The Eighth Year

The day after my eighth birthday, my mother went on a date. She vowed that it would be her last date before she gave up.

Two days after my eighth birthday, my mother got her first phone call after an online date. That was the last first call.

Three days after my eighth birthday, my mother left work early. That was the last time she left work early for a date.

A week after my eighth birthday, my mother had her first official boyfriend since I was born. That was the last boyfriend she ever had.

Two weeks after my eighth birthday, my mother introduced me to her new boyfriend. That was the last time she showed me her new loves.

A month after my eighth birthday, she had her first fight. That was the last time she called me into her room crying.

Three months after my eighth birthday, my mother kicked my sister out of the house after her boyfriend encouraged her. That was the last time she lived with her oldest daughter.

Six months after my eighth birthday, her boyfriend and I took a trip to Universal. That was the last time she laughed around me.

A year and a day after my eighth birthday, it was their one-year anniversary. It was also their last.

A year and a two months after my eighth birthday, we all went to the Grand Canyon. That was the last time their relationship was okay.

A year and four months after my eighth birthday, we sat down for a dinner in complete silence. That was the last time he hit her.

A year and five months after my eighth birthday, she said she loved him, tears in her eyes. That was her last-ditch effort.

A year and a half after my eighth birthday, my mother was diagnosed with depression. That was the last time her doctors made a mistake.

A year and seven months after my eighth birthday, I moved into my aunt and uncle’s house. That was the last time I lived with my mom.

A year and eight months after my eighth birthday, I went to visit her in the hospital. That was last time I thought of her until…

A year, eleven months, and seven days after my eighth birthday, my mother died of brain cancer. That was the last time my mother breathed. That was the last time she lived.

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