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The chief spoke; “Nohtawenan saweyiminan oma Ka Kesikak”
Ohkom’s English response; “Our father, bless us this day”
Chief; “Ayis Kiyehewini pimatisiwin”
Ohkom; “For your breath is life”
Chief; “Sayweyiminan mena ota mamawai Kayayahk”
Ohkom “And Bless us here together”
Chief; “Meyinan, muskawisewin mena ayinesewin”
Ohkom; “Give us — strength and wisdom”
Chief; “Ta natohtamahk menata nahehtamahk”
Ohkom; “To listen and to hear”
Chief; “Namoya ayiwakeyimowin ta pimitsahamahk”
Ohkom; “Not to follow enviousness”
Chief; “Meyinan asumena ta wapahatamahk”
Ohkom; “Give us again to see”
Chief; “Sakastewini mena ka nanskomitinan”
Ohkom; “Sunrise and sunset”
Chief: “Hiy hiy ki anaskomitinan”
Ohkom; “Thank you, we are all most thankful”
Chief; “Pitane ekosi teyihki”
Ohkom; “Hoping that will happen”
The group now rose up from their places and formed a long line to shake hands and greet the two women, their own beloved Ohkom, the Spirit Speaker and Marie as well. Marie couldn’t believe the kind and gentle friendliness of these savage heathens.
Ohkom’s grandmother leaned over and said quietly, “It is not we who are the savages.”
Marie was thunderstruck that the woman had read her mind. Was it true that these people could read the thoughts of others? “No, no, not everybody,” said Ohkom, laughing.
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From the Author:
I was thinking about writing a book about a remarkable young man who lived to the age of forty-two with a disease called neurofibromatosis. That was about thirty-nine or forty years longer than predicted. The reason I knew him so well was that he was the son of a lifelong friend of mine. It wasn’t until I attended the funerals of the young man and a few months later of his father, my friend that I decided to do it.
Having no idea of how to begin or what to say in my book, I let it write itself as it were. Of course I had to protect the identity of my friend an his son, so I decided on a fictional flight of fancy, inserting as much of their personalities and activities into the narrative as possible. It took a few months to get it all done, because the story kept taking unexpected turns and I could literally do nothing except try to keep up with it. I wasn’t sure of what I had written when it was complete until I started editing.
Each time I went through the book I discovered new revelations I hadn’t even realized. One of the most striking things I discovered was the tremendous contribution to society made by people with “disabilities” to the community as a whole. Doctors and nurses and caregivers of course make their living serving these people, but aside from making a living, the benefits that accrue to them as a result of this work are monumental. And the volunteers, often considered the heroes of social services are tenfold beneficiaries of the lives of the people they serve.
You could say that if anyone can make the world a better place, it would be people with “disabilities” and not the world leaders as we might expect. It kind of turns the world on its head and makes a mockery of the “top down” system of benevolence.
As a bit of a fatalist, I am grateful to be chosen to write this narrative an hope that I have given it a credible effort. I sincerely hope the reader will find the same revelations I did.
Update: A new web site for Victor Epp’s book