Gratitude and Love By Maria Jaques

I met Parisha Taylor in the summer of 1990 . I attended a seminar that she was giving in Miami and immediately felt a connection that I had never felt before. There was a knowing inside of me that I have known this individual for many many lifetimes it felt like. As she took my hand and we walked to a fire ceremony she was preparing , I felt a very strong bond between us . And so it started , then and until this day she has become my mentor and Elder and I thank God every day for placing this individual in my life. Prior to meeting her I had been reading the series of books by the author Lynn Andrews and as I  immersed myself in her stories of her relationship with a Medicine Elder I longed to have a similar relationship in my life. My prayers were answered . Parisha Taylor or Grandmother Parisha as I lovingly call her came into my life. Over these years she has challenged me and loved me through difficult times .

The most significant was the summer of  when my son and husband got in a car accident on the way to pickup my daughter and I from the airport. I had participated in a Sun Ceremony the week prior and was in the car with Grandmother Parisha as she tried to convince me to stay a little longer. Longing to get back home I declined.  Not knowing that she was perceiving something was going to happen.  As a result the accident occurred . I have no doubt that because of her blanket of protection nothing more serious happened. My husband was fine but my son suffered a broken femur.  He was hospitalized at Joe Dimagao’s Children Hospital . He was initially put in traction to hold bone in place . My husband and I began meeting with the orthopedic surgeons and listening to their recommendations. Surgery was required they said. A rod was required to be put in place in order for the bone to heal appropriately. Thus started the confusion of listening to many voices . My father who was also a doctor, and surgeon of coarse agreed. The Orthopedic doctor told us ” If it was my child I would do the same thing.”

As parents you want to do the best for your child especially in light of a decision such as this. The other option was traction but they did not recommend that . I remember that night not knowing what to do. I was not very happy about putting a rod in my sons leg. Even though they explained the procedure I fully did not understand what it meant in that moment. Of course they don’t show you the size of the rod they are going to place. It was not until years later when we went to the exhibition ” Bodies” that  as we went through the show it displayed a body with a broken femur and the rod placed in the leg ( just as it would have been in my son’s leg ) .

I broke down crying in that moment , because you see we did not do the surgery only because I listened to Grandmother Parisha . “Don’t do the surgery , One leg will end up shorter than the other and it will affect his sports.”  He was happy with the suggestion Grandmother Parisha made. My son was being prepped for surgery when my husband and I walked into the surgical room and told the doctor and nurses we changed our minds. He was shocked! ” You are making a mistake,” we were told. Needless to say he was not happy. Out we went.  And my son , my brave son spent 3 months in a hospital bed with his leg in traction at a 95 degree angle at the age of 14. My son was an athlete and a very active boy. Imagine that!  Sitting in a hospital bed for 3 months. But he did it and with the help of Grandmother Parisha made it through completely healed and 100% his leg functioning. The doctors were surprised and could not believe it had healed so well and in the end they finally had to say to us ” I guess you made the right choice. ” YES we did because I listened to Grandmother Parisha’s voice.

My son went on to play high school football and got a scholarship at Northern  Illinois University for football. Today he is a healthy and successful strength and conditioning coach for athletes . Thank God I listened to the right voice