Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Gorjuss tag. SNAG only

Sad long overdue update........

Hi everyone. Long time no write! So much has happened in my life since I last wrote. Every time I think life may be calming down, NOPE, WRONG! Something else is thrown on my plate.

How ironic as I was typing that 2 hours ago, I got a phone call of some more drama I had to hear about and deal with!

I will start with my saddest news. I know those of you read my blog, or used to read my journal. Have read about my venting of my youngest sisters drug abuse. She has been in treatment more than out in the last 3 years. Every time she gets to come home, she ended up back in another treatment within a few weeks. She also has been kicked out of 3 treatments for being caught buying and taking pills there.

Last November a week before her 21st birthday. Her fiance called me at 2:30 AM. He said "something is wrong with your sister". I said "what do you mean?". As I was asking I could hear her gasping for air. He said she was sleeping and he couldn't wake her up. She continued to gasp for air. He tried everything he could to wake her. She wouldn't wake. I told him to turn the lights on and check her fingers and toes. I asked him what color they were? He said they were blue. I told him call an ambulance now, she is overdosing. He grabbed her cell phone and called while I didn't even bother getting dressed. I threw a long winter coat on over my pajamas, called my brother and told him what was going on from my home phone. I was on the phone while the 911 operator instructed her fiance to give her CPR until the ambulance arrived. I stayed on the phone the whole way there. I picked my brother up. When the ambulance arrived, I could hear them say she had no pulse. They rushed her to the hospital. I picked my brother up and we headed down to the cities where they had taken her. We were clueless when we got there. We both were prepared to be told that we lost her. They had her in a ICU, stablizing room. We sat for about 2 hours before being told anything.

My mother was in a halfway house when this happened herself. It took me over an hour of calling different numbers to finally get a nighttime nurse to wake her so I could tell her what was going on. They allowed her to be picked up and come to the hospital.

2 hours later the doctor came out and said they were able to get her heart started again. She was going to be okay. But we wouldn't know if she had done any damage to anything for a couple days. They said the next 72 hours would be critical. She was in and out of it for those for 3 days. When she was able to talk. She said to us "I only took 24 pills"!!!????

A few days later they did an Angiogram of her heart. She had done damage. She had Cardiomyopathy. She also damaged her liver some. Our tribe already had her on a involuntary commitment. So one day before her 21st birthday they moved her from the ICU to the mental health unit of the hospital. With plans to hold her there, until she could be placed in another treatment. We found a dual recovery program in California. The day she was going to be flying out there, I picked her up and drove her to the airport.

She made it there about 4 weeks and all the sudden I didn't hear from her for 4 days. I knew something had happened. My sister had signed papers in the hospital that I was authorized to make medical decisions for her, and also get information about anything, any time. So I called the treatment and found out they caught her using and she was in detox and being flown home in 2 days. Because she got kicked out. So she flew home. The police, myself, and a CD counselor from out tribe met her at the airport. The police transported her to a detox until they could find another treatment for her.

They found a program in Alexandria a few hours from the cities. She spent almost 9 months there. I prayed that her rock bottom would have been dying, and being revived.

She got out of that treatment in early July. Her 2nd day home my daughter and I went to her house to help her clean and get her bedroom organized. I could tell she was going out of her mind wanting to use. So we stayed late and tried to just keep her preoccupied. When we left there at 3am. I told my husband when I got home. I give her 3 weeks tops for another overdose.

Well exactly 20 days later (one day short of my prediction). I got another call from Adam at around 4pm. The call that I have prayed with every inch of my soul I would never get. I prayed she would fight with everything in her to beat her addiction. This time the call was different. I answered.

"Crying is all I heard"
"Hello? Who is this?"
"She is gone"
"Kate, she is gone"

I screamed for my husband, threw my cell phone across my yard. He came running and took the phone. My daughter was in the shower, my other daughter was at home. Bill told Rayanna she needed to come talk to me when she got out a few minutes later. I told her "hunny Kate is gone". We both had just showered. So we got dressed. I called my mom and brother and told them. My brother came to my house shortly after. The medical examiner, police, crime unit, ect were all already at her house.

We all headed there. I had a longtime family friend pick my mother up and meet us there. When we arrived we were all asked to stay in the living room or outside. She had went to sleep at 11 the night before and she just never woke up again. Her fiance tried to wake her at around 11:30, but she always slept with the blankets over her head. She didn't wake, so he just laid down and took a nap with her. Around 4 he tried again. When he removed the blanket her hand was locked onto it. He knew she was gone.

They only allowed my mother and I to go up to her bedroom to see her before the coroner took her away. Even though I have known and even predicted this was going to happen. It sure didn't make it hurt any worse! I wanted her to wake up, I wanted my baby sister/child back!

From that day on things seemed to go in fast motion. It all happened so quickly that I didn't have a minute to catch my breath. She died July 28th. Of a drug overdose. We later found out it was almost the exact same quantities and pills she overdosed on the previous fall. We decided to have a traditional Native funeral for her. Within 4 days it was all planned. We all stuck together through the whole thing. Then on July 31st we went and checked into 4 rooms at the casino. Across the street from the community building we were holding her wake/funeral. From start to finish it was 28 hours long. At 2pm on the 1st we all met down at a parking lot of the Tipsy Turtle. The hearse brought her casket. We had drummers in the lead in a truck, playing. It was a cloudy, drizzly day. We invited only closest friends and family to be a part of this. We all walked her body a mile to the building her wake and funeral were being held. Once we got in, there was more drums, and a service. We had cooks hired who fed everyone the whole time. There was SO much food! A lot of people also dropped dishes off from our community. We had a couple other services that day. With more drummers, and also a singer. Flowers kept coming, and coming. At 5pm we opened the wake to anyone else who wanted to come. So many people started showing up.

Finally at around 10 pm all that was left was immediate family, and close friends. Part of Native tradition is that her body was never allowed to be alone. It was an open casket the whole time. So no matter what my brother, mother or myself had to be in the room with her.

My mom slept about 4 hours on the stage above her casket. I couldn't sleep. So my hubby, me, her fiance, and my daughter Amanda all sat up with her all night long. We all just pulled our chairs close to her casket and talked, and cried.

The next morning it started all over again. A huge breakfast was served. And about 150 people showed up. Her funeral service was at 2pm. It lasted about an hour and a half. When given the chance for people to speak. SO many people came and talked about they wouldn't be who they were today, if it weren't for my sister. If she only knew and embraced HOW MANY people loved her so deeply! After the funeral service. We had the final viewing. Everyone else went first. We stayed seated. We then got hugs from all of the people there. That actually was the 3rd time we had that line of hugs, and kisses, and condolences. We then as her family had our chance for our final viewing. It hurt so bad when they finally closed her casket, after it being open for 28 hours. It might sound strange to some of you. But I would have happily sat there with her as long as I could. It became so real when they closed the casket. We then had another walk of about a mile long. All 150 of us walked again with the drummers in front, flag holders, us in the front to her resting spot. Again, it was windy, drizzling, and almost storming but not quite. My sister loved thunderstorms!

They had a beautiful tent set up with seats for her immediate family to sit at during the final service. We then had another line up of hugs, ect outside at the cemetery. Then we all dropped a handful of dirt and a rose into her grave. And they lowered her casket in the ground. It hurt SO BAD! I have always been more of a mother to my sister. More so than a sister. I couldn't breath. My heart hurt so deeply. That was it, I will never see her here on earth again.

We all walked back to the community center where a huge feast was ready and waiting. We then had one last ceremony. We paid the drummers, cooks, and couple who made fresh fry bread through out the whole thing. We also presented star quilts to all of the pall bearers. We then distributed the trees, flowers, and plants to the elders. And it was time to pack up, head back to the hotel and pack up there and head home.

In 5 days time I slept a total of 4 hours. I was beyond exhausted. I had gotten sick a few times.

All responsibilities fell on my shoulders. I am still closing her estate out. Greediness of course came into place from her son's father before she was even buried. I had to hire an attorney to protect her assets. We have already had 2 hearings and the 3rd will be in November. Bottom line, his greediness didn't win. Some people do not understand Tribal laws and tribal beliefs are very sacred, and cannot be altered.

I knew I would hurt for a long time. I just wonder when it stops hurting more everyday, then less?? I get angry, then sad, and in the mean time. I have to make sure that everyone else is taking care of themselves also. My mother being an alcoholic. Did amazing the first couple weeks. But it has been rocky since then. I think she is very close to ending back up in treatment herself.

I thought I had time to write so much more tonight. But just ran out of energy. I am going to try to start writing more here again to help myself free my mind sometimes when I need to. I hope everyone is doing good!

Love & Hugs