To start from the very beginning would take much time, and although part of this story, a very distant part. Enough of it is said, that my first wife gave up on our marriage because she could not watch me swallow poison every day.
Breath of Fresh Air came into my life during that period, and saw in me, and gave me new hope. Our love flourished, faltered, failed, and prevailed largely around the use of poison in our lives, and those of our dear friends. Running Bear became part of a relationship that has us both dance with poison for the past 35 years. As I write, the beast is on the proper side of the line in both of our lives. I pray that the Universe keeps it so.
As life, trust, and love with Breath of Fresh Air grew, so did her tummy. The Universe had created in her a being so honest and pure of heart, we could only know her as Shining Light, or Kayla.
To call her Shining Light Is no exaggeration, or mistake. Since she was young, she would not speak until she could form a complete sentence. She has always known that she is a teacher, and still that in her profession today. Her teaching began with the first of our friends. Those who removed their shoes at the campfire were graced with their immediate retrieval and offering by Kayla. It was after all, not safe tto walk around the camp without covering for ones’ feet. Shining light saw very little but good and bad. There was little grey area to confuse her convictions.
In her father, Spirit Fights with Mind, she saw only good. There was indeed, much good, as Spirit is more powerful than Mind, but there was also much mind. Mind sought to be numbed for whatever reasons, and swallowed much poison. Shining Light saw the poison as bad, but still loved the blood spirit in her father from that point forward. Through many many disappointments, she stood behind the Spirit, hopeful when it was present, and weeping when it was blocked by mind.
Breath of Fresh Air finally ran out of the energy to fight the demons that Spirit Fights with Mind, and this marriage ended in the shadow of the poison. The love and friendship did not, and the disappointment she felt will be celebrated very much as a victory when Spirit finally accepts victory over mind and poison.
There were many many good times, and also much poison. So many of the good times were coupled with poison that sometimes it was hard to tell much difference, if any. Other times, like when Father fell asleep at the dinner table, it was plain to see. Still Shining light had enough love and faith to allow Father the honor of playing the flute music for her 18th birthday. This is an honor father will never forget.
Just as Kayla was there for her Father, she has been there for her sister Peace Between us. Kayla was the first to arrive to help Mother Mary slay the dragon I unleashed when I submitted myself to a much overdue Medical Detoxification program. I had put my heart at risk by drinking myself into a heart condition called A-fib, and knew that I had been swallowing enough poison that it would be dangerous for me to stop “cold turkey.” I needed help, and I knew it was going to get ugly.
Kayla rubbed my back and tendons, as I was under restraints, and had the Spirit to laugh at the irony when I phierted in her face. I will never forget the determined face of my fearful little girl, telling me that “you can do this daddy.” It is my prayer, now, that after her 26 years of trying, the Spirit might grant her wish.
I will forever be saddened by the fact that all of this occurred on the celebration of the birth of Mother Mary. I will, however, be honored and delighted to forever call March 7th, 2017 my sobriety day. May this be more a testament to the love I have for her, than the embarrassment I caused her and her family on that day. I did not even consider this when I submitted myself for medical help – only that it had to happen, not when.
Peace Between Us has had no easier time of the struggles with her father’s demons, and has had no margin less resolve. She has literally carried me up to my tent, dead drunk, and acted the next morning happy to see that at least the poison had not claimed my life – only put shadow over my spirit.
She happily flew down to watch Dog with no Hate as Mother Mary had to take some well-deserved family time to celebrate the union of the first of her Nieces (or nephews). Kelsey and I were both happy for her that she could get away from the day to day of the “recovery.” Mary had been at my side every day since I submitted the family to this ordeal.
Kelsey met me at the hospital, waited for the doctors, waited for the wheel chair that never came, and happily “flew the coop” with Spirit Fights with Mind when the opportunity presented itself. The Doctors, nurses, and staff at Kaiser were over the top. I had one nurse that stayed up and watched me all but two of the 12 nights I was there. Thank you Whitney, and the too many others to mention. It was symbolic that the final comment to the remaining staff for saving my life was that the wheelchair was a half hour late. Spirit Fights with Mind indeed.
Making no mention of this we proceeded to our next set of appointments. On arriving at the facility, I saw a dent in the parking garage floor, and thought that it must have been a door. It was, and it happened to be the door to the Pharmacy (where I was able to fill all the prescriptions the hospital left us with) the waiting area for my next appointment, and a source of food. It was by the 2:30 and neither of us had had lunch.
We spent the time playing cards and talking about what all had happened, and how blessed we were. The appointment went smoothly (amazingly so) and we were able to immerge with a long-term plan to keep the poison away from Spirit Fights with Mind.
Upon reflection that evening, Spirit Fights with Mind was searching for a proper tribute to those nearest and dearest to me who have believed in me for decades, years, or months. It was Peace Between Us who suggested that we call Shining Light and discuss what had happened between us all, for so many years. It was through that conversation that the Universe has chosen the words on these humble pages.