When I went to high school, I and a few others needed assistance eating our lunch. Due to the circumstances, they felt it would be best to have a couple of people to assist us in eating in the classroom for a while; to make us feel more comfortable. Everything seemed all right until Jason Wheeler wanted to join the other students in the cafeteria. Of course, we all followed Jason individually since we all wanted to eat lunch in the cafeteria. The students assisting us didn’t want to continue doing the job, which I’m not sure why, I can speculate, but I could not say for sure. Lisa was a girl who came to South High after school began and as far as I knew she seemed to be quiet and shy. Maxine was like a school mother to all of us, if any of us needed any help, she would be there when we needed her. So, when the opportunity came for me to have someone assist me in eating that is how I met one of my best friends. It took a while for Lisa to feel comfortable enough to feel like she could speak freely to me, it was because of her background and what she had told me as to why she was put in a how when they found one, she had MD. I don’t think her parents could not or would not deal with Lisa’s situation. I felt she had a hard childhood. I liked to talk and get to know someone while they were helping me, so I would try to get to know her better. As time went by, Lisa started to be open with me, and that’s when we started to hang out after lunch. I knew that Lisa moved back home from a group home because her parents learned that she had MD which is an awful disability that slowly takes over the body. I didn’t know she had a disability referred to as MD at first. I did notice that she had a little trouble with her balance while she walked, but I wasn’t sure why. After some time, I went to spend the weekend at her house, at that time they were living in Taft which is a little way out of town. Shortly after that Lisa and her mom moved to town. I’m not sure how long after, but her mom got married and moved to Hawaii. Instead of taking Lisa with her, because of school and other things that were going on in each of their lives. That was why her mom set her up in an apartment. By this time, Lisa was using a wheelchair to get around, especially in the bathroom with a big shower. The apartment was nice, it was designed for wheelchair use so everything was with that in mind. When I visited, I loved to use her shower because it was big and had bars that I could hold on to. I know Lisa thought I wanted to be clean or just crazy. When Maxine came to pick us up to drive us to school, Lisa commented to Maxine, I must have liked to be clean because I took a shower every chance I got. Of course, it was high school, so we all know there is always going to be some drama, especially with girlfriends. When I went to South High, a school was deemed for the students who were physically and learning disabilities due to the flat grounds so that it would be easy to get around. Of course, we all took the same P.E. class, and every month we would watch a movie in the classroom. Those who had a class after that and were doing well in the classes that they were supposed to attend could stay and watch the rest of the movie. Lisa and I were sitting together teasing and joking around. She knew I kind of had a crush on a boy who was a student aid in the next-period class. Lisa said she likes you and he heard. I was so embarrassed that I put my head down so I wouldn’t have to see the look on his face. I was so upset at Lisa that I could not even talk to her. Days went by, he would not even look at me. I thought if I asked another friend to tell him it was a joke that I didn’t like him that way, he would go back and treat me like he did before. No, he didn’t, whenever he would hold the door for us, he would look for a way to avoid looking at me. I happened to be going into my locker and I found an envelope that had an invitation to Lisa’s graduation, that’s when I knew I was being ridiculous and needed my friend back. I didn’t go to her graduation since it was that evening. But we became great friends again.  There have been lots of times that Lisa has been there for me, so when I was able to be there for her, I was more than glad too. It’s kind of crazy. Sometimes she would lose her balance which would cause her to fall, and I would need to get the hoist to help her back into her wheelchair. Another time was when she fell out of her bed. She would call me into her room. I would find that she would be half off her bed stuck and she would look at me as she rolled her eyes to say well I did it again. I would crawl over to her to push her back in bed. Of course, we both were laughing so hard that it took us longer to get her back in bed. It was little things that made a friendship like our work. Sometimes it would be hard to read how Lisa was feeling. Sometimes when Mom dropped me off, I would tell Mom she could be in a bad mood. So, when we got to the apartment, I would say to Mom, just don’t say too much. Of course, Mom went in and acted like Mom was at a party. I would watch Lisa’s face to see how she would react. Once I noticed that she had a big grin on her face, I knew she was great. And could she not, Mom has a way able her that people can’t help but smile and laugh. Lisa and I always went somewhere either with other friends or with each other. We had some crazy moments; some were crazier than others. I believe it was my twenty-second birthday. Tanice, my sister threw me a party at a bowling alley that had a bar. She invited a lot of people. Of course, everyone was taking turns buying me drinks, one after another, so I wasn’t feeling any pain, because we were drunk off our asses. Lisa and I both were pounding on a table and saying, “No one is paying attention to me”, I’m sure it was a sight to see. Here are two disabled women sitting at a table drunk and surrounded by people yelling and carrying on like two crazy people that don’t know what they are doing. We often went to bars on Saturday nights to have a good time and to be with other people. Well, there was a time that I happened to not eat and only had a few cokes before we all went out that night. That night, I had a few drinks which were called Blue Hawaii. Come to realize it wasn’t a good idea. I got sick all over the bar's table. My other friend Marilyn helped me outside. While we were waiting for some people, she knew to give me a ride back to Lisa’s apartment, Marilyn was trying to hold my head up with my hair. As someone was assisting me in a car, I recall a voice telling me not to get sick in their car, they gave me a small bucket so if I should get sick, please use that and not the floor of the car. They took me to Lisa’s apartment. That's when Lisa took over taking care of me. That is when she told and guided me by telling me to take a bath. Thank goodness she had a bath chair that lifted me up and down into the tub. When I was done, it lifted me back and down to get to the floor. By that time, I was sober enough to dress and get myself to bed.

     There were some other strange moments, such as we were going back to Lisa's place, one of the ways there is an adult bookstore. Lisa wanted to go in and look around. Of course, being the scary cat that I was to go into those kinds of places, I think I would have been better off going in because when I stayed outside under the lights to wait for Lisa to come out, cars were passing by, which one of the cars had a few guys in one truck calling me names such pervert. It felt so odd because I didn’t even go in. There was a similar time that happened. Except there were a few other people with us. We all went downtown to a bar, and on the way back, Lisa noticed that her wheelchair was running out of power. Guess where we happened to be? Right by a strip club. Of course, I didn’t want to go in, so I stayed outside. I heard this guy saying hello to me, I recognized the voice, it was a man I knew from the camp. I was a little surprised and embarrassed, I explained why I was there. Then he said I should go look in the bookstore, I thought he just wanted to get me out of the eliminated outside, so I started to go in, and my eyes must have been as big as the wheels on my chair. As I started to turn my wheelchair in the bookstore halfway in the doorway, I backed my wheelchair up and then went right back outside to wait for Lisa and the others. I’m not sure who took Lisa home, but we made it home. Lisa was always looking out for me; it seemed as though she knew what I was feeling. I happened to meet a guy that came out here from Texas. Boy, I feel that I was in love. We talked about marriage and things and kids, of course, I wasn’t aware of what he was doing for extra income. What I was told was that he would go around to different mailboxes and somehow get people’s checking. That’s probably how he bought my Christmas present, who knows. Anyway, I think it was the day before New Year’s Eve and I was over Lisa’s planning what we were going to do. I believe that it was the night that Lisa got a phone call from Tim which is the name of the I was dating, his roommate called Lisa saying that Tim was gone. Lisa and I both replied, “Where “. All I heard was he went back home to Texas. Of course, we both were in shock. So, I asked if he and Harvy could come over to explain what was happening. When they arrived, to be honest, I don’t remember what was even said. Harvy took me for a car ride to help clear my mind, but I don’t remember even talking or asking why, he just let me look out the window. After a while, he asked if I was ready to go back and I nodded my head yes, and he took me back.  The next day Lisa asked me if I wanted to go next door because we knew the guy was having a party. She thought it had taken my mind off Tim and what had happened in the last twenty-four hours, she made sure if I wanted to go, just give her a look and we would be out and be back in a flash. We did go and I was trying to enjoy the party, I believe we ended up staying for an hour or more. I was looking around, and people were having a great time. I just couldn’t. Lisa looked at me and knew it was time to go. We told ourselves home and before we each went to bed, we looked at each other and said, “Happy New Year”. No matter what goes on within your life, the world does go on. Time went by and had stayed in my little bubble getting over Tim, which wasn’t worth my time. I finally went back over to Lisa’s again. I did notice that things with Lisa were getting worse, she told me that it helped her when I came over because she felt safe to get out of her chair to sit on the sofa. I encouraged her to do so because I thought it would be good for her. I felt it was important to feel independent for as long as she possibly could. Time went by we both met boyfriends. From time to time, her boyfriend would bring Lisa over to my house, Lisa moved to her boyfriend’s house for one reason or another. I think some of them were for the support. One morning, we woke up to snow on the ground of Bakersfield California, which rarely happens here. Meghan wasn’t that old; my mom had dressed her to play in the snow. I was sitting in the doorway of our house watching Meghan play. I don’t remember seeing Lisa playing in looking like she was having fun. I think that was the last time I saw her. I heard that she had an enlarged heart. I’m not sure how long she had it, I feel it was there longer than they realized. She passed away shortly after. It was difficult to lose her, it was losing a part of the family. I will always remember what we shared all the great times, not some great times.