H Stewart

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Kansas City

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My life

I was born in December. The year was 1982. It snowed the day I was born. My mother had complications in her last two pregnancies. She was told she could have no more children. I was born small. I fit in my father's hand. The next two years of my life were plagued by illness. On June the 6th, 1985 I was involved in an accident. I burned most of my body. My sister Courtney pulled me from the grease saving my life. I should not have lived. I spent the few next years in and out of hospitals for a variety of physical reasons. By the time I was 12 I had healed as much as I ever would. It seemed then that I would be fine.

I had showed an interest in writing from the time that I could. My mother having the similarity in her past came to read her stories at my school. I won my first literary award in the 4th grade. It was a story about a family on the Oregon trail. A few years past as well in health, and in writing.

It was in 1997 that my mind first began to slip away. I remember the morning that I awoke, the world seamed differently. I remember waking up alone. This seam has not subsided. My family was unable to handle my condition. They did the best they could. I went in and out of institutions for the next few years. I never came back to my family's home. After I found myself insane, I left them in order to explore the world.

I traveled the United States through means of thumb. Touring cities through friends, and diner jobs. I never stayed anywhere long. This time came and went for me. I saw things that most would not believe. I saw love in unlikely places.

I found my way into drugs briefly. I spent the millennium in a rehabilitation facility in Northern Kansas. After I left, drugs never again appeared as an issue in my life. I had admitted myself. Some say I am an alcoholic. I drink almost every day. I prefer not becoming drunk.

I met a man shortly after completing rehabilitation. We fell in love. I was married at 19. He was a wonderful man. I love him to this day, though my hope is that he will stay far away. Our relationship was often rocky we were both young and full of mistakes. We made them together. We made them apart. During a period of separation in our engagement he made a few mistakes. These mistakes effected the rest of our lives. Before we were married, he was taken into the custody of the A.T.F.. The A.T.F. aided my departure from him. After time passed we came back to one another. We were married in 2002, November the 30th, in St Charles, Missouri. In March of 2004 he was imprisoned. It was not only his imprisonment which ended our relationship, it was also his infidelity.

At this time my heart was broken, as well as my body and my mind. The hallucinations I had experienced in the past were humbled. A shunt in my hepatic vein caused immense discomfort. I lost 45 pounds in less than 60 days. The doctors told me I was going to die on October the 29th, 2004. The last time I ever saw my first husband was the 21st of that same month. I did not die.

I came to live in South Hyde Park in January of the following year. I live there today. I spent the years following writing. This is something I had stopped doing in 2000. I wrote a collection of poetry called "Porched Hopes" within it is the wisdom which comes from life taken away. In 2006 I taught myself how to etch upon mirrors. I did this during a time that my sanity was waning. I remember the first time I saw myself standing behind my own words.

Today, I have a partner who is coupled with me in insanity. I have friends who long ago lost there minds. We struggle within our art forms. They vary from film to minimal sound. We are easy upon each other. There is only one rule: You are not allowed to die. We do pretty well for ourselves these days. The world has been kind to us, and to our art. I have come to believe many things in my life. The one I mention today is a belief that cannot leave me. That belief is that humanity is the greatest art form. I am alive today.

H. Stewart

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