She was, and then she is no more.

by Oeta Sanchez 9 days ago in grief

Story One: MOTHER, Life, love, and Death.

She was, and then she is no more.

Iqiaqtiq had a favorite pass time for the cold dark winter nights. She and her mother would sing together while cleaning up the house. This helped her forget the bad things that happened to them all too often. "Mother has a voice like angels"- thought Iqiaqtiq, and she wished that when she grows up, that her voice would be just as beautiful. She and her Mother would recite the scriptures and sing till the house was clean.

The house was a small house, there was no running water, and the only warmth they had was the small wood stove in the very center of the house. Mother made sure there was lots of split wood near it and kept the fire going all night and day. Moonlight would spill in from the dinning room window after they turned off the kitchen light. Iqiaqtik remembered the story of the men on the moon, and all their pretty clothing. "Mother you are so pretty, more pretty than the moon." she said to her mother as they went to the bedroom.

Iqiaqtik adored her mother, and wanted to be just like her when she got big. Her mother had deep brown eyes shaped like almonds, mothers hair was raven black and straight and shiny. In her mind, no one in the whole world was as pretty and as nice as her mother.

"Mommy tell me how the raven brought the sun again." Iqiaqtiq pleaded covering herself with a blanket.

"When the world was new, and dark...." Her mother told her the story every night and little Iqiaqtik would fall asleep with the words swimming in her mind, forming her dreams.

She awoke to the sounds of fighting. Her mother crying. Her father drank a stinky drink that always made him talk funny. Sometimes he would get really mad at Mother and they would fight, other times he would seem to get happy and very playful. Always, was the smelly drink in his hand, and on his breath. She was scared, Iqiaqtik went to the door and peaked through edge of the hanging blanket to see if Mother was hurt badly again. The door was removed a while ago when Father broke it down to get to mother during a bad fight.

Mother was crying again, she could see the tears and snot sliding down her mothers pretty round face. Little Iqiaqtik felt a shiver go down her head to her toes and she began to shake. She stayed her hand on the door frame and tried to be extra quiet. Remembering the last fight, she ran and hid under the bed and covered her ears. She prayed with whispers and hoped for the fighting to stop. Sometimes father would just fall asleep anywhere. She prayed like mother taught her. And she prayed until she fell asleep again.

In the morning when she awoke, mother was on the floor by the stove. She looked odd. Mothers eyes were open and unblinking, her skin had a funny shade of blue to it. Iqiaqtik looked around the room for father.

"Mother?..... Mother are you awake?"

When mother didn't answer, and father could not be found, Iqiaqtik put on her boots and parka. She ran out of the house to find help. Across the gravel road was her uncles house, maybe father is there.

She put her gloves on and opened the door to dark cold night that seemed like a windy abyss of monsters and cold. Pulling her parka hood over her head, she ran as fast as she could to her uncles house. The light was on so Iqiaqtuk knew he was up. The cold crisp air seemed to choke her, she couldn't breath and her tears froze on her cheek as she ran.

Inside was her uncle, her aunt. They received her with big hugs and urged her by fire, taking her parka and boots to set by the door. seeing the tears on her cheek, her uncle put on his coat and boots, with only a look to her aunt, went running to his sisters house.

"Babe, are you ok? Is Mother ok?" inquired her aunt.

"Aunty! Mother wont move! Mother wont move!" She cried and no longer could hold back the shaking that her body loosed. Iqiaqtik did not know what it was or why her body shook so much. She knew she was scared, she knew her aunty would check on Mother, and maybe she could make her better again.

THAT WAS THE LAST TIME SHE EVER SEEN HER MOTHER. And she hated the stinky drink that made her father act so strange.

Iqiaqtik was an innocent young child when this happened to her. She was there when her mother died. That night her dreams died too.

Quit drinking, seek help, so that your child will never wake to a scene like this one.

Oeta Sanchez
Oeta Sanchez
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