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Donna's Journal
Memorial presentation for Wenona Flood

"This is one of the first remembrances I would like to share with you about Wenona:

Close to 50 years ago my daughter was injured at birth, resulting in cerebral palsy. She was, non-the-less, a beautiful child. When she was close to two years old, and barely sitting up by herself, Wenona sewed her the most treasured dress a little girl could own. I remember it well. It was of a beautiful turquoise blue-green (one of Wenona’s favorite colors). Around the skirt and up the front of the bodice a wide row of white Swedish lace made the dress strikingly, unique. I put the dress on her to take Rhonda to therapy where we had been going. It was on this particular day, when my husband wasn’t with me, the head nurse chose to call me in her office."

“This is to let you know, the only way we can continue therapy with Rhonda is to have her here, full time.” The nurse told me.

I looked at my beautiful baby girl, in her dress sewed with loving fingers, and I was silent. Suddenly the tears gushed down my face and I couldn’t control my sobs. With not another word I picked up my child and left, never to return to that institution. Whether that little garment saved my beautiful child from the conditions where other children were placed, row after row, in cage like beds, I’ll never know. But, I like to think that the web of love as gentle and strong as that Swedish lace helped me through, and to make a decision, then and there. Rhonda has been with us for almost 50 years and I can’t count the numbers of times she has saved animals and children from some death dealing happenings. For this, I say, first of all to our Creator’s son Jesus Christ, and then to the woman who was truly like a mother to me, Wenona, “Thank you.”

When my children were growing up, I spoke with Wenona about my deep feelings regarding my faith from the scriptures where these faiths came. She respected me in every way and put away her own customs, so as not to encroach on mine, teaching our children the faith of my father, grandfather and great grandfather.

I don’t think Wenona ever totally understood the grief and sorrow I experienced, but she was a support against prejudice toward Native Americans, and for a child, who was less than perfect. She was a bastion of strength for me. This truly caused our family to endure and push through as we work for a New World free of these imperfections. I cannot judge, but I and my family will be comforted in the belief that we will know our loving Mother again in this New World, where she will be young and beautiful again. We plan to wrap our arms around her and greet her where she stands before a beautiful bush of blooming flowers she so loved.

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