Unfortunately, the kind of dedication and sacrifice that drove my mother ever forward against unreasonable odds is simply a drain that is too great for many people. After years of of working full time, completing the awesome requirements of earning a bachelor’s degree, and managing the unreasonable responsibilities of being a single mother, my mother began to turn to crack cocaine for relief. My baby brother was born around the same time and as drug addiction claimed more and more of my mother’s time and ambition I became Edward’s single parent. My mother would scold me harshly on how to care for an infant even though I was only eight or nine years old myself, and then she would leave me and my brother for days at a time with no warning and no promise that she would ever return. From the very beginning I learned to love my brother as if he were my own child. I remember sitting with him cradled in the crook of arm just as I had been cradled in the crook of that professor’s arm, for hours until he finally fell asleep and I can lay him gently into his crib. I remember sitting with him in abandoned trailers with no running water or lights for years as drugs claimed more of my mother. I remember when we were separated and Edward was taken away from me in a seedy motel room because my mother had left us there so she could retrieve drugs. A desk clerk at the hotel called the city’s Child Care Services and my brother went into foster care in different cities. I remained in the city where I had lived but my brother was sent far away to a place that I had never heard of before. Finding my brother and seeing with my own two eyes that he is alive and well has been one of the main motivators of my life.  

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