Eyvonne is a compassionate woman with a special place in her heart for dogs. She carries dog treats with her everywhere she goes. Last Christmas, Eyvonne brought several boxes of dog treats to me in the art studio. She asked if I might deliver them to the SPCA along with a card thanking them for taking care of the animals. Eyvonne says once Metro Arts finds a home she would like us to make a poster filled with all the animal pictures we can find. She wants me to write this on the poster,

Save the animals, and find good homes for them. Save all the wild creatures too!”

When I asked Eyvonne to share her story, she said she had a long, long, history and that it was already written down. So I met with her and she showed me a large crinkled piece of blue paper, and on it was a poem. This is a poem, I said. It is the story of my life, she said. Would you like me to read it out loud, I asked. Yes, please, she said.

Yvonne’s loving spirit, overcoming her formative years that were filled with abuse and neglect, is very humbling to me. Thank you, Eyvonne, for trusting us with the history of your life, and more so, your loving presence today.

To Eyvonne from Veronica Murray (Mom) 1998*

*Eyvonne went to live with Veronica when she was 20 years old.

Heaven’s Treasure; Nature’s Gift

She came in rags; abandoned, defiant and scared.
A product of a society where no one cared.
Hungry, skinny and very small;
damaged before birth by alcohol.
She stood close to her worker as if in a fog
the first thing she noticed was my little dog.
“Where is my room?” she asked with a grin
and she and the dog went right in.
“Are you hungry?” I asked; “and what would you like?”
“Eggs, toast and coffee – and something sweet.”
“How many eggs?” said I. “Oh 4 will be alright.”
I cooked the 4, but I didn’t know
that numbers were quite foreign to her.
Weeks later I had to learn
that reading and writing were beyond her concern.
She ate her eggs and mopped the plate;
not hard to see it had been long since she ate.
The sweets she carefully wrapped and took to her room,
to enjoy later when she was alone.

Thus we started our long journey together – twenty five years in all we shared.
She learned so very much because someone cared.
For long and long I stood at her side,
together we worked and together we cried.
Her progress was great because she honestly tried.

The hurts of the past – parental abuse and neglect.
Plus institutional punishment she cannot forget.
But they surface so seldom, she now understands –
that the Good Shepherd placed her in kind loving hands.
Her mental condition and her Native blood too;
they made her ashamed and now they all rue –
the day they abused this heavenly gift.
Mean spirited they were and now they should see
this child that grew into a woman so great;
that everyone loves her and she bears no grudge or hate.
Superior to those who tormented her so –
a proud Ojibway she wants all to know.
She is known as Eyvonne, proud, handsome and strong.
She has harmed no-one; has done no-one wrong.

For long and long I stood at her side;
together we worked and together we cried.
But the years rolled on and silvered my hair
slowed my footsteps and diminished my pride;
no longer able to deliver the care.
In another home she must now reside.
My Heavenly Gift, my Nature’s Child,
was stolen away by time’s relentless tide.
The beautiful sunshine has gone from my home;
and I face my limited future alone; alone.

Love; Mom: Veronica Murray

Given to Eyvonne as she leaves Mrs. Murray’s home to live in a group home. Yvonne very soon went on with her life and met and married Fred Johnson, a man with a kind heart and very much like herself.

Story/poem contributed by Eyvonne, Photograph of Eyvonne at the Metro Community Poetry Wall by Lesley-Anne Evans

Fred and Eyvonne’s love story.


5 thoughts on “Eyvonne

  1. A tragic, yet beautiful story of love’s triumph – love always triumphs, if not in this life, then in the life to come – as one great saint said, “we are not human beings on a spiritual journey, but spiritual beings on a human journey”; continue journeying well Eyvonne!

    Liked by 1 person

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