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  • This past weekend I helped celebrate my cousin Desiree's 40th birthday. The milestone was pretty significant because she strongly believed that she would never live to see day 14,600.
    In this photo my cousin is 4 years old with bologna curls and innocence. She is serene, but I never knew her this way.
    Like both of her parents, Desiree suffers from a manic depressive disorder; she also has addictions to drugs and alcohol. Occasionally, she will have great outbursts of violent rage; the reason she thought that she would never see forty is because she always believed that (through accident or intent) she would have ended her life years before.
    Some people don't know how to talk or act around her, but to me she will always be my big cousin DD-this amazing and intense person who I hope has at least forty more birthdays.
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