I did not have what you would consider the “All-American” household. My mother never formally graduated from high school, did not attend college. As for my father, I have never even known his name. When I was born, my mother was addicted to cocaine and heroin and had several boyfriends, none of which were willing to step forward to claim me as there son. As I grew up, a whole score of people came and went, none staying long enough for me to remember; except for my mother and an older gentleman that befriended us when I was two years old. And who asked us to move in so that we wouldn’t be forced to live on the streets, as we had in the past, on several occasions. When I was thirteen years old my mother died from systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis. Considered by the state of Texas to be an orphan of sufficient age and living with a competent guardian I was not forced into foster care but was considered an independent; this meant I was in charge of my life from that moment on. While in high school the man I had begun to know as my father contracted throat cancer, was
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