I am so drained by the actions of the President of the United States, all politicians, lobbyist, protesters, those who hate, destroy or wish to destroy history; the news media, you get the idea… I must return to my safe place within my mind to rest. That place is the blank page before me where thoughts come alive and I remember the stories of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family. Everyone called her “Ma”.
She told me of Fosee, a descendant of many generations of warriors. Born in a round birch bark dwelling in the circle of a Chickasaw Over Town Tribe in what would later become Eastern Mississippi. His father had given him the name Fosee; the meaning of that name was “Bird”. The other boys teased him because of his tall skinny body; they would jeer at him and run away singing “Little Bird, Little Bird, fly away”. So, he played alone, kicking around the Chukka Ball in the open yard in the middle of the town’s circle of dwellings; he hunted small animals.
Fosse’s father held a place of importance in the tribe; he was a powerful warrior, a skilled hunter. His mother was an exotic looking woman from a Choctaw Tribe in what would become Alabama Territory. Her beauty and gentle nature were the reasons his father has chosen her to be his bride. Fosee was their only child, living in the same dwelling with his parents and grandparents.
He remembered all of his grandparents. Yet. it was his Chickasaw grandfather that he loved most. He remembered the elegant clothes and colorful beading sewn onto the soft deerskins by his grandmother. His grandfather’s white hair flowed about his shoulders and when he would go to the river with him to bathe, Fosee could see the dark skin engraved with the scars of war.
Fosee would listen to the stories his grandfather told around the cooking fires, he would see his eyes soften and glisten when he talked of the loss of family and friends in battle. Fosee was just a boy when all four of his grandparents died from a disease brought into many villages’ by the white man.
Fosee was my great-great-grandfather…
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree