Event #300: Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday morning, the day after his major life-saving incident, Bob got up before me, and was downstairs tending the fire when I came down. I saw a napkin laying on the coffee table that had me immediately excited.

“What’s this!?”, I exclaimed, picking it up and seeing Bob’s scrawl of Lenape words. How long had it been for Lenape Words!

“I had a visit this morning.” Bob stated without much emotion or excitement. I think he is still completely perturbed by the event of yesterday – we both are. Bob continues, “I can’t believe Stoop didn’t wake you up, the way she scrambled out of here.”

A little explanation: Stoop is the only dog we have left now (out of 3). I gave up my little towpath Wobbler to our son, Stewie, who took Wobbles to his new place, new job, new apartment, out of state. It was supposed to be a move good for all, except I do miss my little towpath Wobbler. I still wobble, I just take… Stoop now. She doesn’t do as well as Wobbles, she’s a little older, but she is gradually getting used to it. It’s been about a month now. And since she is by herself, she is now IN the house with us, living upstairs in our living space. I was always curious how this would go with a dog and the “visits”, rather than Joe-the-Cat who has just become a haggard, diabetic, old man, a mere shadow of his former self over the time he’s dealt with these “visits”. (He is, after all, 17 years, which is what in cat-years, about 100?) Joe of course, is the one who has “seen” the most. Well, we got our answer. Stoop scrambled. She couldn’t get out of the room fast enough, paws and claws scraping on bare floor trying to get a footing to escape. That’s why Bob thought she might have awakened me, the mad scrabbling on the floor. She didn’t bark or whine, just got the hell out of there. And Nuttah had arrived to say something to Bob, as she came and grasped his hand with both of hers saying: “kpëmawsi”.

A new Lenape word said to Bob: kpëmawsi

“Well, I don’t think I even have to look this up”, I said, pretty sure that I knew what it meant. “Do you? Was there anything else conveyed as she said it?” I wondered.

“No, that was pretty much it, and just as quick she was gone”. Bob said.

I took the napkin with the words in to the computer to check on talk-lenape.org. There really isn’t “words”, it is just one word, spelled a bunch of different ways as Bob tries to sound out and spell the foreign and ancient language that he is hearing. kpëmawsi. I’ve added a scan of the napkin with his progression of the word as he tried to understand it. He actually got it right in the 2nd variation. And it’s meaning?

You live.

Yes, he lives. He lives because they saved him. He would have been killed by the drunk driver careening through the intersection, bottoming out, sparks flying, not even making it much further as Bob was to find out later. But at least he crashed himself and not Bob. And why not Bob? Because Bob’s brakes were applied by some other force, stopping him in about 20 feet before certain-fatal contact would have been made. It’s hard to write that, knowing what could have happened. Bob went through the weekend with an air of unreality about the whole thing, hardly believing he is still here, and kpëmawsi – he lives! We are so thankful for their intervening on his behalf. Life-changing hardly begins to describe it.

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