This week some of my sisters and I returned to Oklahoma to take care of paperwork–always best done in person on the Rez–and visit relatives at Greyhorse cemetery.
Our ancestors’ headstones stand side by side by side: Relatives who left South Dakota and Nebraska in the 1800s to join the Osages and a few born here in Hominy.
My step-father passed away this year (and my youngest brother followed suit) so the visit marked our chance to see Dad’s name, recently added to the granite stone placed a few years ago for my mother.
Now my parents are together.
Because there are so many children–eight from more than one marriage–our family gatherings are a big burly mess.
And we bring partners, children, grandchildren and friends. My parents figured the more the better.
Mom and Dad were generous. Come visit, they said. Come stay. We’ll take care of you.
And they believed strongly in sharing.
So it was no surprise they insisted their children share equally the inheritance.
We pulled our chairs around the dining room table this week and discussed finances in relative calm, and I wondered if Mom and Dad had imagined us sitting here today, talking.
Did they predict what we would say? How we would feel? Would we cry? Laugh? Pout?
Did they know we would try to read in between the lines? Guess their intent?
Little disagreement emerged from my siblings, which is what I think my parents hoped.
A wee bit of wrangling along with hugs and kisses.
As usual, our attention now is focussed on food: what’s for dinner, breakfast and lunch? We never run out of food.
Milk, cheese, eggs, butter, bread, rolls, ham, pork, chicken, lettuce, bananas, apples, cookies, ice cream, brownies, carrots: the fridge is stuffed.
Our way of coping.
Photo taken on our September 2015 visit to Greyhorse by the author