From the January/February 1987 issue
One day on Saturday morning my uncle was going to town, and when they were almost in town they got in a pickup crash. The pickup was light blue. My uncle’s wife was lying way in the back. The two boys were lying by the pickup and my uncle was by the pickup too. They were safe. But my auntie died. Then all the police and ambulances came too.
So when I went home my mom told me about it. So I got really sad for my uncle and the two boys too. They had a funeral for my aunt on Monday morning at ten o’clock am. That time all the family had to pitch in lots of money to buy new clothes and a coffin. The coffin was red.
That time we were at school. I couldn’t do my work in my class. When we did something like math I used to get lower grades.
When we went home on Friday, my mom and dad got a medicine man to sing over my uncle. So we straightened up the hogan for the medicine man. When my mom and dad came with the medicine man, my uncle went into the hogan and he sat on the floor. All my uncles and aunts and my grandma came in. I went in too. My sister came in too. The medicine man wore old clothes because it wasn’t a real blessing ceremony. It was just a meeting about the pickup crash.
When the medicine man was going to sing he said, “Take out some ashes.” Then he said, “Bring some sand in and put it in the middle of the dirt floor.” So my dad did. Then the medicine man started singing over my uncle. When the medicine man was singing he touched the ashes and touched my uncle with it.
As he worked he chanted.
“Shi kéédeé hózhóo doo,
Shi laa jí hózhóo doo,
Shi ke tl’aadoo hózhóo doo,
Shi tsii’ t’aadoo hózhóo doo,
Shi naago hózhóo doo,
Hózhó, hózhó, hózhó, hózhó.”
As the medicine man chanted I thought about the meaning in English and I chanted silently to myself.
“May it be beautiful behind me,
May it be beautiful before me,
May it be beautiful below me,
May it be beautiful all around me,
Beauty, Beauty, Beauty, Beauty.”
In a little while the medicine man took out some kind of a crystal and gave one to my uncle to look in it. My uncle looked in it. The medicine man had one too and they both looked in the crystal. Then the medicine man told my uncle that a Navajo woman had put something under the pickup and there was another Navajo woman and a man. Then he said, “They caused you to crash your pickup and get your wife killed.”
My uncle saw the woman in the rectangular crystal and said, “I don’t know that woman and that man.”
Then the medicine man said, “At night they are going in your house and are trying to put something in your mouth to make you crazy.” Then the medicine man started singing the same chant over my uncle again. Then he said, “You must forget about the pickup crash. It is finished. It is finished in beauty.”
Then my uncle said, “OK.”