My aunt Hiahwahnah, member of the Choctaw Nation, lady of dignity and poise, proud, beautiful, intelligent, educated, loving wife and mother, teacher, my aunt Hiahwahnah. Beloved wife of my father's brother, dear friend of my mother.
I remember when I learned that there were four “h’s” in your name. The caring mother of my four first cousins, Johnny, Pam (PK), Susan and Merrilee. We used to play together in our Grand Mother Work’s front yard in Henryetta, Oklahoma, dressed up as cowboys and Indians. We would also drive up the steep hill to your house and play.
Ninety-five years, that’s a long time to live, laugh, love, see, think and feel. How can you be gone? We miss you too much. Yet you are still here in our hearts, cells and memories. I feel your strength, determination, clarity and passion.
Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have so much love for you in their hearts. You are legend. You are ancestor. You are great mother. And as your nephew I sing a song of praise and honor for your life and spirit.
Thank you, dearest aunt. Thank you for a long life well lived. I am grateful that I was with you eleven months ago in Oklahoma. I am grateful that you passed peacefully. I am grateful for my wonderful tribe of cousins. I love you. Farewell. Happiness and peace be yours forever.