Archive for January 18th, 2008

Another day at the prison.

Friday, January 18th, 2008

It was bitter cold this morning, probably 18 degrees, when I started the truck and drove to Gunnison for my weekly visit with the American Indian inmates there. I sat facing south as the brothers prepared their fire and water drum. I can’t get over the devotion it must take to spend half an hour working with wet leather in those temperatures with no gloves so you can then sing and pray. I wonder if that was required how many of my faith would participate.
After the usual opening greetings, songs and prayer I asked for some time. I shared with the brothers the story of the wounded eagle and explained what has been happening with my father during the past week. THey offered to pray and sing for him. Two of the Navajo brothers, Travis Nakaidine, and Ricky Bilse, brought the water drum they had been preparing over and knelt in front of me and sang a set of four NAC songs.
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As they were finishing the fourth song a large golden eagle flew in from the east right over our circle. The bird proceeded about 100 yards beyond the circle, turned and flew east back over the fire and on toward the mountains. We all watched until he was out of sight. No one in the circle doubted that the bird was sent with a message about my father. The meaning is for me to understand. I know that he is nearing the end of his life on earth. The last time we spoke he talked of the spirit world and seeing departed loved ones soon. THe eagle’s flight west would indicate death. His turn around and easterly path may mean returning to the Creator or Christ as my father knows Him.
During the past couple of days my father has seemed to rally, but anyone who knows anything about how things go near the end for severe cardiac patients would say his time is short. I am flying out to be with the family on Wednesday. Perhaps I will see him again, perhaps not. He could go any time. I relish the time we had together in July when we stayed together for a week in Oklahoma. It was a great time.
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