It is my turn. Late in March it was also my turn - but thankfully to the good sense of our leaders and citizens in Oregon to realize the gravity of the pandemic - I was called off duty as the surge slowed. I was not needed - not yet. Now my time has come and this week will be one attending on a COVID-19 service in the hospital. Our team will help some patients through recovery and others we will help as they die. The weight of this week is not lost on me or members of our team...and what we carry into the experience matters, how we prepare & protect ourselves is paramount...

I will carry the seven grandfather teachings, stories, and love from my community into the hospital to lead a team which helps people from all walks of life - no matter their origin, political beliefs, spiritual beliefs, or socioeconomic status...we simply show up and serve. One thing I will carry is my stethoscope - which was beaded for me by community members as I graduated from medical school. The section nearest the headset is decorated with the colors of the four-directions - reminding me of teachings from each of the directional doors - the phases of life - all in a circle. The tubing near the bell - part applied to patients - is a prayer and reminder...with a base of Lake Superior (Gitchi Gumii), a lodge occupied by the people, bands representing a full day-through-night, and (most importantly) eagle feathers representing the prayers of the people in the lodge to guide me every moment. To guide every decision during every aspect of the day - it reminds me the sacred fires burn, lodges persist, and the people pray for my strength and sound mind... Bill Bird beaded it for me - and the lessons he taught all of us American Indian medical students at Minnesota will never be forgotten.

These teachings are the things we carry. Now, it is my turn to serve.