I don't remember how or when I met my first best friend. I don't remember if I was in any type of girl scout group as a child. I don't remember the color my room was painted or what my bed looked like. I do remember when my old best friend called me and told me her father was dying. I do remember how two weeks after that she called me and told me her dad suffered a heart attack and died, even though he called an ambulance as soon as he felt the pain. I do remember his funeral. All the black clothes, tear-streaked faces, and black umbrellas.
I remember learning how to ride a bike. I learned at a camp ground about 100 miles away from my home town. My mother took off my training wheels off my bike and helped me walk it up a hill to a big, flat patch of grass. She told me to get on and try my best to keep balance. I did, and I only fell once.
I remember how my uncle taught me how to swim. I was swimming in my aunt's pool when he showed up. He jumped in the pool and played around with me a little. Then he picked me up, carried me up the ladder, set me down, and took off my swimmies. He then threw me in the pool and told me "Live or die. You chose". That's one of the memories I will always keep with me because two months after he overdosed on heroin.


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