Dana Lone Hill: Becoming a grandmother is life's highest honor

Dana Lone Hill

Life's Highest Honor
By Dana Lone Hill
Lakota Country Times Columnist

There are many times in many parts of the world when certain people are honored for what they do in life. They may have been a brave soldier, or warrior. An inspiring teacher, songwriter, author, artist, or hero who saved someone’s life. Someone may have survived a great tragedy, battled cancer, overcome great unexpected obstacles in life to be someone’s hero.

I have done none of these. I am not one in life to go claim anything and I won’t. I did write a book, out of despair and lonesomeness, while waiting to get sentenced to go to prison. I paid my debt to society but I will forever be judged on actions I let happen, even and more so by my own people. I can never get a job again because of this because background checks do not judge you by what have you done since then, only by what you done. No one know who I am in my heart. No one can see all the good that is still there and wants to shine.

Except one person.

That person will be 7 months old this week and her name is Amelia. She does not care what people think of me, about my past and I am thinking that when she gets older if anyone tells her that I am any of the names people like to throw at me, she will probably throw something at them.

My life consists of seeing her green eyes in the morning when I wake up or sometimes at night when she chooses to sleep by me. My life is about her. I don’t need anyone’s approval, I don’t need to know what I should have done in life. All I know is my granddaughter is the highest honor I could ever have.

She slept by me the other day when I was under the weather and I had Vick’s Vapo-Rub all over, my pillow even smelled like it When I got up in the morning, I saw her roll to the side and smell the pillow, then she went back to sleep. I was flooded with memories of doing that when I was little. I knew my grandma wasn’t far when I could smell her Vick’s. That is my highest honor.

(Dana Lone Hill is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and is the author of a book about life on the reservation called Pointing with Lips.)

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