiences, and we shared something that a lot of other people might not know. We happened to be lucky enough to meet each other and to talk for a while.

From time to time we still catch up with each other.

Now I see my sister-in-law’s daughter - they were about the same age. I imagine, when I look at her, I wonder how our daughter would have turned out.

*

Tóhkara niiahia’khserá:ke ontóhetste’, taionkwatewennáta’ahse’ tánon’ wa’onkeri’wanón:tonhse’ tóka’ enwá:ton’ tsi tiakonónhsote éntke’.

Ronwaièn:’a tsi thanonhwétstha’ tietskó:tahkwe’. Iah thé:nen ken’ thieiakoié:ren tsi thanonhwétstha’.

Wa’ì:ron’, “Iakwatate’ken’okòn:’a thia’teká:konte ionkhró:ri é:ren akhá:wihte’ tsi nahò:ten’ tho ká:ien ne ó:ia nahò:ten’ aonsóntston. Iah té:kehre’.”

Ok thontonkeriahsó:ka’te’.

Wa’ì:ron’, “Kèn:tho enkaién:take’ raowenhshòn:’a né: tsi shé:kon enwá:ton’ enwakéhso’ tsi nihrenserò:ten’. Tho nitiéhrha’. Tkateweià:tha’ tánon’ enwakéhso’ tsi nihrenserò:ten’. Ok tsi nikarì:wes wakéhsos tsi nihrenserò:ten’, wakentorà:se ahiiáhtka’we’.”

Wa’kì:ron’, “É:so tsi wake’nikonhraién:ta’s nahò:ten’ sahtharáhkwen. Sha’té:ioht tsi ní: wa’tkatóhetste’. Akotià:tawi shes akwatkon’serahtsheró:kon enkatia’wi’tsheró:roke’. Iah ónhka teiakoterièn:tarahkwe’. Tánon’ akoia’tón:ni, enkatéhswahte’ shes. Ioton’òn:ne’ shé:kon aonkéhso’ tsi niiakenserò:ten’ ne tho kaia’tonnihserà:ke.

Skátne wa’akenikáhseren’ne’, teiakenitsá:ron othé:nen wa’tiatiatóhetste’, tánon’ iakenirihwaienté:ri othé:nen iah ónhte é:so rá:ti tehatiienté:ri. Ok tha’ontiatera’swí:iohste’ tsi wa’tiatiatátken’ nok ón:ton’ ken’ nikarì:wes wa’tiakenihthá:ren’.

Ken’ na’tekónteron shé:kon entsakenihnóntera’ne’ ne onkenikara’shòn:’a.

Né: ká:ti’ khé:kens ontiaríha, ontatièn:’a. Ákta tsi nitiotiién:tahkwe’. Tkeráhstha’ nó:nen enkhé:ken’, oh naiohtónhake’ tóka’ aiakotehiahròn:’on ne iakhiièn:’a.

Storyteller: Amelia McGregor, Writer: Simona Rosenfield, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Translator: Sahawisó:ko' Arquette, The Eastern Door