My husband and I recently attended the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration at the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, Ga. It was a beautiful morning, filled with the fresh air of old culture, and you could practically see the knowledge being spread between the young and old among the ceremonial fires and booths of traditional wares.
A picturesque day, the hubs and I walked through the festival, and then decided to go just a little farther to check out the mounds themselves. I probably should mention at this point that I graduated with a degree in History, so forgive me if I am a little over enthused here.
The mounds of the Ocmulgee are splendid giant things. Ranging from 10 ft. tall to several stories, they are a sight to behold. These mounds were used for everything from religious ceremony, meeting house, to a final resting place for the dead. Great civilizations lived right here long before European explorers came along. Even in the age of settlement James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia climbed these mounds and traded with the great men who built them.
During the Civil War, trenches were dug in and around the mounds as a natural defense post to guard the city of Macon. History left its foot print firmly on these hallowed grounds, and you can feel it when you walk among them. Industry brought the railroad, and with the railroad came destruction to the mounds. As we crossed a train trestle bridge over the modern day rail line, we could see a mound sheared literally in half.
All in all, we ended up walking over five miles that day. You want to know that really cool part about this whole experience was? My husband shouldn’t have been able to walk it with me. But he did.
About a year into our relationship, (5 long years ago) a small cyst formed on the small of Hubs back. A trip to the doctor and a swift diagnosis later, surgery was called for to remove a benign cyst. Considered a minor surgery, and after much reassurance from Hubs and his family I allotted to stay at school where I was due to soon take my first exams of freshman year. Big mistake. After multiple hours of surgery, I received a phone call from a crying relative. My love couldn’t wake up. They had given him too much anesthesia, and every time he came close to consciousness he would get violently ill. Once finally home from the hospital, recovery was slow…. and painful. Months of medications and recovery were of no avail. A second surgery was required.
Recovery this time involved months of bed rest. A wound pump. More pain than any one person should have to go through. Weekly doctor’s visits. Driving home every weekend from college to spend time with a bandaged and suffering Hubs. The doctors were unsure of how well he would recover. If he would ever get full range of motion back, possible chronic pain, the list of horrific options were endless. But he made it through. He healed, he never gave up. Hubs never complained. He was a fighter. 19 months of recovery all together, and never a promise of a normal life once he was healed.
But he did it. He beat the odds, changed doctor’s minds, and reminds me daily what perseverance looks like. Now a healthy Hubs, this day will always signify to me how far we have truly come.
The Ocmulgee Indian Mounds are a beautiful place. They represent a place of sacred space, where history dwells, and memories can be made. Memories of family, of friends, or maybe a memory of 5 miles worth of nature with someone you love. A memory that signifies so much more.