She has seen the transition from the old to the new. She understands what an iiyou skwow is. She saw what her mother went through to raise her family. She knew the hardship. She knows what needs to be done to survive.

She now has her family, putting into practice what she learned as a child: love your children.

A little while ago, someone on the computer network said, “Of course native people don’t have to say I love you.” (He was looking for ways to say “I love you” in native languages.)

I replied to his posting by saying that wasn’t necessarily true. My parents always let me know how much they love me, and now I do with our daughter.

She now has her family. But her love doesn’t end there. Her love extends to the community also.

She does what she can. She finds the time. She finds the time to help with the church, the school, the hospital and the community in general. Wherever she’s needed, she’s there. Young and old come to her for help, for friendship. She talks with those who need someone to talk to. She is always there.

With our new daughter, only now can I begin to appreciate what she did for us. I don’t know how I will ever repay her. Maybe I can’t, maybe the best I can do is to pass on the things she gave us to her grandchild—who will be a testament of her undying love for her family. If we can pass that on, then her work wouldn’t have been in vain.

Different people call her different things. Daughter, sister, Grandma, teacher, friend, fellow committee member… I consider myself fortunate to call her mom.