Where do I begin? . . .
I choose to tell my "story" . . . to BEAR my soul . . . right here on these pages, on this website. We all have a story, or stories to tell. They are what make up our lives. They are what make us who we are today. We share our stories, our lives . . . with each other. We are ALL medicine . . . somehow, some way . . . to each other. When we share our stories, our life experiences with each other . . . we learn, we heal, we grow. We are each other's medicine so to speak. I choose to share with you, and in turn, perhaps YOU will share your OWN story here with us. I invite you to email me, with your permission, to share a life experience or experiences, so that maybe YOU can help someone else with YOUR medicine. Please email me at DawnToEarth@yahoo.com Thank you! I am also in the process of writing a book that will contain excerpts from "Herb Chat", an online chatroom that I used to host many years ago. My friend, Sparrow, recorded many of these sessions and sent me the CD several years ago. I just need to finish editing it, remove the screen names of the innocent and the not so innocent. These sessions contain a ton of I shared with those who attended Herb Chat. We shared a LOT. Those people became my friends. We all became family to each other. We loved a LOT in there! The book will be my story and many others' stories. If you wish to have your story considered for the inclusion of my book, please include permission for that as well and whether you want to include your real name, a fictitious name or just initials. Just let me know how you would like me to address your story contribution. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to help others. Again, I thank YOU!
Walk In Peace . . .
Dawn Houts aka Dawn TenBears
Master Herbalist, also lovingly called "Herb Doctor" by many and also . . . BEAR
This is difficult for me as you will soon come to know.
I will do my best to share with you . . .
On September 21, 2006, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I had just seen my son for the first time in 2 years (he had joined the Navy and I had been living on an Indian Reservation in Canada). We had visited for a week at my mom's in Georgia. He went back to Michigan on the 18th. Now, I h ad to tell him the "news". He, being HIM, the type of person who always tried to cheer people up, to make them laugh, to see the lighter side of life . . . took it in stride. He tried to cheer ME up. He kept saying, "It's okay mom, it's going to be okay. We will get through this together. I'm packing my truck. I'm coming to Georgia to help you. I'll be there for your surgery, I will hold your hand. When you are in recovery, I'm going to help you make your herbal things again. You can go back into business. Herbs and helping people . . . they are your passion, they are your loves. I will make everything for you. You just tell me what to do. Then when I'm finished making everything, I'm going to sit down and have a beer. You can have a beer with me if you want, even though I know you don't like beer".
The next day, September 22, 2006, I spoke to my son that evening for the last time. He said things like, "Don't worry mom. I'm coming down there to help you. I'm packing my things. The girls' (his twin cousins) birthday is September 25th, I will be there before then. You need to think about getting your hair cut and having them make a wig for you. You can't find your hair color anywherre. It's unusual so you need to get your hair cut and have someone make a wig for you for when you lose your hair from the chemo. I'm going to help you. You will go into business again, so you can help people. That's what you love to do. We can do it together . . . mother and son". Several hours later, I got the phone call that every parent dreads. My beautiful child, the love of my life . . . was no longer of this Earth. I cannot explain the pain, I don't want to. Only a parent in a similar situation can ever know what that feels like. Losing a child is like losing a piece of yourself. You never get over it . . . EVER! The pain may lessen with time,but it is always there.
This is extremely painful for me to even speak about here on these pages. With tears streaming down my face, I need to stop for now and move on to something else.
Taking a deep breath . . . I cancelled my surgery. It was originally scheduled for September 28th. As it turned out, that wa the day Brandon's memorial services took place. I need to share withyou part of the services . . . his eulogy. It was written by my friend, Sparrow, but apparently someone else contributed to the writing of it as was told to me by Sparrow (nickname). Later in my life, Sparrow told me that the eulogy was not just about Brandon, that it also described me. She said that Brandon and I were one and the same. I am honored by such a compliment. If I could be half the person that he was, if my heart could be half as large as this amazing human being's heart that I was chosen to give birth to . . . then I would be truly blessed. By the way, to anyone listening . . . when it is time for me to leave this Earth, my home, I wish that this same eulogy be read at my memorial service to be held OUTSIDE. Do NOT give me a funeral. Just go outside under the sky and stand upon our Mother Earth and someone who loved me can recite these words. Throw what is left of me (I am an organ and tissue donor) to the 4 winds so that I may go where I need to be. Give me back to my Mother . . . Earth. Celebrate my LIFE!
Other council fires were here before ours.
They still are and have always been.
One day, they will burn bright again.
Among them, HIS will burn the brightest.
Many will gather at his fire.
It will be a dangerous time.
Brandon will rise above the fire.
Today we gather together at the fire as one. We come with one heart, honoring one spirit, a spirit rising. We've come to share our sadness, to find our strength together, as Brandon begins his journey home. This young man has touched each of our lives, has given us gifts we have yet to discover. But we've come to share not only our tears, but also our memories, our joy of having shared this beautiful life, this beautiful spirit. Brandon's heart holds more than we could ever imagine. All that he did and all that he gave, came from that place. He would gladly give his help simply for the asking. He listened not only with ears, but also with a deep understanding of what the words held, with an ancient knowledge of long ago.
Don't be afraid to remember.
Honor him with your memories.
His fire burns even brighter now
and he has given each of us
a glowing ember to carry always.
Carry with you
the eyes that could see
could sometimes not.
Eyes that could see
your own heart
better than you, yourself.
Remember the respect
he held for all life.
That he never took more
than he needed
and in return,
always gave back
than he received.
Remember . . .
That he deeply honored the Earth
and all that She holds.
That his roots run deep
and from these roots
he gathered strength
and found peace.
A Child Of The Earth,
he walked the land
in beauty and grace.
Remember the warmth of a hug
and the healing touch
of gentle hands.
There is a reason for all things. Sometimes, as hard as we try, the reason is not meant for us to understand. We must simply trust in our faith, trust in Creator's decision and know that once again, there is something very important for Brandon to do. I know this is something Brandon wants us to understand. He wants us to know the honor of those things he is destined yet to do, and with this knowledge, begin to heal. He wants us to know . . . spirit lives on. It will be in the quiet times that his nearness will be felt most. We will feel the warmth of the smile we cannot see, feelthe soft passing of a gentle touch. We will feel him there at our shoulder, guiding . . . always guiding us. And if we listen closely, in those quiet moments, we will hear a voice, filled with love, say softly, quietly . . . I am here.
Where do you begin?
And I end?
We are ONE.
We are the Circle.
The Circle is ALL.
My thoghts are inside your thoughts.
I live there now inside you.
Even though you do not see me anymore,
I am with you.
We are ALWAYS.
Remember . . .
BRANDON HOUTS HAYES
May 9, 1985 ~ September 22, 2006
After the funeral . . .
Surgery was delayed until October 19th. By the time they took it out, my tumor weighed 21 and a half pounds and encapulated my ovary and the cancer. Apparently, my case was written up in some medical journal at that time (2006). I had 3 teams of surgeons. The chief surgeon was Roland Patillo (I believe he is 84 years young now). He specifically requested to head up the surgical teams. Great doctor!!! They said my case was unusual. I never learned the specifics due to the tragic death of my son the day after I was diagnosed. I refused treatment (other than the surgical removal of the growing tumor and the rest of my lady parts . . .I still have the playground, I just don't have the equipment) due to this fact. WHO wants to LIVE when your child has just died? At that point in my life, I didn't care whether I lived or died . . .
This is just part of my story. I hit upon the basics here so that YOU would know and understand WHY I am so passionate about this journey I am on. In time, I will add more to my story.
Although you will see and be able to purchase the herbal products that I make, these do not encompass everything. I used to make SO many things. Currently, I am only starting with 3 of the things I make due to tpopular demand" by you, my former clients and friends. This does not include that which I custom create for those asking for something specific. As this endeavor grows, I will be adding even more things to my "line" of handmade herbal products. I am also working with a soap maker that I have befriended. Instead of me making soap (I just don't have the time), I trust this girl explicitly to do that for me, for you, and for herself as making soap is just one of her passions. Details to follow in the near future.
Bear with me as I am doing this pretty much by myself at the moment even though I have the moral support and my own personal cheering section (thank you my friends). Eventually, I hope to be able to share my knowledge and teach someone else how to do this.
Speaking of teaching . . .
Another part of my endeavor, my journey, is to teach. This will be done through donation only. The donations will be used to cover expenses such as travel, materials used (hands on workshops) and to help people in need. That's one of my "jobs", to help people. I have been invited into several educational systems. I also intend to hold seminars and workshops wherever and whenever I am asked. I also have people that I hold close to me, who possess special skill sets. They too, are looking forward to being able to share their knowledge at some of these workshops and seminars. Later, I will create a page and/or website for those wishing to donate to such causes. I thank you for that!!!
At this point, I need to stop. I said I was going to launch this website today, June 21st . . . and I ALWAYS keep my promises. Tomorrow, I will work on the product end of this site. I guess you would like to see some of the things that I make. Thank you for listening so far. Talk to you soon . . .