I want to say first of all, thank you for always making the time for me, for sharing stories with me, for making that time meaningful.
I will always remember the story of you telling me that, when you came to find me in Scarborough Ontario where my first seven years were spent, in townhouse, where the Land and forest still met the, the backyards, where I, spent most of my days, running around in black boots and sundresses. We carry these stories from our childhood for life. I find this story for me, one that is of utmost importance.
You always told me the story of how you knew you found my neighbourhood because you found me: long bushy ponytails, sundress. boots. friends. I was always busy with the other children, and at the same time, a child of the sun, like you were.
Today Auntie, I thank you for my cousins.
They have been my best friends all these years. I have spent many hours with them, well more so as a child, and these days, more so with Jamie. I promise, to always check in with them, and with your granddaughters. I promise to share books, to share stories, to share, all I can. I remember my cousins, as children.
I think of you my Auntie, those days you gave me, beauty.
You were there at my wedding day to read a poem on Love. I asked you to, and you were happy to do so. You wore lavender to match. You also made special jam for my wedding, which we gave away as gifts. Everything touched with a bit of sweetness and love, your ways.
I will remember the foods you made.
The jam jam shortbread. The jam jam tarts of jam sweetness. The shortbread cookies. Other deserts other foods – trifle, pizzas, macaroni soup and bannock, moose meat and dumplings. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Where we all ate so much we slept, together, feet touching on couches. Bush tea. Weiner bannock. Fried pickerel. More bannock.
I will remember the art you made.
And your beautiful art, the beautiful beadwork you made. The framed pictures I seen, of beaded flowers on black velvet. Barettes beaded with Anishinabe style flowers. Pinks. Blues. Purples. Oranges.
I will remember you as a strong mother of boys, of sons.
I see your wisdom over all these years. Of kindness, always outpouring. Offering me gentle guidances, usually over Facebook. I’d pose questions, and you were always there to answer. I learned from watching your ways as well. Menus up on the fridge. Coffee cups
I will remember, the importance of sisters, and how you loved yours with your heart, always using words like, sissy.
I will remember the love you had for your brothers. I will remember the love you had for everyone in each and everything thing you did.
You designed life with details of love. With order. With care.
As days go, as they will. I will remember, the soft lavender hills, that to me, look like
women. Like us. I will remember you in the moon, when she is a quarter, a half, full, then not there. I will remember you in the star closest to the moon. I will remember you by all shorelines, and blues of skies touching blues of water.
I will remember your commitment to Language, Anishinabae Mowin. Mother tongue.
I will most importantly remember how you have shared the language with the children. How you have maintained that fire within, and passed on, to children, to families.
You truly have done a lot Auntie, and we should all be so honoured by all you have taught us, all the hugs, all the laughter, all the time, and all the kindness.
Perhaps the most important message from you to me, is, Are we keeping well on the inside and the outside? Does our life serve us, well, or are we merely serving life? What keeps that fire alive? How can we keep poetry in our lives? How can we keep our stories strong? How can we learn about desire and freedom? Where have I travelled that makes me feel well? What stories has my life created? How has our quiet helped us, in our path? When we are alone, with, the stars, what story do they tell?
Your giving, was a huge part of who you are, and who I am too. Miigwetch. Gezagayin. Noshay, Tia Carolina.