Where do you start when telling your own story. Well for me it all started around when I was 8 years old the first time my mom left me at my Great Grandmother house right before my birthday. I thought I was a big kid following my big cousin Shannon around the corner. Oh I thought I was doing something. Back in those days you better not leave the block so when mom call you home you needed to here her and be home before the streetlights come on. Yes I’m with the big kids. The next thing I know I see this red car flying down the street pull up on us and said “ yall in big truble get home right now” I was about to get the biggest ass whooping that an 8 year old ever saw. I cried all the way home hugging my big cousin Shannon. We knew that we was in trouble so we held each other so tight that we could fell each other heart beats as we talked about who was going first in getting their ass whooped, we went back and forth, then I hear my name called, “Cheree you come first”, “not me” I said as I walked down the long hallway. “Yes you” said Net. As I got closer to her all the lights came on and everybody yelled “Surprise Happy Birthday Cheree” their it was a big cake with my name on it that said Happy Birthday. I wasn't in trouble after all. Meanwhile my cousin Shannon is still crying thinking we were in big trouble. It wasn't until I brought her some cake that she realized that everything was going to be ok. We are not in trouble after all. By the way it really wasn't my actual birthday. We party had so much fun and then she said good buy I see you later she hugging me kissing me all over. I watch her get into the minivan close the door and from that moment my mom, my life hasn't been the same since. The day of my birthday arrives I am now the big 9. All day I waited for my mom to come back. It's my big day my birthday and nobody cared. The whole day went by without a single happy birthday. Sitting and waiting for my mom. What happend to my mom why did she leave me on my birthday. My parents love to take trips, lets go to Vegas just at a moment's notice type of thing it’s only about a 5 hour drive from Los Angeles. How can they even think to do such of a thing on my birthday. All I wanted was my mom and she was somewhere having fun on my birthday. The next day I was finally able to go home and my mom look so sick all I wanted to do was make he all better. I wanted to do anything to make her better so I can have my mom back. She couldn't do anything for herself not even move in the bed because of the staples in her stomach. I never saw anything that look so painful. Who even thought that a person could have staples in their stomach like it was paper or something. I clean her wounds change the bandage whatever she needed me to do. As a kid you don’t really know what’s going on around you. I saw my mom leave me one way and came back something totally different. Why was my mom sick on my birthday? Every birthday for many many years she left and came back so sick each time a little worse. Is she ever going to get better? I ask? Surprise It’s your Birthday That day came when she could not take it no longer and said, “Cheree you have to drive me to the hospital” I was about 10 years old at the time. I never really drove by myself if you know what I mean. The last time I tried to drive was when I was around 5 years old and put the car in gear and it drove right into our garouge. We had a permanent dent for many years after it never open after that.So I just stuck with driving on my uncle lap only he did everything I only steared. She said “baby you can do this all you have to do is keep straight” “Ok mom” I said. “Take the wheel put your foot on the break put the van shift gear on the letter N and slowly let go of the brake slowly and let the car roll down the driveway.” Don't worry it’s late and hardly no cars out you are going to be ok. I listen to my mom let the van roll slowly put the van in drive and we were off. I was driving and it was fun. Slow and steady keep straight it what I told myself you got this it’s like riding a bike. Can you believe it I was driving at the age of 10 years old and I was good. That night when it was time for my mom to go home and the nurse ask her who was driving because of the medication that they gave her she said my daughter the nurse look at me and said O.K. to my surprise. The nurse wheel her out to the car and home we went. That was the start of my driving career. It’s that time of year the first day of school and of course my birthday. Yes my birthday is the first week of school and it really sucks. There's no Birthday Grams, nobody knows that it’s your birthday because the teacher birthday board is not put together yet. New school, no friends and it’s the one special day ever when a young girl turn 13 how sweet is that. Finally a teenager and again not one happy birthday and on top of all of that my mom was in the hospital again. This was the worst birthday ever. I was sitting at the lunch table crying my eyes out when a teacher came up to me and ask what’s wrong and I told her it’s my birthday and no one said happy birthday I had no cake to go home to and my mom was in the hospital. She have me the biggest hug and told me that everything is going to be ok. “Cheree please report to the office” a voice said over the P.A system. What did I do for someone to be calling my name I just knew I was in trouble. I went to the office and a student grabe me by the arm and ran me all the way down the hall and into a dark classroom with a chocolate cake in the middle of the floor and the class sitting around the cake with one candle in the center that filled the room with a soft glow and I had the biggest smile that a 13 year old could ever had. “Surprise Happy Birthday” the class said. This was the start of a long life journey. I was just a kid all I wanted was to be a kid.