Joe William Shed, Jr. passed away on June 18, 2005 after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. I had the great joy and honor of being loved, cherished and taught by this man, who was grateful for every breath, every friend, every experience in his life. Joe was a perceptive dream interpreter and we enjoyed sharing this in our relationship. We often had the same or similar dreams. This is his story.
Joe was an incredible writer and artist. Joe was also a deeply spiritual individual, and this essence shines through his art. His story, "The Dreamer," was written as an assignment for one of his creative writing classes at Northeastern State University. Joe finally earned his Bachelor's Degree in May 2005, one month before he died. This story was in answer to an assignment that required students to incorporate parts of their own lives in a story. Joe explains:
"It is all created by me, based on my life. But, I studied mythology, and almost all myths have many overlapping idea, especially cycles of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. They usually have a concept of good vs. evil, although not as much in the Native American stories, and hardly any in African mythos. (In fact, I have not discovered an evil deity in African mythos, very surprising! because all other myths have one in one form or another.)
Ok, relevant points;
1. Zan represents me.
2. I have CF (cystic fibrosis)
3. My sister had it also, she died at 18.
4. I was married for 9 years then divorced.
5. I have a great Doctor.
6. Zan and grandfather are the same, and represent me in the future.
7. Earth mother is mother, in a way.
8. Waking up equals death or passing on, this is to be avoided as it will pain the mother.**"
**My note: LaGina died more than twenty years ago and his mother has never completely healed. Part of Joe's motivation in his daily challenge was to stay alive for his parents to spare them from ever experiencing that pain again. Joe also once mentioned that the pipe in the story symbolized his nebulizer. Joe has a painting and a poem about the charioteer mentioned in the story called "The Chase." Tika left Zan because she could never bear his child. CF affects the reproductive system and males are sterile. Patients also develop specific types of diabetes and arthritis. A few years before his death, Joe was diagnosed as profoundly deaf as a result of antibiotics.
We plan to publish his works and our goal is to donate his paintings and sculptures to a museum or other prominent establishment where his memory will be immortalized and the public will be educated to the need for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. While many agencies can help with medical needs and expenses, services and resources to help families cope with emotional issues and other financial needs are significantly lacking. One in twenty Caucasians is a carrier of the gene - we are all just one step away from having a child with CF.
Joe missed his sister until the day he died. He talked about her so much that I felt I knew her. She was also incredibly talented and creative and quite the businesswoman. I've always felt that she is one of my creative guides. LaGina had been cremated and the funeral home allowed his parents to add her ashes to his casket.
Akina and Zan have finally found each other and now rest peacefully in the arms of the Earth Mother, together. Listen and you will hear their playful giggles across the night sky......
Read the story here: The Dreamer
Joe's legacy is that he would have wanted people to realize the impact of CF on patients and families and that there will someday be a cure. If you'd like to help, there are many ways to give on national and local levels.
Parthena Black is a professional social worker and ordained minister with experience in tarot and runes. For private spiritual counseling and intuitive readings via e-mail, please visit her at oymygoddess.com.