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  • Strong hands picked me up from the floor. A voice I would forever after describe as butter and brown sugar spoke exactly the words that were so desperately needed.
    You go right ahead and cry, Sweetpea.
    A full-out cry is messy; ignoring the hazard to his suit and tie, he pulled out an enormous white handkerchief and mopped me up.
    Now blow.
    The husky laugh I would come to love and remember all my life....
    You'll raise every bridge between here and Nawlins.
    He handed me over to smaller, softer hands; a warm pair of arms circled me; a soft round bosom pillowed me; she smelled of lavender and I slept.

    I woke to the smell of bread, fresh from the oven. This woman who would raise me and love me and teach me everything I knew about normal, smiled across the kitchen table and spread a slab of this wonderful stuff with pale yellow butter.
    She churned her own, mixed it with a bright orange powder to color it. Made it easy to tell it from lard.
    Then she sprinkled a small amount of sugar on the bread, cut it into little triangles and put it down in front of me with a glass of milk.
    A nap, a very long nap in a room that would become mine, in a house that would become my first real home.
    "A place on Earth to put my feet, a space where the air was mine, a quiet knowing that the sun would shine on me tomorrow and tomorrow...."
    And in the back yard a garden.
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