Havre Daily News
A community lost a mother, healer and caregiver in a fatal two-car crash Friday.
Public health nurse Lorna "Honey" Barbara Grant, 63, of Hays was killed after being ejected from her vehicle. Her southbound van drifted into the oncoming lane and struck a pickup truck hauling a flatbed trailer about 14 miles south of Harlem on Montana Highway 66, the Montana
Highway Patrol reported.
"She was such a family person," Grant's eldest daughter, Mikealinda Grant said today of her mother.
her children and grandchildren even walk was an achievement in her eyes," Mikealinda said. "She loved them all and loved everybody."
Grant will be remembered at a wake and rosary today at 7 p.m. in the St. Paul's Mission gymnasium. A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's Mission gymnasium followed by burial at Mission Cemetery.
The Montana Highway Patrol responded to the fatal crash at 4:39 p.m. Friday. Grant drifted into the northbound lane, and the driver of the oncoming vehicle veered into the east ditch avoid Grant, but her van struck the driver's side of the truck and trailer just before it reached the ditch, the report said.
After colliding with the truck, Grant's van spun counterclockwise and came to rest facing north in the southbound lane, the report said. Grant was wearing a seat belt but was ejected from her van and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck and one passenger both sustained minor injuries and were taken to Indian Health Service at Fort Belknap, the report said.
Today at Honey Grant's home, her children, friends and family were remembering her aptly.
Each of her seven biological children and four adopted children learned something from their mother, Mikealinda said.
Grant's son, Bruce Grant, was preparing smoked meat this morning in the way his mother had taught him, Mikealinda said.
"As we speak now, he's out smoking meat," she said. The meat will be served at a feed tonight, she added.
Mikealinda said her mother taught several of her children, including her, traditional healing methods. Another daughter, O'Shawna LaMere, learned to be an avid star quilt maker, like her mother. Bruce learned to smoke meats and find choice pieces of wood for starting fires, Mikealinda said.
Though Mikealinda said she learned how to make traditional medicines, she rarely does because Honey was always relied on for doctoring.
"Hopefully, I can be as strong at miracle working as she is," Mikealinda said, choking up slightly with the thought of taking over her mother's task.
Honey attended beauty school in Billings in 1964 after graduating from Mission School in 1962. She later attended Fort Belknap College and Northern Montana College, continuing her education whenever she had the chance. She attended Salish-Kootenai College where, in 1993, at the age of 51, she received her registered nursing degree, Mikealinda said.
"One thing she believed in was to get that nursing degree and to help heal the people," Mikealinda said.
Honey worked as a nurse for the Montana Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
Honey was also a spiritual person, she said. Honey completed her four-year sun dance, participating in the physically taxing ceremony for four years. After achieving this, Honey continued to participate, fasting and praying for the health of her family and friends, Mikealinda said.
"She was always taking time to stop and pray with people and smudge with them, burn sweet grass with them," Mikealinda said.
Honey always wanted to make sure people felt good emotionally, too, she said.
"She always had her home open, no matter who or what," Mikealinda said. "She always had food on the table. It was always, you come and you eat, and then you sit down and visit. There were always children in the house."
Honey treated all her nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren like her own children. She took care of stray dogs and cats, cooking for them as well, Mikealinda said.
She was a happy person who got particular joy from having children around her. She also enjoyed playing bingo and going to powwows.
Mikealinda said her mother had been ill for the last few months.
But Honey did not let that affect her. If somebody came over, "she would jump up and put her well being aside to remedy and cater to somebody else," Mikealinda said.