MEMOIR TOLD BY THE AUTHOR :
I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14, 1959. I was the ninth of 11 children, the youngest of six girls. My father didn’t spend much time with me as a child and left home when I was around 8 years old. I grew up with my mother, who was a nurse. She retired from the University of Alabama in Birmingham after 30 years of nursing. We struggled as a very poor family in North Birmingham, Alabama. One of my brothers was killed in the Vietnam War and my mother received a death benefit. She used that money to move us to a better neighborhood. Between 11 children, there were four different fathers. Six of us children had the same father. There was another set of three children born to the same father. There were two other children born of two different fathers. You can imagine the difficulies we faced in our household. You will enjoy reading about all of that. I attended Lewis Elementary School, Norwood Elementary School, and Phillips High School. I married young and gave birth to my first daughter. I missed my senior year of high school because I was pregnant, and settled for my GED. After all of that, I enlisted in the United States Air Force. While on active duty, I completed my Associates Degree and was offered a scholarship to complete my Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. The Air Force was also where I began to date my soon-to-be husband, Stuart. After I graduated, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and re-entered the Air Force. My first assignment was to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. It was there that I married and gave birth to my second daughter. Later that year, I was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis. Later, the sarcoidosis affected my brain and I was diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis.
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