Of Mothers and Men

Sorry about the pun thing, but since I’m asked for a title on each post, that was the easy way out.

People always talk about how their mom was strong and smart and taught them to love or kill a bear using only a claw hammer. It gets old and more boring than watching my grampa talk himself to sleep. Of course my mom taught me all those things. She made me food, and cleaned my clothes and all those other things mom’s do while working a full time job and gaining respect in her field across the entire state of New Mexico. Don’t get me wrong, my dad was always there as well, but he wasn’t there for claw hammer bear day.

It’s all very impressive but I think it all pales in how she did it all. She did it all these things, and I never noticed it. I put my clothes in a magic basket that showed up a few days later with the same clothes, but no longer smell of armpits and old eggs. I showed up some days and there was already some wondrous food, created by fairies, waiting to be scooped and stuffed into my non-appreciative face.

Medicine disbursed, scrapes washed and probably kissed (though i don’t remember my mom being the ‘kiss my boo boo’ type. She was more of the ‘here’s a wire brush for those cuts, and if it’s good enough to clean the bathtub, it’s good enough to clean your bloody stump’.


I found out later in life, that she wasn’t much liked by many of my dad’s siblings because she wasn’t Apache. They still believed that indians should only be with other indians, and she still stayed with my dad. Among some obvious hate and threats, she still did it all. My 2 older sisters, my younger sister and brothers had no idea back then, what she had already been through.

Still, I didn’t bother to notice it all.

She got us ready for school programs, she made sure we made it to practice. Or made sure we all had the fuel all her kids needed to excel at these things. I had 3 sisters and 1 brother. That’s 5 of us. Just to add another challenge level, she handled more than just her kids. I’ve had multiple cousins and otherwise homeless orphans stay with us for months at a time.

She not only worked a full time job, but got better at it. She mastered her damn job. How many of you can say you’re doing that right now? I know I can’t. She still inspires me to this day, and does she know? Maybe. She should.

She did and does all this, while not talking about it. Not telling me about it. Not complaining about all that stuff she put up with, handled and then gracefully brushed off.

She even made me a homemade Cyrano De Bergerac costume one year. I’m not sure I knew who that was. But I looked bloody magnificent.

Are you sure these are boys clothes?

Are you sure these are boy clothes?

Just so I would never have to notice it. That’s a real mom. That’s a hero. One of these days, I’ll be able to put it into words.

An Apache Ages

When I was 15, I thought I had most of it figured out and knew what the hell was happening in the world. I was on the rez and my world was in my control. Then I turned 20 and realized that I was an idiot at 15. The world had gotten so much bigger and the reservation so much smaller.  But at 20, I knew much more and was going to attempt to conquer the world. (just like we did last night Pinky)

Sad indian

Then I made it to 30 and thought about what a buffoon 20 year old me was. The world isn’t designed to be conquered, it is sometimes laughed with and fought against, not something to rule over. Nobody is handing out golden tickets, as 20 year old me still believed they existed. 30 year old me knows better, well… knew better than those previous morons.
When I hit 40 recently I noticed how blissfully unaware that 30 year old seemed to be. Sure he thought he had a good grip on things at 30. The more 40 year old knows, the more I realize how much 40 year old me, doesn’t know. I feel as though I’m starting to reverse in age. How is it possible that I know so little?

That may all sound bad, or even an attempt at some sarcastic self-deprecation, but it’s quite the opposite. It’s an honest realization of your past thought patterns. And hopefully you’re current ones.

However, I truly believe that if you DON’T go through these phases and subsequent brain-wrecks, there’s probably something wrong. You should be growing, and learning and overall getting BETTER than your former self. Shouldn’t you?


An Open Letter to My Knee

Listen, I know you’ve been through a lot. I know I’ve asked for support more times than I care to admit. And you’ve always been there working, and I appreciate that. We’ve played countless hours of noonball (that’s 12-1:30) every single day. Through college, then summertime, then tournaments on weekends. …

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