|No Mirrors in Grandmothers
By Roy Cook
The San Diego American Indian Health Center (SDAIHC) Community Night, August 26, 2010, theme was Native American Grandparents. Three Grandparents: Vickie Gambala, Charlene Redner and Becky Gaines, brought their life experiences and viewpoints on living life with beauty all around us.
There was a respectable gathering of over eighty: community leaders, parents, students, children and elders in attendance. Christopher Scott organized this evenings speakers, dinner and children activities. He can be reached at 619-234-2158 ext. 111.
From 6:30 to 7pm, many of the early arrivals are forming conversation groups or waiting for the announcement of the evenings speakers. The children are occupied with activities and monitored play. Most are looking forward to the Tostada dinner and the start of the program.
It is always an honor to provide the blessing for the feast and to pray for all our relations there and everywhere. One feels humble to call upon the Creator for our abundance and children. All is a gift of the Creator.
Debbie and her dad, Paul Razo brought together a fine bean and meat tostada and Spanish rice dinner. Also, there were a butterfly pasta and green salad or fruit salad side dishes. Condiments, punch or hot coffee settled the beast within.
Our first speaker is the organizer of the Soaring Eagle Dance and Regalia workshop. Ms Vickie Gambala, Cherokee. She spoke to the evenings theme and what it meant. Love for ones grandchildren without judgment. She said this is often hard in these materialistic times. But, we Need to show our grandchildren that they are loved no matter where they are at. We need to show them how to be a good person. That is our goal in life. To teach them how to be human and respect. Grandparents love is constant!
Next, SDAIHC therapist,
Charlene Redner, Navajo-Paiute-Shoshone spoke to her tribal bonding and
boarding school experience. She recalled how important the three months
at home were to her. The end of the visit was coincided with the flowering
of the summer sunflowers. One time, she said, I went
out with a knife and tried to cut down all the sunflowers she could reach.
There were, sadly, just too many. Happier times she remembered that
they didnt have many toys but they were happy to be together and
found joy in what nature provided. From those times we learned how important
is to know who we are and where we came to be. She asked, How many
know their tribal creation story? She has 7 of the brothers and
sisters she grew up with. Some had social problems in life and some passed
at an early age just from the harsh conditions of living in a rural setting.
Charlenes Mother taught her to be strong, think and look for the
solution to lifes problems. She is now a grandparent with
both biological and gathered to her grandchildren.
Educator, Becky Gaines, Yaqui came from a family that emphasized education. She is very fortunate to persevere and follow her destiny. She encourages all to participate in the education process and the PTA. It is important for all of us to be proud of who we are.
At the end of the
informative presentations, we were treated to cookies and frosted cupcakes,
coffee or punch. A cool and sweet ending to another SDAIHC Thursday community
night at the Normal Heights Community Center 4649 Hawley Blvd.