Memoir Gallery Winners Announced

Students present their memoir in the library.

Courtesy of Ms. Michelle Marchese
Students present their memoir in the library.

Each year, students in English II Honors write memoirs about significant incidents from their lives. They present passages from their writing to peers and other audience members during a live writers’ gallery in the library. Audience members vote on pieces that communicate with high levels of power and grace. Here are this year’s winners.

“You were so fragile, like bones sprawled out on the sheets”

I walked around, examining every detail of this hollow and mournful detail of the hospital. I never thought I would ever enter one until today. It smelled of medicine and something I just couldn’t describe. I walked with mom and Olivia, searching for the numbers the receptionist told us. When we finally reached the room, we were stopped immediately. I was scared for what we did or what we weren’t supposed to do. ¨You need to put these on¨ said the eerie nurse . I was then handed a paper thin and puke colored fabric. I examined the fabric, curious to what it was, the more I fumbled with it, the more I question the item. ¨You need to have your hair pulled back, sanitize your hands, and wear a mask if you want to enter this room.¨ I was appalled, why do I have to wear these strange things to see him? I started to put on the garments and began to cry while my mind starts to race to all of the seldom things that is about to happen. Once I was covered head to toe and my tears left dried stain down my chubby cheeks, I entered the room. There you laid, I wanted to ball my eyes out. Never in a million years would I think I would see you like this. You were so fragile, like bones sprawled out on the sheets, opposed to your large and joyful form. Your movements so fragile and delicate, unable to pick up a plastic cup to your lips. Those exact hands used to pick my younger self and push me on the neighborhood swing. Your face wrinkled and filled with sleepiness, as if you have been at a long hard day at work. Yet there was one thing missing from that face that I´ve grown accustomed to, your smile. He had the kind of smile that lit up the whole building and changed people’s days, but that smile, that smile wasn’t there anymore, a frown replaced that smile. How badly I wanted that smile back. I slowly walked to your bed, my scrubs making a swoosh noise as I walk, my face still have hot tears running down my cheeks. As I approach your bed, I force a smile as tears stream down my face, and you look back and use all your strength to give me a small smile back. My glove-clad hand slowly moved to your to grab your delicate hand. I hold your hand as if it would break any second. ¨Hello Sofie¨ your hoarse voice squeaks out. This caused me to cry more, I launch myself into your arms for a hug, hurting you as squeeze you tight. ¨Please tell me you’re ok¨ my 12 year-old self says. ¨Of course I’m ok baby, I may not look good right now but I promise I’m getting better.¨ you whisper in my ear. My mind was racing, I didn’t know if I should believe him or not but I decided to listen to him. My mom was in the corner, holding back her tears, trying to stay strong for me and my sister. My sister, Olivia, was silent, no emotion shown on her face. We all comforted him and made him feel like we knew he wasn’t ok. I never saw my life without my dad, he was my idol, but that same dreaded day, my dad left us and I have never been the same. I lost my best friend, my idol, my painting buddy, but most of all, I lost my father. Today, my life is not the same as it used too. My mom does not threaten me with her sending him to his home, or the weekend visits. The memories are still there but I miss making those memories, I wish I could make more.

“your comforting joyful voice”

You were focused on your game and trying to complete the mission in it, when I walked into your room. Your head snapped towards me as you look at me with your light brown eyes and make an angry look at me. Then you said in a stern voice

“ Get out”. I said “ I just wanna watch”. “ No get out”. “I JUST WANNA WATCH” “ YOU CAN’T WATCH LYDIA GET OUT” you said. As you threw a pillow at my head I ran out of your room. You never let me play your games when I was little, and now I can’t even watch you play. My head fills with steam like a train puffing out smoke because of anger. You have drifted farther and farther away from me over the years. And I’ve tried so hard to try to get closer to you for a long time but you refusing my company has made me give up and stop trying. It’s hard to live with a big brother you can’t talk to.

Then before I knew it, I was about to say goodbye to you,my big brother, who was going into the Army. At MEPS the processing station;  mom,  dad, Daniel, and I were being introduced into the lifestyle of the Army family. Next we were lead outside were a big bus was waiting to take you away.   One by one;  people’s brothers, daughters, sons and friends walked out of the building with their bags of very little belongings. Then someone gave them the command to say goodbye. You came up to mom first, with her eyes filled with tears and sniffling nose she put her arms around your neck and hugged you tightly (hoping her snug hug would last a while). Then you went up to me and I put my arms around you and my eyes got misty. I didn’t know why since you were always mean and ignored me. But for that moment I felt you really truly cared for me. Then you said “ I’m gonna miss you kiddo”. then I felt the warm stream of tears run down my red cheeks like a slowly running stream. After you said the rest of your goodbyes and hugged  Daniel and dad. When the bus left I didn’t really feel sad anymore and a wave of peace came over me. We went home and started through life with our new “normal”. Now we only put 4 plates down for dinner instead of five and I sense your absence in the house like a big black hole.

Once and awhile we would send packages to you while you was in oklahoma training and you became my new pen pal.This is when I felt my relationship with you start to spark. December came and we have been planning a vacation to go to Disney World with you. The day you came home to get ready for disney I sprinted as fast as I could home and hugged you so tight when I saw you.I’ve never been so happy to see you in my life. While we were in disney I wanted to make our time together worth it. We went on a bunch of rides together but the one I remember the most was when we went on splash mountain. You recorded us with your phone screaming our lungs out on the big drop and getting soaked in water. You’re short black hair was completely dry but my thin brown hair was soaked to the roots. In that video our faces were priceless, and I want to always remember times like that with you. And I am never going to waste another moment with you. Because you’re my brother, and I love you. Now you are in Korea doing your job of protecting our country.

I know now that I need to  always cherish the time I have with people because I might not see them for a while and start to really miss them.Now when you have the chance to call us I can’t wait for mom to hand me the phone and hear you say “ what’s up kiddo”. My heart fills will glee when I hear you say that in your comforting joyful voice.

“My nimble mind was drained”

It was third and long from our twenty yard line. The ball was snapped and I made my quick move. I attempted to block the linebacker when my world came crashing down.  Boom! Crackle! Pop! I went tumbling down on the patch of dirt like a ball rolling down a hill. The field was filled with patches of dirt like this one. As soon as I had fallen and grabbed my ankle, my mind flashed with negative thoughts like, “Is this a serious injury? Another thought that plagued my mind was “Could this be a career ending injury?” The negativity was a main factor to why I overreacted. Then there was an excruciating pain in my ankle. I let out an ear screeching cry like a werewolf on a night on a full moon. The trainer lugged his first aid kit all the way to my position of the field. The trainer came rushing in and I told him it was my ankle.   The trainer yanked my navy blue and white high top cleats off my feet.  The smell of my sweat permeated my cleats. I was forced to hobble off the bare field. I was all the way next to the other team’s side. I was nearly 45 yards away from the bench. I could not think of how long the trip would be. As soon as I stood up the pressure became unbearable. The field seemed to have gotten longer. Instead of it being 47 yards away it now seemed like a mile. The farther I limped the more the grass looked nimble and thin. The walk from the field felt like an eternity. The walk felt so long I felt as if I had grown a beard. I had finally reached the end of the field and made my way to the bench. I couldn’t bare sitting on the bench. I was frustrated, but I was frustrated towards the wrong people. I was yelling at everyone that came in my path. I began to yell at my teammates. I took my frustration out on them, but it wasn’t there fault.  I exclaimed “ Leave me alone!” to all my teammates and they all did.I needed time to think, but the negativity rushed to my mind.  My mind wasn’t thinking straight, but nobody understood that. My expression showed anger, but I wasn’t angry I was filled with frustration.  

I thought to myself “ Why must my life be so bad?” That question pondered my mind. As soon as I touched the bench I went off like a bomb. My face flushed with warmth and it was as red as a tomato. I was so frustrated that it made me angry. I couldn’t control my anger. People were trying to calm me down, but I was erupting like a volcano. The people around me said “ Calm down and breathe everything is gonna be okay.” All I really wanted to do was go back into the game and secure the win.  I pleaded to go back into the game, but my coach told me to sit back down and relax. I was mentally defeated. My nimble mind was drained from all the frustration I just endured.I didn’t want to show my defeat, so I continued to keep my tantrum going.  My state of mind seemed to not have known how to act. I have never acted so immature before. Throwing tantrums were for toddlers, but there I was throwing one at the age of 12.  At halftime my coach pulled me aside and calmed me down. He explained to me in a calm matter that “ I didn’t want you to outwork yourself and get hurt again.” As soon as the words soaked in my mind I had felt so ashamed. I felt like I had let my team down for the way I had acted. I thought to myself “ I shouldn’t have let the situation get to me” All I had wanted to do was go back into the game and win it, but instead I had acted so immaturely that it only prevented me from entering the game again. I only had thought about me.  I never put myself in my teammates place. Taking me out of the game was the best for the team. I was hurt and I wasn’t helping the team by not being able to function right. This all could have been prevented if I would’ve been a reasonable child. If I had realized that my life wasn’t over I think that I wouldn’t have acted that way. That little moment shaped my mind into the mind that I am now.   This experience taught me to be careful with how you react to a situation. If the situation is a small situation there is no point in stressing over it because life continues moving forward.

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