Friday, January 27, 2006

Noteworthy Events

Every cloud has a silver lining, even a cloud as dark as Steve's passing. For obvious reasons, we gave our complete attention to the funeral and grieving, but other noteworthy events transpired over this last week.

People always say funerals bring families together like nothing else. On the one hand, it's good to see folks again; while on the other hand, we shouldn't have to wait for tragedy to strike to rekindle family bonds. Even though we generally lament the distance, I think we all agree visiting loved ones in the midst of loss is better than not seeing them at all.

Rhonda with her father and brothers.
(left to right) Ron Merchant, Rhonda Moses, Mike Merchant, and Paul Merchant.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

I love everyone in the family, but two people in particular stand out:

Glenda's older sister LaDonna flew in from Boise to spend the week with our family. Her visit was particularly touching because everyone else came for Lanith and the kids, but LaDonna came for Glenda. Her visit made Glenda's grieving more bearable. We even laughed and shared many wonderful moments as a family. Not to mention, my kids absolutely loved LaDonna from the first moment they met her. Maybe they attached to her because of her spirited personality, or maybe because of her resemblance to Glenda. Whatever the reason, it felt so wonderful to see my children throw open their hearts to such a wonderful woman. It brought cheer to my heart, and Glenda's.

LaDonna Barrett, Rhonda Moses, and Glenda Merchant.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Anthony also made an important visit. We all know how much he struggles and how he tends to stay away, but when he heard about Steve, he put aside his crazy lifestyle and really stepped up for the family. So many people expressed their love and support for him, including uncle Mike and Ezekiel Sanchez from the Anasazi program. It brought tears to my eyes to see Anthony and Zeke together...I hold out so much hope for Anthony to make a better life for himself and to break free of the bonds of addiction and self-doubt.

Anthony Haines
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses

Overall, my heart expanded so much in the presence of so much love and the expression of such tender feelings. Family really is forever.

In other "news," the Community Colleges of Spokane recently hired me as an adjunct faculty member in the Adult Basic Education program in Colville, Washington. I'm so excited to be involved with such a wonderful employer. Not to mention, the Spokane Tribal TANF program just invited me to teach Salish classes at their Spokane and Wellpinit centers once a week. After so many years of struggle, things are starting to look up.

I also had a meeting at Whitworth College yesterday to discuss my final project for graduation. I will be testing a pilot program to change the way primary and secondary education graduate students obtain their degree. As it stands now, students have to complete a curriculum project and three comprehensive exams. Unfortunately, most students object to taking the exam portion because they feel it simply repeats exams they already took. Working with Sharon Mowry and Vernice Hunnicut at the college, we will pilot a new program that will replace the comprehensive exams with a Philosophy of Education paper, a poster presentation, and an oral presentation. I am so excited to participate in improving Whitworth's program. I'm also humbled to sit with such esteemed people as Sharon and Vernice and to have them listen seriously to my contributions.

As a side note to all these changes in my life, I have the opportunity to drive through Colville and Chewelah three times a week. I love seeing the beautiful mountains that are so deeply connected to my family and tribal history. The other day, I stopped at the Indian Cemetery in Chewelah and felt a rekindling of my interest in genealogy.

We have been blessed beyond measure. God is good.

1 comment:

Chelle said...

I figured we would have some picuters from that area.....