my entry for Joy Harjo’s Crazy Brave contest

This is the personal story that I sent in to Joy Harjo’s Crazy Brave contest. Our children are our teachers especially at the most critical times. Mine have taught me so many lessons, it’s Crazy and Brave. I haven’t shared this story that much, mostly because I don’t want to focus on it or give it power. I walked away from this time in my life. Although, it still creeps in me time and time again. And it still effects me. It’s been about four years around this time of year. I should really be celebrating it! I’ve returned back to writing after being told that I wasn’t a writer or an artist. It’s really incredibly sad what we let people get away with, in the name of love. To this day, I am constantly checking faces in the crowd. I don’t attend certain events. Or if I do I am on high alert or I keep friends and family at a distance. And they don’t even know why and I don’t even explain my actions to them. Perhaps me sharing this will help me even more to let go and be truly free.
Gchi miigwech to ndaanisag, Storm and Grace for having being Brave so that I can be Brave too.
* * *
I wish I had a crazy brave story to tell you. The closest that I can get is the day I decided to listen to my kids. You see, I was in one of those relationships that a person like me always swears up and down the coast lines that they will never be caught in a relationship like that. Well I ended up being in some kind of love – maybe it was a lack of love for myself. Or maybe this love was misplaced in the wrong areas of the heart. Perhaps I should find another verb to use to describe this feeling.The last few months of a year long relationship were starting to get worse. I was feeling more down and my spirit was surrendering defeat.

My daughters and I were downstairs in the basement. I was holding both of them close to me as the rooms upstairs were being pulled apart. Furniture was being thrown around. Books tumbled down the stairs. Feet were pounding the floors. I thought nothing could get more intense then this moment right now.

“That’s it. I’m leaving.”

I was beginning to sound like an echo that never really dissipated. And my daughters said, “Mom we heard you say this before and you never do anything about it.”

All I could focus on was what they just said to me. I thought to myself, this is how they see me. What am I teaching them? My heart was beating in my ears and I could almost hear my blood pumping through my veins.

We stayed in the basement that night until this person, who I will never speak of in a good way ever again, left. When we crept up the stairs the next morning, our home was in shambles. My computer was broken with all my writing over the years. All of our books were ripped up. My daughter’s baby book was ripped apart. Furniture was broken. And all I could think of was my daughters and what they said to me the night before.

When this person came back the next day all sheepish and so so sorry for wrecking everything. It was similar to remorse but I’ve seen this mockery before. Something inside changed. I saw this person for what they really were. And I all could hear were my daughters’ voices in my head, “you never do anything about it.”

I stood up straighter and with a shaky voice I said, “Leave my house and never come back.”

This was the day that I listened to my daughters who were eight and eleven at the time. They taught me to be brave and to embrace it.

Miigwech for allowing me to share this story. I don’t tell it very often because it’s part of my life that I don’t want to remember. What I do cherish is this teaching that my daughters gave me.

Ps. You inspire me to write. I have my first book of poetry coming out this fall. I will send you a copy when it comes out!!


10 thoughts on “my entry for Joy Harjo’s Crazy Brave contest

  1. i haven’t known you for very long but i can honestly say that you inspire me…
    i see someone who has given so much of herself to every direction that she loves and i can see that you’re better for it-that gives me hope-it motivates me to be more*do more, of what i want for myself and my family…
    you said you were turning 40 soon…i want to be 40-living my art and enjoying every minute of it
    youuuuu 😉


    • gchi miigwech for your kind words 😀 i appreciate the feedback. i hope that your inspiration will lead you forward and be fearless. ahhhh!! 4-0 🙂 tee hee. i don’t feel it. and sometimes i feel like maybe i should grow up more. but then i think, nah! i’m having too much fun. i’ve got lots of responsibilities that i take care of then the rest of the time is to have fun!
      sometimes you just got to do it – whatever it is you want to accomplish. do it honestly and with integrity. and enJOY it 🙂


        • discovered or recovered?
          that is the question
          many carry these secrets
          sometimes to the deaf and blind
          who hear but can’t seem to choose
          to live the secret
          or to say
          one day i will
          how about now i will?

          lol. i do this all the time too. like i wanna get my master’s one day. when will that day come? i was just thinking this again last night as i watched the full moon. soon. i need to get on it! see you soon 😀 is it shawarma time?


          • the never ending cycle eh-just do it 😀 sssshhhhhhawarma ehhhhhhhh mmmmm
            hows next week? im goin for poutine w Donna today and ive got left over pizza to eat for tomorrow (was supposed to be today) annnd yr not in till like Wed. sooo would u wana just do it next Thurs since we’ll both be here?>?


  2. I love you so much Vera, and am so very proud of you for listening those little cubs of yours – they are wise and brave, they must’ve got it from someone close by… 🙂 Love always wins and you proved it.


  3. You are incredibly strong and brave–as are your girls! It is so powerful for you to share this story. I know how hard it can be to leave those type of relationships and to stand up for yourself. You inspire me and I am so happy and excited for you that your first book of poetry is coming out this fall! I can’t wait to read it.


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