What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How DS Got His Name

My Stepfather has Cherokee heritage. He is the Deputy Band Leader of the White River band which is part of the Cherokee Nation. He is also a Gourd Dancer. Gourd Dancing is done by Veterans for Veterans. We are still trying to trace our immediate family heritage, but until then, my Mom, DS, DH and I have all been adopted into the White River Band. When you are a Native American, or of Native American decent, your name either comes to you or is given to you by an Elder. Case in point, my Stepfather was walking down the street in a very small town, but he still was very much in town, walking along the store fronts. Suddenly out of the sky fell a Graw Hawk at his feet. Hence, my step father's name is "Grayhawk". My Mother had a very real dream that she was a thistle blowing in the wind in a field. She could feel the wind on her and she was a thistle. So, her name is "Gee-Gee" which means Thistle. I was recently given my name, which I will add later, because I cannot remember the corect pronunciation and spelling. But, it means, "Beloved Daughter Hummingbird." "Hummingbird" because I am always so busy and because Hummingbirds are fierce protectors of their babies. "Beloved Daughter" 'cause my Mommy loves me. ;o)

So, this all leads to how DS got his name. Mom has been wanting me to get this story down on "paper" so, here goes. On Thursday, August 31, 1995 I entered the hospital at 6:00 am to be induced into labor. I was in a birthing room that overlooked a very wooded area. We could see birds flying above the tree tops and it was a very peaceful area. Off and on through the day, a crow would land on the windowsill and appear to look into the room. I was there until 7:00 that night while they kept upping my medication to induce labor, but it never happened. They told me to come back the next morning and they would start it all over again. So, I did. But, nothing happened. Again. This brought us to the Labor Day Weekend (ironic, eh?), so the doctors released me until Tuesday morning. After a long weekend, it was Tuesday morning and I was back again to spend yet another day in the hospital with no food, no water, nothing. They upped my drugs more and, you guessed it, nothing happened. Yet again. I went home that night with the big IV stuck in my arm wrapped up with tape. Wednesday morning, September 6th, I returned and announced that IF the baby did not come that day, I was going home to let nature run it's course. Well, apparently, that was a poor choice of words, because the doctor chose to break my water and force the baby out. Ouch. I was in bed for a couple of hours, still waiting for "nature to run it's course" (with the help of the doctor), watching TV, munching ice chips (yum) and visiting with my Mom and DH. All the while, the crow kept coming to visit. Sudenly, without much warning - the contractions began and they came on hard and fast. They were very frequent and DH watched the monitor alerting me that "one was coming". No, sh!t, Sherlock. I believe I was dialated to two at some point and very shortly thereafter I told the nurse I really felt like pushing. She told me that I couldn't possibly feel like pushing since I was only at two. But, she checked me again and - shazam - I was at ten. Go time. OH, but the doctor was busy with another baby, so take your time. Oh, sure, not a problem. When all was said and done, I was in the hospital being induced for four days and only truly in labor for about two hours. During all this time, I had very high blood pressure and they were pumping Patossin (not sure how to spell it correctly) into me to keep me calm and mellow and to keep my blood presure low. Of course, like anything that goes in the Mom (medicine, tequila, bean burritoes, etc.), the medicine also made DS slow and mellow. Plus, since my labor went into full force so quickly, that made DS get caught in the umbilical cord and he was having trouble breathing when he finally came out. The nurse carried him over to the table to get him breathing. I kept asking why he wasn't crying and why couldn't I see him. The nurses were gathred around him and I couldn't hear anything. All of the sudden, the big crow that had been coming to visit, landed on the windowsill once again. He walked the length of the windowsill and over to where DS laid on the table. The crow bowed and dipped at his knees and nodded his head in unison. He paced along the edge of the windowsill then returned to the table area and dipped his head once again. And, then, just as he flew away, I heard my baby cry. Finally. Big happy wails. All of this happened very quickly, only a minute or so. But, I remember it well. When we finally came out of the delivery room with DS lying on my chest, I remember telling my Mom about the crow. She said he had been coming to my room window but kept leaving. I still think he was looking for me and waiting for DS. People think and believe in different things and have different ways of believing in their faith. But, I believe that Crow was sent from a higher place to help DS. My Stepfather gave him the name "Crow Walker" the day he was born.

He was DUE on Septemeber 6th and he was born on Spetember 6th. He knew he wasn't "done" yet! So, he didn't come out until he was ready!

So, how'd I do, Mumsie?


  1. Shara, that is a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing. September 6th is also my sister's birthday. :)

  2. Names are very important to all Native people, not just the Cherokee. My Cherokee mother named me Mary, and I always hated the name which she never could understand and I never could understand why she chose it since it was so common. After she died I found out that she was not Mexican as she pretended but actually Cherokee and then I found out just how important names are. So I'm happily Mary now, or Maria - which was what she always called me. However, my family nickname is Cricket - and from what she always used to say and what I now know, I think it was chosen as a Cherokee name. And I think that the crow was there for a reason, to welcome your son. What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it.

  3. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Great story! Isn't it funny how birth things turn out? My DD was early and to this day she is still always on time or early. May that crow always watch over your son.



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