Jeff Smith 2:30 p.m., June 26
- Community Blog
- The Removal
I can't even imagine the long journey my ancestors walked, from Florida to Oklahoma. My grandmother told me many stories that her grandmother Hoktochee Cotcha told her about her journey to Oklahoma. She was three years old when she began The Walk on The Trail of Tears. She had many relatives that didn't make it. Aunts, uncles, and cousins, even her dad that passed away on The Trail. They did not get to stop and mourn or even bury their loved ones. They were only forced to walk. It makes me cry when I think about what my people sacrificed for me.
I wonder if I would be able to walk over 1,000 miles. Yes, probably if I had several pair of nikes. If I had a sleeping bag. If the weather was perfect, etc....In reality, I can't imagine myself being forced to walk that far under any conditions. My grandmother's grandmother Hoktochee Cotcha came with her mother Sueweleja on that Walk. I wonder what they would think about me going to School. I think they would be proud that my grades are better than the ones that live with their parents, and sleep in a house. I think they would understand my being homeless and still wanting to get an education.
I know, I feel their spirit walking with me, pushing me to keep walking. "You will be home soon", they keep telling me. " Do not stop, just keep going. Your destination is ahead."