Her name is Katsitsiase or Betty Brant.
I know her as Ista in Mohawk, that is Mother and she is such
a wisdom keeper. Ista lost her partner/husband this past year and
I lost my partner two years ago so it brought us closer I think!
But the love that we both had and lived help us both in so many
ways and that love grows in both of us for life, Creation, Mother
Earth and our people all peoples!
So when my friend Rick asked me for a story about one of our
elders in Ontario my mind went to the Brant family.
In Tyendinaga the Mohawk community gathered at the sacred fire
at the Brant home last year during July, the Fire Keepers there
were tending the Sacred Fire at their home for ten days for Jacks
Sacred journey to the Spirit World. We all offered our condolences
and I heard later that Tom Porter our Mohawk Spiritual Leader had
conducted the Sacred Ceremonies for Jack/John Hills funeral
for his Sacred Journey.
Katsitsiase Speaks Out For Life
Since the passing of my partner, I look at life quite a bit different,
you know I go out and sit on the deck and I look at all the plants
and the trees and everything in the yard and I think about him because
he was a part of it all, he helped me plant all these trees and
take care of everything so hes always present in my memory
and my thoughts but at the same time not so much that, I can see
the beauty, I can see beyond my loneliness or my pain.
I just feel so grateful that we had the time we did together.
So our home and our yard is a reinforcement of his presence here
but now as time goes on I see new life its a new life its
a new chapter in my life. I am not anxious to get on with it, I
am very content where I am, if anything this has made me more excepting
of anything that comes along Even the hard time and the pain of
Whatever, no matter what happens I will be able to stay connected
to this natural world until its time for me to leave, because
I feel I have been through one of the hardest pains that humans
go through by loosing someone they really love. But I realize there
are so many people that truly care about you and love you for who
you really are. People are always there to help you and support
you in any way they can so life is still beautiful here and we need
to, or for me I need to embrace every moment of every day because
I dont know when I will be leaving this world and I love it
here, especially the environment that my partner and I have created.
He has come to visit me a few times because our daughter was
having an operation and I was thinking I have to get up at four
oclock - will I get up, because I never use an alarm clock
so I said to my daughter please call me and wake me up that morning
but you know she did not have to call me because my partner came
and knocked on the wall three times.
I knew he was there to wake me up and I knew it was him and
it was time for me to get up to be with my daughter. So hes
still taking care of us the family. I dont have any fear as
I am so contented with everything and I am just so grateful, truly
grateful to the spirit guides I have.
I know who they are, I acknowledge them and praise them for
the gifts that they bring... the protection... everything because
they are as real as any human being that would stand before me.
I give thanks to our Great Creator for being able to be here,
what a wonderful gift, no matter what one goes through in life it
really builds who you are. We wanted to come here, we were granted
that wish to come here. We werent promised that life would
be easy or we were not promised anything except we came in this
world and were able to breathe the air and be in the water that
protected us in our mothers womb.
Thats the beginning of the gifts that we were given, when
we come, we come in this world we need to acknowledge that and be
grateful for those spirits that helped us because the water has
a spirit and that spirit of the water helps us protects us then
when its time to come here that water comes forward and falls
on Mother Earth and Mother Earth takes care of that.
Its not hard to be grateful everyday, its very simple,
life is very simple, we make it complicated for ourselves. For me,
I understand those things and the gifts of Creation so life is beautiful.
I am excited about life and I want to do the things I came here
to do. A few weeks ago it came to me after my partner crossed over
to the other side, my slate was being cleaned so I could move forward
and do the work that I said I would do years ago when my daughter
was so sick, I made a commitment to our Great Creator and Creation
and Future Generations to do my part to take care of the natural
world so that the generations coming will be able to enjoy the things
that I have been able to enjoy in my life.
It isnt hard to be happy and be grateful every day now
I am on a new path and new chapter in my life and I am excited about
it. I started writing a book, the spirit visited me a couple of
times now and its been on hold since my partner passed away
but now I am ready to move forward with it because the spirit said
my book will be finished in eight months.
My life will change again once my book is finished greatly.
I dont know what it all means but I am ready to embrace whatever
comes along. Because I know I have nothing to fear because those
spirit guides are with me every day little things happen that reassure
me every day that they are there so I am excited about life.
I get sad when I see people that are disconnected and dont
understand because life would be so fulfilling for them if they
could see everything has a purpose here, plant life, the air, water
insects and animals but to be really grateful to life its
hard to see the positive side when your hurt but there is a positive
Our pain is teaching us a lesson that makes me sad because people
cant see life in so many ways, so life is suffering in many
ways. If we never suffered how would we teach anybody when they
are suffering? How could we comfort someone if we didnt suffer?
When you have to go through pain and suffering it comes from
the heart when you have to share that with someone else because
you have lived it and experienced that. So we enrich each other
Thats what I understand about my life and the things that
happened to me. Even though something is happening with someone
else what they are going through but when they share it, its
a great gift to you to be able to experience what comes through
their pain and suffering.
There is no greater gift than that of suffering from someone.
You look at the trees and plant life now they suffer because this
summer is so hot and dry there is no rain. The plant life would
love a drink of water but theres none for them. They too are
suffering if we look at life that way, our own personal suffering
wouldnt be so heavy on us humans and we would be able to embrace
it in a good way.
Thank you for listening.
I was born October 13th, 1949 in New York State, we moved to Tyendinaga
when I was three and my name is Katsitsiase which means flower opening
or what the flower is doing is blossoming like a new flower opening
up in the world.