I was born in Florida on April 18th 1976. Jacksonville, Florida to be exact but Pinetta is the place I hold close to my heart. PInetta is this little small town right on the edge of Florida and Georgia, near Valdosta. Pinetta is a beautiful little country town with its dirt roads , pecan trees, and swamp land. This is where one of my favorite people in the world lived, my uncle Howard. Uncle Howard was alot of peoples favorite person. Mostly because he was just simply great. He was kind, caring and funny. He truly loved all those close to him as well. Howard came to our family when he married my favorite aunt Shirley. Let me tell you, she makes the best coconut cake in the world. She is the younger sister of my dad. And Howard loved her immensely.

We spent alot of time in Florida visiting Howard and Shirley and they were the best times of my life. My uncle Howard loved me so much. Ever since I was baby, he had a soft spot for me. And as I grew older, he knew I just needed a little more attention than others. He was the first person in my life who understood me. He accepted me as I was and that meant more than anything to me. He was more of a father to me than my own. And that makes me sad. Howard and I would take walks down the dirt roads and he would tell me stories and I could tell him anything that I was feeling and he would listen and help me. We would pick pecans together and shuck corn and sometimes pick blackberries. He let me drive his Ford truck (even though I'm a Chevy girl) and let me shoot cans with his shotgun. And I was a pretty good shot. He would chase the giant flying cockroaches that live in Florida when they would chase me. He would finish my meals when my mom made my plates too big for me. He would sneak back to the kitchen and take half of my food and eat it so I could get away from the table. My mom always knew. When I was a baby he spoiled me rotten, always picking me up out of the crib even when my mom protested. He would walk by and I would put my arms up for him to pick me up.

Howard loved to grow things and had potted plants all over the yard. I bet there are still potted plants growing wild in that yard. Howard passed away many years ago. After he passed, Shirley moved into her mom's house and the house that I love so is all grown up and probably fallen in. I miss that house and those memories. Howard is buried in the little cemetery down the dirt road from that house. We would walk to that little cemetery often on our walks so many years ago. I have decided to embrace Howard's green thumb in the place I live at currently with my boyfriend. I have created my own potted plant garden that I know that Howard would love. I look at it everyday from my little office in this house. I imagine Howard saying "that's my girl" with a big smile on his face.

People with BPD tend to make people their "favorite person" until they're not anymore and then they pretty much write them out of their lives. This is something that I struggle with. I never realized that I do this and it's not something I take lightly. But with Howard, I know it is different. I love him still and he will always be one of my favorite people. Always. And because he knew the real me, accepted me and loved me anyway. And I will always hold him dear to my heart. The picture below is of our beloved Howard, me and my mother.

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