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…

Kristi Pipok

Kristi is an English teacher, graduate student, avid reader, budding writer, and eternal optimist.

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