Sharing Our Stories: Mothers/Ka’nisténhsera’

When our youngest daughter was five years old, she went to kindergarten in the community.

We were told that one of the children in her class had an accident on the weekend, where the milk truck ran over her classmate.

Here we go again, right?

We had already lost a child. I know perfectly well what that means.

I told our daughter, “We have to go see your friend.”

I wanted her to understand. That’s what we do culturally. We include our children in these things because they need to know it’s not just older people that pass away, it could be young people as well.

Those are the times they need to ask questions.

When we went, I had a hard time, not her. She didn’t really understand everything. When we walked in, I had to swallow really hard. It’s just like us all over again, when we had to bury our daughter.

The mother was there. I was trying very hard to go, pay my respects, and leave. I turned around and the mother was standing right there.

She said, “Of all the people that are here, everybody’s giving me their condolences, but I’m screaming inside my body. Unless you lost a child, you don’t know what it feels like. But you know what I feel like because you lost yours.”

So we cried together.

There’s other people that felt the same way as me. And so you get together with other people who have the same feelings, not just the same experiences, but the same feelings.

“Can I call you?” she said. “Because I’d like to talk to you after this is over.”

So I said, “I’m just a phone call away if you need it.”

*

Wísk sha’teiakaohseriià:kon onkeni’nisóhkwa’, kaná:takon wa’onterihwaienstà:na’ ne

kindergarten.

Ionkhihró:ri tsi shaià:ta raksà:’a ne ronterihwaiénstha’ wahotera’swáksen’ne’ tsi

iotahia’khsero’ktahkwèn:ke tánon’ tsi kanon’takarénie’s kà:sere wa’thoia’tò:rarake’.

Ó:nare kí:ken wáhi?

Ó:nen tseià:ta tsonkhiia’tóntion. Wakaterien’tarahstsíhon nahò:ten’ né: kén:ton.

Wa’khehró:ri’ ne iakhiièn:’a, “Ó:nen’k tsi enteninonna’ánha’ ahtshitiatken’sè:ra’ tsatén:ro.”

Tewakatonhontsoníhne’ aiako’nikonhraién:ta’ne’. Tho né: nitewaweiennò:ten’. Iakhiien’okòn:’a ionkhiiatia’tará:nis ne ken’ aorihwà:ke ase’kén ó:nen’k tsi enhonaterièn:tara’ne’ tsi iah nek té:ken thotí:ien tsi rontohétstha’, aón:ton’ ni’ nè:’e ne ken’ nithotiièn:sa.

Eh nikahá:wis teiotonhontsóhon nia’té:kon ahatiri’wanontónnion’.

Nó:nen tho shia’ákene’, í: onkwentó:ra’se’, iah nakáonha. Iah kwah akwé:kon teiako’nikonhraientà:’on. Shia’atiatáweia’te’, io’shátste wa’kahnéhkwane’. Sha’té:ioht tsi ní:

wa’onkwaià:tawen’ sha’akhiia’táta’ iakhiien’kénha.

Ro’nisténha tho ítien’skwe’. Kwah wakahkwihsròn:ne’ tho iá:ke’, akherihwakwénienhste’ ne

kahwá:tsire, tánon’ akahtén:ti’. Wa’tkatkahrhaté:ni’ tánon’ ro’nisténha kwah tho ítente.

“Tsi nihá:ti ken’ rón:ne’s,” wa’ì:ron’, “akwé:kon ionkhró:ri ronte’niéntha’

aioke’nikonhrahní:rate, nok kwah nek í:wehre’ taonkkén:rehte’ . Tsi’k tóka’ í:se

sawirakenheià:se, iah tesaterièn:tare oh ní:ioht. Nek tsi í:se saterièn:tare tsi nikonhnò:ten’ né: tsi í:se wesawirakenhé:ia’se’.”

Né: káti’ eh karátie’ skátne wa’tiatiashéntho’.

Ótia’ke sha’té:ioht tsi ionttó:ka’s tsi ní:ioht nì:’i. Né: ká:ti’ ensewatia’tarò:roke’ tsi niiá:kon

sha’té:ioht tsi ionttó:ka’s, iah sha’té:ioht tha’teiakotohétston, nek tsi sha’té:ioht tsi ionttó:kas’.

Wa’ì:ron’, “Enwá:ton’ ken ienkoniatewennáta’ahse’? Né: tsi í:kehre’ akonhtháhrhahse’ nó:nen enwateweiennén:ta’ne’ kí:ken.”

Né: ká:ti’ wa’kì:ron’, “Thikawenní:io kátke tasetewennáta.”

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