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December 16 2009

Next Morning

It was going to be a fabulous day for a drive over to the reservation, thought Jennah as she peeked out the window of their home. She loved this little 5th wheel, and wondered why they hadn’t bought one before now. Mickey had said he would feed Missy and Mustang was going with them.
They would only be gone a couple of days, and their cat loved Mickey. They were more worried about Mickey catnapping Missy, rather than not taking care of her.. He had often threatened to steal her.. They knew he was joking tho. He already had 3 cats of his own. They were his family and treated like royalty. As they prepared for the journey, everything seemed cheerful, in spite of the recent happenings. Jennah had mixed feelings, and they were making themselves very obvious. She still felt a little guilty, but she was used to that guilt. It was second nature for her to feel guilt for one reason or the other. “Hey, quit your daydreaming and let’s get on the road”, Justin yelled from outside. He snickered a little at himself. Jennah was not a daydreamer, by any means. She was much to realistic for that. He on the other hand he daydreamed all the time. Jennah often said his softness equaled out her harshness. He didn’t think she had a harsh bone in her body, she just didn’t take any guff off of anyone, well not anyone but Dorrie. She handed him a sprite as she got in the truck. “One for the road” she said, winking at him. Mustang was already loaded and anxious to get on the way. He loved going places. Jennah placed an Elvis CD in and leaned back. Justin had purposely left the cell phone at the house. There would be no interruptions on this trip. He was going to make sure of it. Unfortunately, he had forgotten one little thing. He had forgotten how much Jennah loved roadside tourist traps, and every time they passed one, he had to stop. She would then walk slowly thru the places, usually settling on buying one or two items. It was actually 3:30 before they reached the reservation meeting spot. Grandfather had suggested they meet at the coffee shop in town before going out to the reservation. It was across from the hotel they usually stayed at. She had only spent the night once at Nahani’s home. Grandfather had gone into the village down on the highway for supplies and they had decided to just have dinner there.
“Ya ta hay” Grandfather pronounced loudly as they walked in. Even tho, he was of Hopi descent, he like to say hello in Navajo. He liked the sound of the salutation. “YOU are late, little one”, he said smiling as he gave Jennah a big hug and shook Justin's hand. “Let me guess, she had to stop and shop.”
Justin laughed, “well, you certainly know her. I am going to run across the way and get our room Jennah.”
“Ah, not tonight. We have a special thing planned. Nahani and Almey is getting hitched tonight.” Jennah looked up in surprise. I thought it was supposed to be next week, why the hurry? I can’t believe we are going to get to observe a traditional Hopi wedding ceremony.”
“It is traditional only to a sense. She has combined the old and new. I am sure it will be a beautiful ceremony. The secret is because she doesn’t know you will be there. She was very sad when she couldn’t reach you. She had tried to call your home, but the people said you were in Sedona and we couldn't reach you by cell at all yesterday. I guess there is probably a good reason for that, but I won't pry. I know you will tell me when you are ready. She wanted you to stand with her. It is quite an honor, please accept. We have to get you some special clothes tho, and I needed to waylay you, that is why I am here. Nothing will bring me more pleasure than seeing the delight in her eyes when she see’s you. I don’t know what led you to me today, but I am glad it did. She is preparing for the ceremony, as we speak. It is to take place in about 4 hours. Katrina is already here. Besides, you know these kids these days, they just can't wait for anything. They are so impatient." “Oh, wow”, was all she could say and for the second time, the tears spilled over. For two different reasons, Justin knew, two very different reasons, but looked over at Grandfather with a look of ,'it will all be explained in good time'. Changing the subject he said, “Oh, we have our dog, is that okay?” Justin looked at grandfather, who was studying Jennah intently. “Yes, it will be fine, as long as he leaves me some of the wedding cake.” Grandfather, Jennah thought, had such a wonderful sense of humor. " Are you okay? Those tears say more than your lips speak, Little One”.
“Yes, grandfather, I am fine now, and once again hugged the elderly gent. Perhaps tomorrow we can talk later, let’s go shopping. I didn’t realize that Nahani would have someone standing with her.”
“As I said earlier, she is combining the traditional with the new. She has ground the corn for the last 3 days. Almey and his male relatives has finished weaving her wedding clothing.” He smiled, “Now let’s get you two ready.” Justin reached down and unhooked Mustang’s leash as they left the coffee shop. Mustang loaded up in the back of truck and sat patiently, watching them as they crossed the street to the store. When they came out, he barked excitedly. “You will have to gift wrap that dog and give him to Nahani for a wedding gift, you know how much she loves animals.” Grandfather winked at Justin.. “Nope, I got her something very special while we were in the store.” Jennah took out the box, and opened it. Inside was a beautifully carved Kachina. It was an Eagle Dancer. Jennah knew how Nahani felt about Eagles. Kachina’s were a very special part of Hopi tradition. They were the ancestors and help with everyday life. Nahani, was marrying the carver of this particular kachina. When Jennah saw the marking on the bottom of the Kachina, she couldn’t resist getting it for Nahani and Almey. She also bought 2 other gifts. Now that Nahani was getting married, the whirls of her long beautiful hair would come down, and Jennah had seen a set of silver and abalone combs. They were perfect. Knowing how much Almey loved art of all kinds she bought him a perfectly carved badger fetish. Even tho fetishes were from the Zuni tribe and not of Hopi origin, she knew Almey would love it. He loved any kind of art, and being an carver himself, he had often admired the work of this particular carver. He was indeed a badger at heart. He was protective, and very courageous. It was quality admired by Jennah.
She knew that Nahani would have a good and happy life as his wife. She had seen the love in both of their eyes. "I was saving the combs and the Kachina for the wedding, but I guess I will have to go ahead and wrap them up." She actually let out a little giggle.

The wedding party lasted late into the night. It had been the perfect combination of the old and the new. Nahani had been a beautiful bride in her traditional outfit, and Almey had looked absolutely fabulous. The several strands of handmade beads he wore had complimented the wedding colors perfectly. Nahani hadn't known that Jennah was the surprise her Grandfather had in store for her, until right before she marched up the path to the alter. The path had led to a fabulous sight of the setting sun and when she saw Jennah, along with Katrina step out in front of her from behind a rock, her face lit up like the stars. Jennah didn't think she had ever felt more special in her entire life. Together, the three of them walked to the edge of the cliff, where Almey in the new way, was waiting beside the point for his bride to be. The words spoken were traditional, then the couple each poured their feelings out in front of their family, and friends, as many do in the new way. The couple walked down the outlined path together, to the home that Almey and his brothers had built for his new wife. It was just absolutely beautiful. As Justin observed all this, he thought to himself that Jennah and perhaps Katrina also, had been born 200 years too late and into the wrong ethnic group. They definitely fit in with this group. He had not really seen her inner react with any of them, as he usually just hung around town while they were here. He had met
Nahani and Almey and of course he had met Grandfather on a couple of other short visits, but this was all new to him. He was amazed at how much both Jennah and Katrina seemed at home among them, and how they were accepted as if they were blood and not just friend. He was also amazed that he had been allowed at such a sacred ceremony. She had explained to him that quite often ceremonies were of a tribal method and therefore only outsiders were allowed at certain ones. He felt love, how could one not feel love, he wondered. No wonder Jennah loved coming here so much. This place was as beautiful as every other place Jennah had introduced him too. Now, if she could only stay on this even keel. She was not the erratic, constantly looking over her shoulder Jennah he saw in towns, or the frightened woman he loved so much. This Jennah was serene, as beautiful as ever, but serene. She was at peace, much like she was in Sedona, or in Sequoia. Lord, he prayed, please don't ever let the time come when she has to give up that peace, but he knew it would. Dorrie or Bobby would see to it. Jennah didn't realize just how much he valued his security training. It might just come in handy.
"Didn't you have a wonderful time last night? I did, and it was way cool that Katrina was here too. She smiled as she rolled over, and it looked as tho the fears and the terror of the last few days had never occurred. However, Justin knew that somewhere, deep inside her, it still resided and in time would show itself like a coyote, sneaking in during the night to raid the chicken house. But right now, it was deep in hiding, and the special wedding breakfast being held in honor of the newlyweds was busily in the makings. After that, they were off on a honeymoon to Las Vegas.
"I did indeed. What are the plans for today, besides this wonderful breakfast I have been hearing about"? Justin looked over at Jennah and then stated “I could eat a horse, I am so hungry. I can’t imagine why. I certainly did that delicious meal last night plenty of justice. Maybe I need to take cooking lessons up here.”
"Well, of course the breakfast, and then the presentation of the gifts. After that is over, and all the congratulatory stuff has been done, they ride off into wild blue yonder on fabulous stallions."
"REALLY?" Justin looked at Jennah with awe and she giggled heartily.
"No, not really, but still that would be a nice touch. Maybe I will use it in one of my books. You goof," she said as she smiled sweetly at him. Either Jennah's mood hadn't changed at all while she slept, or she was doing very well at hiding her feelings. "After that tho, reality sets in and I need to talk to Grandfather, and Katrina. However, things have changed some. I am beginning to finally make sense out of all this mess. I just wish," Jennah let her voice drift off. Justin looked over at her and she had that crooked little smile she always gets when she received a message that signified everything was okay. He knew she had been contacted again, and he also knew who it was. Her eyes glistened with tears. "Okay fine, I will. Thanks," and then she headed for the shower. She was talking to thin air again, Justin just sighed. This time tho, it wasn't so bad.
"Hey you two, it’s time to rise and shine”.
"We're up and will be there shortly." Justin said with a smile as he opened up the door to Nahani’s brother.
I have coffee ready, you want some?" "Sure", said Justin, "Jennah is in the shower, let me tell her where I am going." Willy smiled and told him the coffee would be waiting in the kitchen.
" I hope you enjoyed last night, Justin. It was so great to see yall show up. And Nahani's eyes lit up like stars when she saw Jennah. Did you notice?”
"As a matter of fact, I did indeed," Justin smiled at Willy. "Your home is beautiful." Willy gave Justin a big grin and asked if he would like to go into town with him while Jennah, Katrina and Grandfather did the mentor thing. Justin agreed it would be better that way. "Well, we don't want ya to have to just hang out all day with nothing to do. We are going to shoot some pool and have lunch. By that time, they will be finished with their business. We shoot pool every Saturday morning at the local club then do some shopping. It's just me and a couple of buddies." That sounded like fun to Justin so he thanked Willy for inviting him. As Jennah bounced through the kitchen door she threw a towel at Justin, "Your turn", she said as she helped herself to a cup of coffee. Willy laughed as she sat down, "well, you are certainly in a happy mood today," "yep, I am, I love this place, you know that. Thanks for letting us stay with you." "Well, with all the kinfolk around, I figured I might oughta offer, or you'd probably have been sleeping on the ground." Jennah playfully reached over and socked him in the arm. "Ouch, Nahani must have taught you how to punch."
Jennah laughed, "Willy, if my little brother was like you, I would be thrilled, I guess I will just have to adopt you as my little brother."
"Fine by me, does that mean I am entitled to royalties on your new poetry book?" Justin threw his head back in laughter, hearing that as he came threw the kitchen door.
"Looks like you got yourself between a rock and a hard place on that one, Jennah."
She smiled, "well, we will discuss that later, we had better get a move on or Nahani will disown us all." She quickly departed, returning with their gifts. "Now Jennah you are skirting around the issue here, you know, I am getting hitched also pretty soon, royalties would sure make a nice gift, I'll even let you walk me down the aisle." Willy slapped Justin on the back with a wink. "Uh, huh, well, we shall see about that." Jennah smiled and secretly envied her friend, and the closeness these people shared as family. She also had that cloud of guilt hanging over her head, and hoped no one could see it. After the men departed Jennah went outdoors and looked around the beautiful reservation. Thoughtfully, she began to take one small step at at time. Today was the day. Carolyn would forever more be gone. Or rather her shell, the physical body she had been born into, would be gone. She should be there, and not here, celebrating, but she knew with all her heart that was just not possible. She had not been there to celebrate any of the other major events in Carolyn's life, she had never even been invited to a birthday party, so why be there now? But, deep down, she wished she was. Even if Carolyn had told her not to be, she wished she had gotten up the courage to go and face this. The courage to go and face Bobby, to stand there and say goodbye, and to at least hug her nieces. Of course, Dorrie had told her at her brothers funeral, to go sit somewhere other than with her. She didn't want her to sit with her, she wanted someone who cared to sit with her. As Jennah walked up the hill she saw a wildflower unfold. A blessing in disguise. A smile settled in her soul, and she looked down on the gathering below. "Thank you," she said once again, to no one in particular. A voice came from behind her and she turned to see Grandfather and Katrina. Somehow she had wandered up the side of small hill, and they were sitting there, together.

“We knew that eventually you would be here”, Katrina said with a smile. Grandfather looked up at her and started speaking in a soft, husky voice. His voice was melodic and if one listened closely, they could almost hear drumbeats somewhere in the background, as if every time he spoke, all the elders of the universe were speaking.
"You have not told me what it is that brought you here, Little One.” "Now I know that Katrina showed up because we called her about the wedding. But, she knew you would also show up. You two ladies are closer than soul mates. You are like sisters and soul mates combined. Your eyes say so much more than your lips." As she sat down cross-legged she looked over at Grandfather, who was across from her. He took a sip of his soda and looked up at her.
"This is my special piece of ground. We all have one you know," he said, as he continued to talk. "It is the spot where I come to think, and that is probably why you chose to come in this direction. I hear the laughter in your voice and the words that come out, but I also hear something more. I have met myself more than once here, on this plateau. I got bit by a snake up here, when I was a little boy, but I keep coming back." Katrina and Jennah both glanced around quickly. Grandfather laughed, "don't worry, there aren't any out right now. Later on there will be but we are quite safe at the moment. It is a lot cooler here than it is down below.
Katrina smiled, "I hate snakes. That is something that we both share. Our deep seated fear of snakes. Right”?
Jennah just nodded her head, and smiled at her friend. "I should have known you would have picked up on my feelings, Katrina. I don't know why I didn't call you. I guess, well, I was just so wound up,,,," Jennah once again let her voice trail off into silence.
"Well, to tell you the truth, I am not to fond of them myself, but I learned to respect them and give them their space. They too, are frightened of you." Grandfather said almost shyly changing the subject back to snakes. Jennah hadn’t gotten enough courage up to talk about it whatever was bothering her. Grandfather and Katrina were both willing to give her the time she needed to build that courage up.
"I didn't think you were frightened of anything. You are so wise. Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" Grandfather nodded his head and then smiled.
"Just how old are you?" Jennah asked.
Grandfather smiled, "I really don't know. I was born in the winter, a very long time ago. I think I am somewhere around 80. Close enough. But you know, my children, age is really just a state of mind. A person can be very young, and still be very wise. Or they can be very old, and still be very, shall we say, not so wise? Age has nothing to do with it. Your body may be very old, but your soul may still be very young. Or it could be just the opposite. Are you worried about your age?" For someone so young, and yes I see you as young, you are really very wise, even if you don't feel it. You were born with a special gift, and while it has plagued you your whole earthly life, you are just now beginning to grasp the extensiveness of it. Just because others consider it a hex, doesn't mean it is. I often laugh at the way the white man looks at things. But, deep down, it is fear that causes them to take the stance. People balk, and run from the things they don't understand. It scares them, so they lash out, fight back, hurting the people they love the most. It is human nature. I take it you have been having more dreams? More poems being written in just a few minutes”?
Jennah nodded her head, "Of course, it is constantly happening. But, I still can't really go public with that. A few people know of course, but mostly people just think I have a talent for poetry. I am not about to get up in front of people and promise to hook them up with loved ones who have crossed over. I can't do that. I just write."
"Different people have different ways of communicating. You feel things, like you said, you don't really hear it, it is more like the voice has just flooded your soul and you feel it, as tho it were warm water flowing around you. Others see things, like white roses and instinctively know. Are you going to tell me what brought you here? Justin told me you would have to tell me when I asked him what was wrong. So, what is it?"
"Oh, just as you said, another dream, a misunderstanding, perhaps I just wanted to see you. I don't know for sure. I have figured out the rest. My biological sister, Carolyn recently crossed over and well, I think maybe my coming here was part of her doing. Maybe she wanted me to feel sisterly love, something I never really knew. I do feel that when I am with Nahani. I am okay, I really am." Both Grandfather and Katrina knew about Jennah's background, and both admired the lady. She had been thru a lot, and most people would have given up by now or gone crazy, if they had been on her end of the stick.
"You are probably right, Nahani looks at you like the big sister she never had, but always yearned for. Perhaps your sister did send you here. I am sorry for your loss, but at the same time, something good has come out of it. Nahani's day would not have been complete without you here."
Jennah smiled at grandfather, and then at Katrina. "You are being very quiet today Katrina."
“Little one, I am waiting on you to tell us what you haven’t told us. There is more here than you are saying. So, until you say it, and say it aloud you won't be able to accept it. You see, Carolyn contacted me also. I knew you would be showing up here eventually, even if you didn't know about the wedding being moved up. It's like Grandfather said, we are like 2 peas in a pod. Even tho I never met Carolyn she was very worried about you. So, just tell us what is happening today. Right this second." Jennah looked over at Katrina and Grandfather with tears falling like rain. "She is well, they are having the funeral as we speak. I should be there, but she told me not to come. I don't know why, but she said he would kill me. I figured she meant Bobby, my little brother. You know how he hates me. But, I so wish I were there." Katrina and Grandfather sat silently, each holding on to Jennahs hands. "I just needed to feel love and peace and I knew I had to be here to accept all of this. Does that sound crazy? Dorrie, my mother,.." Jennah let her voice begin to fade off again.
Katrina looked up at Grandfather, as he rose up off the ground. “Little One, it is never crazy to want to be around those you have a special bond with. You and Justin, both of you knew you needed to be here today. Justin seems to be very wise also. He may not have the special gifts you have, but he loves you very much. It is so obvious when he looks at you. He knew that this would be the only place you would feel safe today".
Jennah smiled and let Katrina and Grandfather help her up. They saw dust in the far west and knew that Justin and Willy would be returning shortly.
As they started down the hill, Katrina reached over and took Jennah's hand. "It will all be okay little one, you will see". Katrina had adapted Grandfather’s nickname of “Little One” for Jennah.

That evening everyone was just sitting around talking about the events that had just taken place. Justin excused himself and went outside. The stars filled the skies like diamonds on a silk bed of black. The peace he felt was so overwhelming. He called thru the open door to Willy and asked him to join him. "Willy, I would like to keep Jennah here for a few days longer. Katrina too, if possible. Katrina seems to have something bugging her as well. I was thinking maybe we could go over to Lake Powell and check into one of those overnight rafting trips. Would you care to join us? I need to make a phone call tho, and don't have my cell with me. I left it at home on purpose. Could I use your phone for a few minutes to check on our place and see if Mickey minds taking care of Missy a few days longer? I will, of course, be glad to pay for the phone call, and for the trip, so neither you or Katrina will have to have any out of pocket expense".
"Justin, I think that is an awesome idea, but I do own a rafting boat. I keep it down at the ferry. We could just take it and go out for a few days.
Maybe Grandfather and my fiance would like to join us. The new hospital just opened a couple of weeks ago and one of the new doctors and his wife were asking me about a rafting trip also. They might like to go to. I think Katrina and Jennah might like to meet Suzannah. She is one heck of a lady. She also has a special gift and she and Grandfather are always talking. She just found out some things that really thru her for a loop. When her husband took the job at the hospital we held a party introducing them to everyone. Suzannah and Grandfather immediately took to one another. He told me she was here for a special reason, that she would become one of his children. He is so special to so many people. You know, he's not my real grandfather, our parents died when we were very small. He took us in and immediately started teaching me the Healing Ways. Now, he and I both help out at the hospital. They are teaching us the new ways of healing, while we are teaching them the old ways of healing. Combining the two has been really helpful to a lot of people. At first, it was hard to accept, but after a week or two Dr. Karl earned everyone’s respect. He had a patient come in from an accident. He was able to take care of the physical, but he called on Grandfather to take care of the healing of the spiritual. It was really cool and well everyone learned a lot. The patient tried to commit suicide while he was here and Dr. Karl realized that he needed more healing than he could give him. By time the patient left here, he was like a new man. Here, make your call." Willy sat down on the ground and looked up. Those stars were just begging to be touched he thought to himself. After Justin hung up, he handed the phone back to Willy. “Just a couple of more things. What about Mustang, I am sure he will want
to go on the trip with us. He never gets far from Jennah. Mickey said for us to take all the time we need.
I called her momma just before we left and told her we were coming up here for a few days to get her away from all this. So, they know where we are, but Mickey said that Dorrie is driving Rebekah crazy in the office. Rebekah told her that Jennah was fine, but that she was still recovering from the medical procedure and couldn't talk".That’s an awesome story you just told me. I knew Grandfather was a special person the first time I met him, and Jennah, as well as Katrina both adore him.”
"Hmm, I just had a thought, Do you think perhaps that Jennah could get her mother out here? Grandfather might be able to help her too. Sounds like that lady needs a good cleansing”. Willy raised his eyebrows in question to Justin. “Think you could talk her into that? Maybe she has ghost sickness or something. Maybe working as a nurse all those years that she fell prey to a demonic possession or something like that.” Justin looked at him and agreed that would be a good thing, but he just let out a long sigh.
“I’m not so sure that would be a good idea. She drives Jennah absolutely crazy. Hell, she drives me crazy and I’ve never even met her. I seriously doubt that would ever happen anyway. She likes death and misery. In fact she has a whole photograph album full of people in their caskets. Jennah says that even as a child she used to hold her breath just to get attention and go into these 'zoning out' periods, then pretend not to remember anything. Her parents took her to all kinds of specialists thinking there might be something wrong but the doctors said she was pretending just to get attention. She is so dominating, and jealous and she says that Jennah was born cursed. It's downright horrible the way she treats her. Jennah's momma told me some of the most horrendous stories I have ever heard. I don't think even Grandfather could take care of this woman. I personally think the devil himself took her soul, a very long time ago. I know he's got Bobby, Jennah's little brother. That boy is just plain mean. He can't tell the truth in any way form or fashion. He is the main reason I took my security training. I was afraid he might actually try to kill Jennah. He's always threatening to kill one person or the other. Someday, he will probably do it." Well, what do you say we go in and present our idea to everyone else and you call that doctor and his wife. Maybe they can get away for a few days."

"Sounds good to me bro. You know, you fit in just fine around here. Are you sure you aren't of Native blood?" Justin laughed, "oh, I am sure of that. I am just the blacksheep of my family, that's all. It's a dirty job, but hey someone has to do it. I guess we all have some kind of skeleton in our closets. I just wish Jennah could come clean with the whole story. She has a lot more contact than she lets on, you know. She's just not ready to admit it. She has this thing about finding missing people. I think that is one reason she is so drawn to Katrina."
"You could be right, but then again, those two are so much alike. When I first met them I thought they were actually related, but Katrina is somewhat older. Come to think of it, they look a little like Suzannah too. Especially Jennah. You are going to be in for one heck of surprise when you see how much they do look alike. Strange how some people look alike. Maybe it's because they are all gifted. And Mustang is more than welcome. My raft is fairly good sized. There should be plenty of room. Or, since he gets along so well with my dogs, he can stay here. I was thinking of stealing him anyway.” Willy responded with a laugh.
“Well, in that case, perhaps we should just keep that little secret to ourselves. I am not sure that Jennah could handle anymore surprises right now. About Suzannah or Mustang. Besides, Jennah is so attached to Mustang that you might end of on the wrong side of that battle. In fact, I am sure you would.” Justin rolled his eyes and made a wild cat gesture with his face and hands. Willy just smiled.
“Hum, I’m not sure if Katrina has met her or not, but I have a feeling the next few days will be very eventful for all three of them.” With that all said, the two men headed back into the house to discuss the plans with everyone else.
"What have you two been up to"? Katrina inquired. The men smiled and everyone but Jennah listened patiently while Willy told them. “I also called Dr. Karl, Grandfather, they will be joining us for the trip”. Grandfather looked up at Willy with a knowing look in his eye. His grandson had beat him to the punch once again. Willy had grown, both mentally and physically in the last few years. He would have no problem stepping in as the medicine man when Grandfather crossed.
"Young man, you are going to kill me with all this running around and plans of yours. But, I don't think I can refuse this one. Sounds like too much fun, and fishing is just the thing to relax a person". Justin called Jennah's name, for she had slept soundly thru the entire conversation.
When she didn't respond immediately Willy jumped up to try to wake her by rubbing her head. Justin quickly stopped him in mid track. "No, don't anyone ever touch her to wake her. IF you do, you will end up across the room. She responds like a person who has been beaten in her sleep within an inch of her life. I
know, I did it once. I leaned down to kiss her while she was asleep and she decked the hell out of me. The look of terror of being confronted upon waking was very intense. She came up like a bolt of lightening. She will wake up shortly".
"Wow, I didn't know that happened to her", Katrina said in awe. "I wonder why? Something must have happened to her as a child to cause a reaction like that." "I don't know, and she can't seem to remember anything like that happening." Justin once again softly called her name. This time she responded with, "Geez, can't person get a good nights sleep around here? Then she opened her eyes to see a hovering crowd. "You guys, seriously had better back it off." She smiled and apologized for falling asleep. "I guess I was just a little more tired than I thought. What did I miss. Obviously something is going on".
Katrina smiled, "Yes, there is, but we are too tired and tomorrow is a bigger day. So, I am sure Justin will explain it to you. Right now, I am going hit the hay. My van's comfy bed is calling my name." Jennah tho, never heard the words. Her eyes had closed and she was softly breathing. Willy went to the closet and got some spare blankets.
"You get the honors of getting close enough to her to cover her up. There is no way I am going to go near that little tiger. Goodnight, yall, Justin, make yourself comfy in the recliner if you want, at least until she wakes up" Willy smiled as he turned the blankets over to Justin.
This was a wonderful family thought Justin. IF he had only been so lucky. Grandfather reappeared from the back porch and set his tackle box down by the front door. He looked over at Jennah and smiled, then bid Justin a good night. "Better leave her there, Justin, she once told me she doesn't like to be touched when she's sleeping." "Oh, I am already well aware of that." Justin laughed and turned out the lamp next to the recliner. "Thanks Grandfather, thanks so much for being here for her." "The pleasure Justin, is all mine. She will be fine Justin. She has the iron clad will of a cougar, and the gentleness of a lamb. She also has the badger quality of being a survivor. She would give her own life to protect those she loves. Impatience and trust are her pitfalls, but with time she will overcome them to some extent. However, she will probably never regain her trust of humans. But she does trust you and a few others. Her journey, her lessons they all point to one thing. She is looking for something, trying to regain something lost somewhere along the journey's she has been thru. I know she has a great many more gifts than just automatic writing and dreams. She is in the learning stages of how to handle all of this. Her sleep is very important to her. She loses herself completely and when she wakes, it is to a new start. Each person who has realized that there is more to this world than meets the eye embarks on a journey from birth that can sometimes be erratic and overwhelming. In time, she will learn to blend these gifts and who knows? She may become known amongst men as a great scholar. She still has many lessons to learn and many objectives in her lifetime. The Great Spirit has a hand in all things. we are all his children. Give her time Justin, time to adjust and get to know herself. This is all new to her too, even tho she has been subjected to it from a very early age." "Grandfather, I will give her all of the time she needs. She is my special angel." Grandfather smiled bade him a good night. He knew Jennah would be safe with Justin. He could feel it down to the deepest regions of his soul. Justin was Jennah's special angel.
Another was waiting in the folds tho. Grandfather would soon be taking a journey on the wings of an Eagle. But, it wouldn't be tomorrow. For tomorrow he was going fishing with all of his children, and at the end of the trip, Nahani and Almey would be returning with them to the village. Grandfather still had one more task to finish. He had called Nahani to make sure they had safely arrived and told them about the fishing excursion. They had decided to cut the trip to Vegas short and meet them at the bottom of the Bright Angel Trail to join them for the return trip.
They would be flying in from Vegas to Grand Canyon Village in about three or four days. Grandfather decided to keep his little secret to himself. After all, it would be the birthday present of a lifetime. Even tho it wasn't his earthly birth period, it would still be a birthday present, if one preferred to look at it in the old way. To Grandfather, combining the old and new had been a constant burden, but it was one he was willing to endure in order to help anyone who needed help. He had been granted the gift of being a healer, of not only the body, but of the mind also, and would do everything he could within his range of power to help. He knew his task was falling nicely into place. He wasn’t sure why it was important for Katrina, Jennah and Suzannah to meet, but it was probably the most important task he had ever had. There was something that tied these three women together, something that would forever change their lives, and clear up their sadness and mysteries. They were all looking for the same thing, and Grandfather had known that from the minute he had met Suzannah. He had already known that Katrina and Jennah needed to be together, but when he met Suzannah he knew the Power of Three would be complete and their searches would eventually end. The Power of Three was a new belief by the new world, but in this case, Grandfather knew it had something to do with these three women. As for Grandfather, he was actually looking forward to his next journey, for he was tired and knew with the very depths of his soul that Willy was ready to take his place.
Willy had arranged to pick Karl and Suzannah up on their way. Karl had to go by the hospital and make sure that there would be someone available for him to take the trip. They would actually be gone about 2 weeks, but he really could use the rest. Two other doctors had arrived a few days earlier and several traveling nurses had also shown up as well as an extra dentist. No one saw any reason why he shouldn’t take the time off so he and Suzannah were elated to have been asked to join the group for this trip. Jennah on the other hand, wasn’t too fond of the trip, but she was willing to give it a try as long as there were plenty of life jackets. She had never learned to swim and deep water, along with rapids didn’t really excite her. To be perfect honestly she was downright scared, something she was used to being. However, this fright could perhaps be alleviated. After all, she had come to terms with her fear of heights, so why not give this a try. She really did love the Grand Canyon, and felt like perhaps she belonged somewhere amongst it’s walls.
Early the next morning everyone loaded the raft and headed for the Bright Angel Trail end. No one knew for sure why Grandfather insisted on getting that far, and it would take 5 or 6 days but he wouldn’t have it any other way . When Katrina and Jennah met Suzannah everyone stood in total silence. IF it were not for the hair color and the slight weight difference, Suzannah and Jennah could have been twins. No one knew quite what to say, but the air was so thick that you could almost cut it with a knife. The first thing Jennah said was, “ well, I must say, you certainly look familiar to me, have we met before?” Suzannah responded with a tart,, “No way sister, I would have remembered you. That red hair looks horrible on you. You really should be a blonde, it would make you look younger. And quite frankly, I don’t think we look at all alike.” Jennah looked up from the backpack she had just placed under the seat of the raft and said, “I will make you a deal, you stay on your side of the boat and I will sure as hell stay on mine. Oops, perhaps I had better add another backpack or two tho,, you are at least 20 pounds heavier than I am and no, we don’t even resemble each other in any way, form or fashion.” This was going to be harder than Grandfather thought. These two ladies at each others throats from the word go. They had to be related somehow. Katrina was simply stunned, for she had never seen Jennah act that way to a stranger. Neither had Justin for that matter. Karl was rather taken back himself. He had thought that God broke the mold when Suzannah was born. But here she stood, only this Suzannah had red hair. But the eyes, the deep blue pools were an exact match. And both of them had eyes that lit up like sapphires when they were ticked off. Justin looked at Karl, and Karl mouthed a WOW to Justin. Justin just nodded his head. This trip was going to get very interesting. About that time a wave rolled in and Suzannah fell out of the boat, landing in the shallow water. Everyone jumped to help her, but Jennah just smirked. “Serves you right for showing up looking like me.” Suzannah got up, gave Jennah one of her famous, ‘we shall see who gets the last laugh here girlie looks’, and told Jennah, “sweetie you have just met your match.” Then she marched over to where their gear lay and began hauling it to the raft. “Scoot your bootie over, sister, here I come.” “Will you quit calling me sister? I am not your sister, just because we may look a little alike doesn’t mean a thing. Besides, I no longer have a sister, and quite frankly Katrina and Nahani will do just fine as the sister fill-ins. They have been more like sisters to me than anyone, including the birth one ever was. At least they give me someone to argue with sometimes.”
“True”, Katrina spoke up, “but then, we weren’t able to give you what you really needed, when you needed it most, now were we. Neither of us gave you the warning that saved your life, so I really think Carolyn and you shared something you have to learn to deal with, Little One.” With that said, she looked around and said sarcastically, “LET’S GET THIS TRIP ON THE ROAD, WHAT THE HELL YOU GUYS STARRING AT ANYWAY?” CAN’T YOU HANDLE A FEW WOMEN? I SURE HOPE YOU CAN HANDLE THIS RAFT BETTER, WILLY” and let out a loud sigh. Grandfather smiled, he knew he could count on Katrina to break the ice.
The next week Jennah and Suzannah had gotten to the point where they spoke to each other only when they had to, and then there was a coolness in their voices. Quite often they were caught starring at each other with a look of bewilderment in their eyes. Grandfather had talked to Katrina, Karl and Justin about the situation and they all agreed that this meeting was meant to be. Katrina knew immediately why she felt the
kindred bond with both of these ladies, but also knew that now was not the time to mention it. However, she now had another problem to deal with. One of her own making. The time, she knew would shortly come for the entire truth to come out. She had been hiding her secret for a very long time but now, even she knew that the three of them were about to come full circle, and it would be within the next few years.
She had been searching for this her entire life, without ever going back to the place from where she was born. And even tho she didn’t know the entire story yet, she had at one time been on the verge of telling Jennah who she actually was. Now, she was glad she hadn’t. But, the one thing she did know was that she found the one person in this world she was looking for. Her gifts lay in finding missing links, missing people, and know she had solved one of the biggest parts of her own mystery. The thought was unnerving to

say the very least. There were too many unanswered questions, because she had at one time thought that Jennah was actually the person she was looking for, the one that could answer so many questions for her and fill in the missing information of the last 30 plus years. But, apparently she was wrong. For now, she was face to face with yet another Redmond girl. Of that, she was almost positive. The problem was, which was
which? According to Jennah, she was Dorrie’s daughter. So, who was Suzannah exactly? Did Dorrie actually have twins? How damned many kids did those Redmond boys, Ashe in particular, father? Suzannah, she had learned while talking to her one evening, actually saw full-figured apparitions, and communicated quite well with them. She also had dreams, and always seemed to know when someone was in trouble or needed help. Karl had told Katrina that several times Suzannah would just show
up at the hospital in the middle of the night because of a dream or some kind of contact. They had actually moved to the reservation because she could no longer stand the house they were living in, and she had felt drawn there. He had also told her that when he first found out about her gifts he had thought that perhaps she might even be schizophrenic. But, then one night, while he was home alone he had gotten the crap scared out of him. He had always thought of himself as someone who was a skilled, educated physician and didn’t really believe in anything other than science. But that night, after turning off
the lights in the house one right after the other for almost 2 hours and hearing footsteps that weren’t there, amongst a few other things, he loaded up their dog and went to pick her up at her friends house where she attending a baby shower. Then he drove straight to a hotel and checked them in for the night. They sat up almost all night talking, and she admitted to him that these things had been happening to her since she was a
little girl, but she had ignored them as best she could. She had never even told her parents about them for fear that they would think she was crazy. After talking to him, Katrina realized that Suzannah and Jennah had so much in common that it was uncanny. After revealing what she had found out to Grandfather he had advised her to hold off until Nahani got with the ladies. He had a feeling that Nahani would be able to help
the two of them accept whatever it was that was standing in their way of friendship because she and Suzannah had also become friends. The only reason they hadn’t been at the wedding was because of a bad accident the night before and they had both been at the hospital for almost 24 hours. Their children were all grown so Suzannah often helped out whenever she could at the hospital. Katrina was surprised to find out
Nahani and Almey were joining them the next day and agreed it would be the best thing to do. She also promised to keep Grandfathers secret. Leave it to Grandfather she thought, it was almost like he had known that these two were destined to meet and that there would be ill effects at first. But, then he was Grandfather and she didn’t think she had ever met a wiser man.
Early the next morning they departed for the final destination, which was Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Bright Angel Trail. Everyone was eager to get there and Jennah had actually grown accustomed to the rafting to some extent. She still insisted on sitting in the middle of the boat tho. She was taking no chances of falling off the side of a raft. As far as she was concerned, the men could do the rowing, and so could
Suzannah. In fact, she seemed to enjoy it. Jennah would rather have been hiking, and that was just exactly what she intended to do. In fact, she had done that each evening, hiking up to a rock and sitting there, just watching the stars and the sky. Something, someone kept beckoning her, as if the canyon was calling her name. As they passed each escarpment, she felt the ‘eyes’ watching her, just as she had done as a child. She
knew she was safe, for the ‘eyes’ were with her. The beauty of seeing the canyon from the river far below it’s rim was breathtaking. That was the one thing that she and Suzannah had agreed upon. As they pulled their raft up on the shores, Nahani and Almey came running toward them. Jennah was the first one to spot Nahani and dropped everything, grabbing the girl and letting the tears of joy fall. Most of that evening was spent with Nahani and Almey telling them about their Vegas adventure, but one could tell

they were glad to be back home in their Native land of the reservation and the Canyon. Nahani and Jennah talked about the old days when they had worked together at the Canyon on the South Rim and the fun they had on their hiking trips. Grandfather sat back and listened contentedly. His girls were together, his mission accomplished.
“Wow Jennah”, Suzannah said in a sarcastic voice, “I had no idea you had worked here, or that you knew this bunch so well. Why, it’s almost as if you are family. Although I do remember some snide remark you made about Nahani being more than just a friend to you, and about the fact that you didn’t have a sister.”
“Listen lady, I have just about had enough of you. I don’t know who you think you are, but it is none of your damned business where I have worked, or even why I am here. Okay, so we look alike, big deal. There are lots of people in this world who look like others, but I have just,, well I am fed up with you. You act as tho you own this place. Well you don’t. Just because you and your hot shot doctor work on the reservation
doesn’t mean jack. So butt out.” Jennah crossed her arms defiantly and her eyes were shooting sparks.”
“Hey babe”, Suzannah said as she rose up from her spot by the fire, as far as I am concerned we can go at it right now. You are one haughty bitch as far as I am concerned. You have done nothing but felt sorry for yourself this whole trip. I don’t know what your problem is, and frankly I don’t give a damn. So, if you want a piece of me, let’s hit the floor sister.” Nahani jumped in between the two women and held out both arms.
“Now wait a minute you two. I think there is a lot more going on here than you both realize, and you are going to listen to me. So both of you sit, before I sit you down.”
Looking at each other, and then back toward Nahani, they both sat down instantly. Both of them knew that Nahani would have her way. After all, she might be as sweet as a person could get, but when it came to tempers, she definitely had one. “I didn’t say anything about you two looking so much alike, because I figured that it had already been noted. Besides, I knew before you did that you looked like twins. And to be
quite frank, you are acting like twins. Not only in your actions and attitudes but in other ways also. You both have the same gifts, did you know that? I did, and if you two would just take a few seconds to get to know each other, you might find you have more in common than you think. Grandfather knew it, that is why he felt it so important for you to meet. You don’t actually think that you met by accident do you”? Nahani
rolled her eyes. “We oughta put the two of you together in a closet and lock you in. You will either kill each other, or learn to love each other. You know, kind of like they did with those two little girls in that movie. So, quit acting like children and try to figure out what is going on here.”
“Well”, they both responded at the same time, then just looked at each other. Jennah spoke up first.
“I didn’t have a twin. I was born in the early part of the 50's , and the only other girl in my family was my sister Carolyn, and she crossed over a week ago. I bet I hadn’t seen her more than 3 dozens times in my whole life. I wasn’t raised with the family. If there had been a twin surely someone would have mentioned it. After all, I did know my dad’s family, a little bit at least. It was my biological mother’s family that raised
me. I was born in a hospital in Texas, if there had been a twin, someone would have told me, somewhere down the line. This has to be nothing more than pure coincidence”.
“I agree”, Suzannah said with a sigh. “My parents were awesome. They adopted me when I was a baby. A lady at the hospital where my mother worked as a nurse was giving her baby up for adoption. I was born and lived in Arizona my entire life. That adoption, by the way is something that I just recently found out about. Karl and I wanted 6 kids and I couldn’t have children because I was born with defective parts. We were blessed enough to get to do just that. The girls we adopted had lost their parents in
an accident. Karl was the attending physician. It was almost like karma had rolled around again.
We have a good friend from college that is a lawyer and knew we were looking for 3 boys also and he found them. They had been terribly abused and their biological aunt actually had turned her own brother in for abuse and got the boys taken away from him and his wife. This was over 20 years ago, when adoption was a lot easier of course, and within just a couple of weeks we had the boys. My parents were elated, we were
happy and that is how it all came to be. My parents were Rosa and Jonathan Edward King. I don’t understand it either, and I am sorry you just lost your only blood sister. I truly am, but I do agree, it is just a coincidence that we look alike.” The entire group sat in silence listening to the life stories of these two women. Jennah looked up with tears in her eyes at Suzannah.
“Did you say Rosa King? And how old are the boys?” Justin was holding Jennah very tightly, who looked as if she were about to pass out.
Katrina looked over at Jennah. “You don’t think”,,, then her voice trailed off. She swallowed hard and and went to sit by Jennah. As she glanced over at Grandfather she knew exactly what he was thinking. He knew the entire story, but had left it up to her as to when she would divulge the truth to Jennah. But this added a whole new twist to it. Even he hadn’t figured this one out. If everything that had been said here
was true, then Suzannah and Jennah were definitely related, just as Jennah and Katrina were. Figuring out how might be another thing altogether now. Not only that, but Suzannah and Karl had adopted blood relatives. Jennah and Katrina looked over at Grandfather and then Jennah just said “OH MY GOD”, and passed out cold. When she came to, the tears were once again starting to fall like rain.
Willy had made another pot of coffee, for no one had thoughts of sleep in their head that night. Suzannah and Jennah, along with Katrina all sat silently and everyone let Nahani and Almey talk some more about the adventures of seeing the pirate ships and walking thru the luxurious tourists sites of Las Vegas. Karl and Justin each sat beside their wives.
After a few minutes the chatter died down. Jennah, whose tears had subsided somewhat spoke softly. “Rosa King. I once saw a picture of her and another woman. I don’t know the other woman’s name. Rosa and she and my mother were best friends in nursing school. They all came from the same area. Dorrie said Rosa had helped deliver me. When I asked what had happened to her, she told me that Rosa and her husband had moved out west shortly after I was born, and they lost touch. When I was about three months old, I went to live with my grandparents, but I did get to see my biological family. My mother is still alive, but she drives me crazy. She never has given me an answer as to why she gave me up, nor why she would not let someone else adopt me. One the other hand, she has given me lots of reasons, none which actually make a lot of sense. Personally, I think she is scared of my gifts. My grandmother on my father’s side had them too. In fact, several members of my biological family have them. I have one little brother who has them, but he tends to go to the dark side. We don’t get along. In fact, as far as he is concerned, I should have been born dead. He is justified I guess, tho. I am the one who had his children taken away because of abuse. I couldn’t afford to raise three more children when he brought them to my house, about a year after he got out of prison. I kept the kids, and as soon as he and his wife left, I called my mom, or the woman I think of as mom and she helped me get the boys placed for adoption thru her lawyer. He’s still alive but I am fairly sure he would rather it had been me instead of Carolyn that crossed over. I didn’t return to Texas for Carolyn’s funeral, she contacted me and told me not to, that HE would kill me. I figured she meant Bobby. That’s his name. He’s very mean, or actually, I think he is just very troubled mentally. I just can’t convince Dorrie of that. The boys were around 6, 5, and 1 when they were adopted. We
actually had the option given by the adopting couple to stay in touch with the boys if we wanted because they had been told about us and knew we wouldn’t let the boys anywhere near Bobby. We chose not to, so that perhaps in time they would forget the horrid things that had happened to them and be able to lead normal lives. If Dorrie had another child I didn’t know it, and I don’t think anyone else did either. She has
always been heavy, so I guess it’s possible that she could have had twins. If that’s the case, then we could

be twins and maybe Rosa didn’t want you to know what a horribly abusive family you would have been raised in. IF that is the case, then believe me, Kathleen probably did it out of love, or hell who knows, maybe she just did it out of something else. No one can get a straight answer out of her. She thrives on death and misery. Something happened in her life that was so horrible that she has woven a web of lies and deceit. But, I think it is something more than just having a set a twins and giving them both up. My father and I made our peace within minutes before he crossed over, but I highly doubt that will happen with Dorrie. I don’t think she can handle the guilt of it all and well that’s about it. I know that shortly I probably will have to go back to Texas and take care of her, but well, maybe I should just forgo telling her about you, or Katrina. If those boys are my nephews, then they are also your nephews and your sons now. I wouldn’t want their lives ruined by finding out about their father. So, let’s say we make a truce. If you
want to contact me, or talk with me about something, then you do so thru Katrina, or

Nahani and I will do the same for you. I think that would be the best thing to do”.

“Okay, thanks I appreciate that. Would you like to meet them? You know, Joey, he

once said a long time ago that I looked like his auntie Hin. Did they call you that?”

“Jennah smiled, and she looked as if her world had been set on fire. Yeah they did,

they all called me auntie Gin, except for Joey, I’m glad u call him Joey and not Bobby. Joey couldn’t say his J’s so he just said “hin”. It was cute. It was cute when he said anything other than yes ‘em or no ‘em. He never talked much, I think he was afraid to. But about a week after he was away from his parents, he opened up a little, and I
heard him tell Andy, that was the baby’s name, “hat he didn’t have to cry, he waddun gonna get hit here”. It was so sad, but I think I must have cried for hours when the lawyer came and got them. Are their names the same? Joey, Donnie, and Andy? I think by now we can be fairly sure that they are my nephews, even if we aren’t sisters. Wow, a sister I never knew I had. This is a lot to take in. Those pictures are
awesome of them. It’s good to know they are all so happy. I am glad they got a good home, I really am. Momma, well, she’s really aunt Carrisa, will be happy to know to. Is it okay if I tell her? She won’t tell Dorrie or Bobby, I promise. I know they are the boys. From those pictures you just showed us, Joey is the spitting image of his father, only about a hundred pounds lighter. Bobby has gained an enormous amount of
weight. It runs in the family. I used to weigh a lot too, but then I had that surgery. Bobby wanted it too, but Dorrie was so adamantly against it. I wish he would have it, he would feel so much better about himself. IT changed my life, that’s for sure . I don’t know if Dorrie would admit to having you or not. To make sure we are sisters, we are probably going to have to a DNA test. But you know, somehow I feel as tho I am
almost whole again. It’s like a part of me has been missing for so long, and well, there is still something missing, I just don’t know what it is, or who it is I am searching for.”
Suzannah looked thoughtful. “I know what you mean, I feel it too, but there is still something that I should know that I don’t know. For one thing, I don’t know how Katrina fits into all of this. Is she just a friend of yours and Nahani’s? There is something about her, in a good way of course, that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s as if I have met or seen her before. Maybe even dreamed about her. She is fairly famous
isn’t she? Maybe I saw her picture in the paper or something. Didn’t she find that little girl in that well”?
“Yeah, she did, but I doubt you saw her picture anywhere. She stays out of the public eye as much as possible. What she does is fairly dangerous. If she is looking for someone that has disappeared and the kid or person turns up dead, then she could be a target as well. There’s been a few times when things got pretty hairy for her. Her job as a commercial driver is just a cover job. She does it when she isn’t on a case. Nahani and I met her when she was here at the canyon looking for a child that had disappeared. She does it dreams, and things like that. But, she also uses the real investigative stuff too. She has this unique gift for combining her gifts with the normal realm of things. I can’t do that. With me, it’s one way or the other.

She tries her best to keep her gifts under wraps. I am not sure how old she even is. She did tell me she had to endure the agony of plastic surgery because one person found out who she was, and she had to change her looks some. I get the feeling tho, that we are somehow related, somewhere down the road, but if she knows anything about it, she has never said anything to me. I just wait for her to tell me things. She doesn’t really like to talk about her past much. Jennah looked over at Katrina who was sitting and talking
to Grandfather. It seemed like they had been here for days, but it was barely midnight. No one was even sleepy. They were all too busy yakking about the events that had taken place and the trip. Grandfather was starting to yawn tho, and looked a little on the weary side. Jennah and Suzannah both noted that the trip and all the excitement had been a little much, perhaps too much on him. They called over to him and told him
that tomorrow was a big day, and he needed to get some rest. As he got up everyone else did also, and hugged him. Then they all joined hands and gave thanks to the Great One, for the pleasures and gifts they had received. One by one they each had something to be thankful for, but all of them gave thanks for Grandfather. He was the best gift any of them had ever received. He hugged them all one by one and proceeded into the tent. The other men followed shortly, and Almey and Nahani went into their tent.
Katrina, Jennah, and Suzannah were still too wide awake to even think about sleep. “My ears have been burning ladies”, Katrina said with a sly smile. “ Am I correct in assuming you were talking about me?” She raised her eyebrows and cocked her head to the left, putting her hands on hips.
“Hmm, I see you have her pegged correctly, Jennah, we better be careful what we say.” She looked over at the woman who was her new found relative if not her twin sister.
“I was just telling Suzannah how you are famous, but not in the limelight so to speak and how you prefer anonymity. She thought maybe she had seen a picture of you somewhere or other. Besides, she was trying to figure out how you fit in with us, besides just friendship. You know, we’ve discussed this before.”

“Yeah, I know. It just seems to all go together tho. I was raised in an orphanage, my mother died during childbirth, and I never knew for sure who my father was. His name wasn’t even on the birth certificate. I heard rumors tho, and you are both right, we are connected in more ways than just one. My mother’s name was Jane Doe. So technically, I am Katrina Doe. I am way older than either of you. And well, at this point that is about all I can tell you. By the way, tho, Katrina Doe, isn’t really Katrina Doe. It’s
my work name. Please trust me on this one ladies, I promise when all this comes together you will both understand. I also hope neither of you hate me when this is all over. But there are still some unanswered questions that I have to figure out, and I think I know exactly how to do that. When we get back to camp, I will be leaving almost immediately. This entire thing has gone on way too long, and it’s time for the truths
to come out. You see, I have been living a lie also. I just hope that lie won’t hurt our relationships. Both women looked over at each other.
“Well, whatever it is”, Jennah said, “I have always had a fondness for you Katrina, and I can’t imagine it any other way. It will all come out okay, I’m sure it will”. Suzannah just smiled.
“I actually met Grandfather long ago, when I first came to the area. That was before Nahani was even born. I actually came out here to look for a camper that had been lost for several days in the Painted Desert, and ran across him on one of his infamous little jaunts so to speak. We got to talking and well, I have considered him a friend, or rather more like family ever since. He has definitely taught me a lot, especially
about nature and getting to know oneself. The orphanage could never find me a home, so I just grew up. At least that is what I think happened. When I turned 17 I had to leave and be on my own. I started working in the parks and stuff like that. Then one day, a little girl got lost in Yosemite. I was working there. I could feel her, almost see her, and with the help of a piece of her clothing I found her. That was years ago. The feeling of reuniting her with her family was awesome. They tried to give me a reward but I couldn’t take it. I knew something or someone had led me to her. I gave the credit to the dog I owned at that time. I had a little pup and told them I let him smell her sweater and that’s how I found her. From that time on, I vowed to help find as many missing people as I could. I didn’t want others to suffer the way I had suffered, wondering all those years if I had any family or not, or where they might be. I kept hoping to run into someone who might recognize me, or see a resemblance to someone, but no one ever did. I was so used to living alone, and being Katrina that it became more important to reunite others than to try to reunite myself. Besides, Grandfather become my family. I was no longer alone. Then Jennah came into my life. I knew instantly that we were
related, but well, I just couldn’t talk about it. You had been thru enough hell and Grandfather and I both agreed that the time just wasn’t right. It still isn’t so that’s about all I can tell either of you. At least for now”.
“Wow, that’s quite a story you guys. This has been such a surprising night. I really think we should try to get some sleep, but I think I would prefer to just sleep right here by the fire. How bout yall, you game for that?” Suzannah looked at Jennah with a quirky smile.
“Uh, no way, sorry, too many of those pink snakes out here. They blend with the sand and you never know. Besides, we can leave the tent top open and see the stars just fine, thank you Missy.” Jennah crossed her arms and gave Suzannah one of her ‘don’t even
go there looks.’ Katrina laughed loudly and someone from another tent yelled out at her that it was night and not to wake up the dead. All the girls giggled and headed for their tent.”

Day 7

The faces of all were smiling, but at the same time there was a sadness, lurking in the backdrop of the canyon walls. Today began the journey home, where they would all go their separate ways, getting back to everyday routines, and the normality of life. Jennah had never felt normal, and she suspected neither Katrina nor Suzannah had either. She wasn’t even sure she wanted a DNA test done to see if she and Suzannah were
actually twins, and even tho they had come to an understanding, there was still some friction in the air. Perhaps it was because in a few days they would be going their separate ways, or maybe it was all in Jennah’s head. She could feel a poem coming on, and needed to take the time to write it. But for now it would have to just stay in her, for the weather was taking a turn for the worse. Being out on the treacherous rapids during this time didn’t thrill her at all, and she had considered pulling out of the trip. She didn’t really want to hike the trail up to the South Rim, and she really didn’t want to take the Kaibab Trail. That natural bridge was scary as all get out to her. The only time she had ever done it, she had crossed that section on hands and knees, not even thinking about anything but reaching the end. The sheerness of the drops alone were enough to cause someone a major heart attack. The view might have been breathtaking, but the thought
of falling was the force that kept her on hands and knees, crawling like a baby. Therefore, she was just stuck getting on the turbulent waters. As they started off she huddled closely to Grandfather, who seemed to be in another world altogether. He hadn’t spoke much that morning, but one could sense the deepness into which his soul had been plunged. Jennah looked over at Katrina and Nahani who just shrugged. They
also had sensed that Grandfather was far away. He reached for Katrina’s hand and held it tightly. “Everything will be okay “little one”, it will all be okay.” Then he leaned back on backpacks behind them and closed his eyes. Around 2 pm Willy suggested that they pull into camp for the evening. The clouds were beginning to form quite heavily and it was apparent there was an approaching storm. They still had another’s days journey before they reached the East Rim territory. The trip home was turning out to be slow
and torcherous. No one was really frightened, they were all used to theses storms, but at the same time, they knew that nature’s wrath could cause damage beyond man’s comprehension and they would probably all end up spending the night hovering in the cave like dwellings, that provided enough protection to keep their tents

from blowing away. The howling of the winds thru-out the canyon walls was giving off the eerie sounds of the different creatures. One minute it may sound like a woman’s scream or a coyote’s howl at a brightly lit moon. The swaying and breaking of branches from near by bushes and trees sent leaves and twigs circling around as if there were whirlpools of wind forming. The clouds now dark and thickened, seemed to rolling turbulently into the walls, causing thunderous booms. If the group hadn’t known better, they would have thought themselves trapped inside a smoke laden room with walls caving in from all sides. As the rain started pelting down they backed deeper into the cave dwelling, cautiously watching for the creatures of the earth. They had climbed a couple of hundred feet up the embankment to insure safety from the rising waters. Storms like this could last for a few hours, or a few days in the wilderness. Willy and Almey had secured the raft as tightly tightly as possible to a huge boulder that lay about 50 feet off of the river bank. Lightening bolts appeared like fiery spears, being aimed at nothing in particular. Even tho the group was dry and had plenty of provisions, Katrina felt as if they were being watched over carefully. She wasn’t exactly sure what or who it
was that was watching, she just fervently prayed it was the Angels of Mercy. No one spoke much, but then even if someone tried to carry on a conversation it was drowned out by the thunderous rolls. They had all thought of the same thing and each person had arrived at the cave with a few sticks and some rocks stashed here and there. Besides, it was evident that others had also taken cover within the walls of the dwelling. Left over wood piles, lay here and there. They had even found a cache of food, obviously from someone who was hiking the trails leading toward the Watchtower on the East
end of the canyon. They carefully covered it back up and even added a few items to it for the next weary traveler. After starting a small fire they delved into the delicious dinner they had prepared of bits and pieces of left over meat and cheese snacks from the day before, along with crackers and boxes of juice. The storm had died down to a soft pelting of rain, and the thunder was rolling off into the distance by the time

they had cleaned up and laid out the sleeping bags for the evening. Grandfather had been rather silent thru dinner, but told a few stories about the days of his youth. He made it all sound so romantic, with the hints of danger lingering in the background. He told of one winter in particular when they had endured the worst snow storm he thought he had ever seen. One by one, they began to drift off as he softly started singing some of the songs he had learned growing up. The sounds of the distant thunder along with his deep voice brought about a feeling of peace. Katrina’s eyes began to grow weary from the shadows dancing on walls surrounding them. If she didn’t know better she would have sworn she was hearing the drum beats of yesteryear. When at last Grandfather closed his eyes, the ones he thought of as his children were all softly breathing.
Sometime during the wee morning hours Suzannah awoke with a start. Someone was moving around in the dimly lit dwelling. At first, she thought it might be an animal she was hearing and reached over and shook Karl. He turned over and she pointed at the ghostly figure that was standing in the shadows, silently circling the cave. They sat up and began to cautiously wake the others. Grandfather was leaning up against the wall, and appeared to be safely sleeping, but the woman wandering around seemed agitated and kept entwining her hands and fingers as if they were doing some kind of dance. Upon realizing it was Jennah, Justin hushed the group who was now watching her with intense interest. He hushed them, softly telling them that he had seen this many times. He had frequently found her sleep walking, talking gently to the thin air, her hands in the same motion. Usually, a poem would follow and it would be within minutes.
Just as he predicted, Jennah sat down calmly and reached for her notebook, unaware of the curious eyes that gazed upon her. As she scribbled furiously, she would occasionally take a deep breath and let out a long sigh. Within minutes, she tore the page out and
put the notebook and pen back into her pack, still sleeping, Justin explained to everyone. This was how most of her messages came thru. Fortunately, she hadn’t wandered out of the cave. But, then she usually didn’t go far away from her paper and pencil or pen.
Only once had he found her outside on the patio, and she had the paper and pen with her. When she woke up he explained she wouldn’t remember writing, and usually there wasn’t any editing needed. He could always tell the difference when she had written something herself, or had received a message. The thinning veil of darkness was giving way to the morning light, and Willy got up to stir the fire that was now dying down into
embers. While he did that, Justin got out the coffee and the pot and went to the cooler to get out some water. The morning hours were chilly, but not quite cold. As the coffee began to perk, everyone began to quietly move around. They decided to let Jennah and Grandfather both get a little more sleep before waking them for breakfast. The sun was starting to peak thru so Willy and Almey went out to check on the raft.
There was a lot of mud, and the river was flowing a little more rapidly, but that would just make the trip around the bend toward the East Rim a little more exciting they agreed. They could make it if they were took it cautiously, they explained to all who was awake. The other three women had prepared a breakfast of fruit and pastries, and the coffee smelled deliciously aromatic. Justin reached down to wake up Jennah when
he noticed that she held a folded piece of paper in her hand. He opened it and read it slowly then sat down. Calling the rest of them into his little corner he softly read the poem she had written.
“WOW, that is,,, just WOW!” Suzannah explained. She looked around the group. “I wonder who it is about?” Willy moved closer to the group.
“Grandfather”, he said with tears rolling down his cheeks. “It’s Grandfather’s and pointed to the elderly gentleman, still leaning against the wall. Karl jumped up and ran over to where Grandfather was sitting. He knelt down and took his pulse and listened for breathing. Then he gently covered the man with the old blanket that Grandfather had owned since he was just a child. A blanket woven by his grandmother. He
silently backed away and looked at Willy. “We have to get him home.” Justin gently called Jennah’s name and she woke immediately. Upon seeing the tears of everyone and hearing the soft sniffling, she knew something had happened during the night. She looked around and saw the blanketed figure. “Tears began to flow and she got up and went over to him. “Dis Muci Beit”, she whispered softly.
“What does that mean?” Nahani asked her.
“Go in Peace.” “It’s the way someone from a far away country would say it. Someone very special that once lived at the south Rim taught it to me.”
“Robert”. Nahani smiled.
“Yes, but it really doesn’t matter what language we say it in, for now Grandfather and the earth have blended hand and hand. He would have wanted it this way.”
“Yes sweetie, he has”, and thanks to you and your gift of writing we all have a validation of that.” Justin handed her the paper. She read it and a calming sensation came over everyone as they heard the soft words. They sounded different from when Justin read it. Now, they made sense. Willy walked down to the river and set off one of the safety flares he had brought along. As he watched the smoke gently drifting off, he heard the roar of the helicopter. ‘Yes’, he thought to himself, Grandfather
had always said he wanted to be near the emergence in the vicinity of the Sipapuni when he his earthly time was over. It was as it should be. He didn’t know how he would be able to carry on without Grandfather there to guide him in the everyday world, but he knew in his heart, that Grandfather would always be near. Just as he would be with Katrina, Jennah, Suzannah and all of them. As the park ranger descended from the helicopter Willy went over to meet him. Upon explaining what had happened, the ranger called for another chopper. Willy went back and got the others. They loaded the gear onto the plank lowered by the helicopter then one by one they were lifted into the air. They were going to leave the raft there and pick it up later. The most important thing at this moment was getting Grandfather back to his village. Willy would have to make the arrangements, for now he would be taking Grandfathers place within the village. The elders, he was fairly sure would approve of what he wanted to do. Grandfather of course would want a traditional burial, but at the same time, Jennah needed to read the poem to his people. For there was no other words that would
describe Grandfather so adequately. Each person watched respectively as the helicopter with Grandfather ascended to the Heavens and toward the East. Jennah knew this would be her last visit for a very long time to the village, and told Suzannah and Nahani so. Soon, she would have to be returning to Texas to take care of her biological mother. Katrina said she had received a call saying that she was needed in another state as soon as she could get there. When she explained the situation they had granted her an extra three days to attend the burial of one so dear to her.
As the last helicopter left the village word had quickly began to spread. Family was coming in from far and wide. Jennah knew that even tho the next three days would pass quickly, but that they would also be the longest three days on earth.

Three days later.

As the drumbeats drifted off Jennah stood and began reading the message she had received.










© amy jean ( a.k.a. A. J. Angerstein )
02-19-02, revised 11-25-09

In total silence everyone began to slip away one by one, wiping tears and occasionally whispering softly to another. Jennah and Katrina said their farewells to Nahani and Suzannah. Jennah and Suzannah couldn’t seem to let go of each other, but knew eventually they would see each other again. None of them wanted to part, but part they must. For as Grandfather would have put it, “Life goes on, and it is a never - ending journey.”
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