Folks in the community thought Bertha Big Eagle Jones, Mrs. Dennis Jones, was my mother because she took me with her everywhere. My mother said I would creep into her bedroom to look for her after she died. I do remember when I was nine touching her silver hair brush left on her dressing table.

Osage and Ponca women loved children. To this day one will see them with their grandchildren all about them.

I visited Kitty Connell, a friend of the family, just a couple of days before her surgery.

"Were Dennis and Bertha cousins?" I asked.

"You know, we married our brothers," she told me.

Of course, because native relationships are different, this simply means non-Indians called cousins, "brother" or "sister". This goes all the way down forever.

I grew up beside Kitty during our long JW meetings. We sat beside each other and she lovingly kept me entertained so I didn't fidget on the hard chairs.

As I visited with Kitty at the hospital, she gave me a lovely piece of artwork that she had beside her bed.

"You know I probably won't make it through this surgery," she said. "I want you to have this piece of artwork."

That is the Osage woman's way of kindness right up to the end.

Ura May Jones Holt Fynn, Dennis and Bertha's daughter, did show evidence of her parent's relationship with a lazy eye and troubling mental conditions. After her divorce, in 1974, she drove a friend up the wall while playing a popular song, "Steam Heat", over and over. Her brother Warren Curtis Jones complained about her erratic behavior while she lived with him in Bartlesville, OK, after her divorce.

Scripture says, "God hates a divorcing".

"Well, so do I."

Regarding cousins marrying cousins, Bertha had a number of miscarriages. Dennis built small coffins and buried them at the ranch along the fenced yard.

Ura May lost her first child prematurely. Jackelyn K. Holt was born after Ura May went on a ride on a small plane. The plane went it to a tailspin moments before landing, which must have frightened her, and only days after she lost the baby. Jackelyn K. is buried in the Foraker, OK, cemetery next to her grandmother, Bertha. The grave is unmarked.