Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blessed Be the Caretakers

Hattie Eva Smith, married Eaton.
In the midst of pain, in the lull of heavy drugs in the Burn ICU, I experienced seeing my ancestors standing around my hospital bed. I thought at first that they were visitors or hospital staff. For me, time was distorted and it was a while until I realized that they were clearly defined to me, but also various shades of transparent translucency.

Some of them moved so swiftly around my bed they were a blur of action, but some of them stayed with me long enough to be recognizable. My paternal 2x great-grandfather, Hiram King Wicker, stood at the foot of my bed, acting as patriarch and traffic controller of the ether room. His blue eyes twinkled at me merrily and I knew I would be all right.

My maternal great-grandmother Elsie Elizabeth Durant Riddle sat to my right. She always manifests to my right. She held my hand and I could feel the soft smoothness of her skin. I was too hazy to realize that my hands were bandaged up into tight balls to stop the burns from contracting.

There was another woman in the room, unknown to me by appearance. She wore a long skirt and full blouse that could belong to any nondescript time period. Her face was sober and serious and her head was bent in half-prayer.

Then there was a last permanent guest, who I didn't recognize at first. Her age threw me off, as most of the photos I'd seen of her were either much younger or much older, like my father remembered her, my paternal great-grandma Hattie Eva Smith Eaton. She stood on my left side, with her hands open, palms down, on my left thigh, just above my knee. Her face was also serious, but when she saw me watching her, she'd smile crookedly, reassuring me.

My great-grandma Hattie was a nurse. In 1931, my great-grandpa Royal Levant Eaton died as a result of diabetic complications after a wound inflicted during his work as a prison guard. Being the depression, the government refused to pay out his pension due to his death from a pre-existing condition and Hattie had to find work so that she could care for her children. She went to school and was a nurse for the rest of her life. And then, in her afterlife, she was with me, attentive and unmoving, watching my other ghostly visitors.

In the hospital, every time my dressing changes were done and my legs had healed more, and looked better, the nurses would ask me, "Are you sure you're diabetic?" I knew that was Hattie, standing with me. As the drugs faded and I grew more tangible in my body, my guests paled and became air around me, invisible to my eyes. But I could still feel them in the room with me. I feel them with me still.

1 comment:

  1. Brother Hiram was Very active - yes indeed his eyes were sparkling- it was he who assured me "we have her...." when I protested he smiled gently and apologized for the poor choice of words! Such blessings... what is remembered lives! Blessings mama... @>-'-,-


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