Twenty years ago, my mom passed away after battling breast cancer. I was eight years old.
Losing a parent that young is the epitome of bittersweet. On one hand, my age and innocence left me protected. I was always just on the edge of information. I was carefully kept in the loop on a need to know basis — even then the information was watered down into easily digestible bites: Mom was sick. She would go to the doctor. She would get help. She would be alright. She was supposed to be alright.
But even when she wasn’t, my eight…
As a young girl, you’re inundated with warnings about how easily you can become pregnant. Through high school and college, you’re faced with constant reminders: Be careful. Make good choices. One mistake can ruin your life. Don’t be silly, wrap that willy. You’ve memorized the ridiculous rhymes, heard all the horror stories and heeded all the advice. You grow up thinking that if a guy so much as looks at you the wrong way, then boom, you’re pregnant.
There are no cultural norms about navigating the emotional trenches of a silent war with your own body.
Virtually no one talks…
Kristi is an English teacher, graduate student, avid reader, budding writer, and eternal optimist.