30 Days of Thankful - Day 18

In Loving Memory of Mariah LeeAnn Montileaux
January 3, 1995 ~ November 18, 2009

I am thankful beyond words for the young people of the Pine Ridge Reservation (and their families) who have been my friends and family for over twelve years now, and who occupy a huge part of my heart.  I have learned so much from them about love, life, giving, and perseverance. I am so very proud of all of them!

On this day four years ago one of these children chose to take her life.  She is greatly missed by all of us that loved her dearly. I hold precious the photos of her radiant smiles, and the letters she sent me signed "Mariah the Cat Lover." She knew that I loved cats as much as she did.

I am thankful for the courage of Mariah's mother, who has chosen to turn her pain into something  positive in Mariah's memory, and to use this day as an opportunity to celebrate Mariah's life by giving Rez youth an opportunity to speak out against suicide and encourage each other to embrace life. 

While I cannot attend the Poetry Event being held in Mariah's memory on the Rez tonight, my heart will be there.  I know that Mariah will be there in spirit too, and she will be smiling.  I am thankful for the opportunity to help support this event.


  1. It is wonderful to be able to take such a tragedy and create a tribute to honour the person. Poetry is a very cathartic, healing outlet. I wish Mariah and her family peace.

  2. Sending prayers to the family, such a tragedy for a young life. Thank you for sharing with us

  3. So sad when someone feels lost enough to take their own life. Even with time I imagine her family will always have questions. It's nice that she continues to be remembered in a special event.

  4. It's a wonderful thing her mother is doing, turn pain into saving other young lives. They will all be in my prayers.

  5. Im not sure why but most of my comments get thrown out from could be that ridiculous android phone...has a life of its own... I had just commented that it was sad but heartening that such a positive could come from such heartbreak.... what a lovely smile!


Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)