THE CHALLENGE: I REMEMBER
You’ll need an egg timer or at some sort of stopwatch for this challenge. Set a countdown timer for 10 minutes, choose one of the writing prompts below, and just start writing. Whatever you do, don’t stop for ten minutes. Keep your fingers typing. Write what you remember. It need not be accurate — it’s your memory. Do not judge. You got this.
- Your earliest memory. Capture every detail. Document the quality of the memory — is it as sharp as HDTV or hazy and ethereal, enveloped in fog? Write for 10 minutes. Go.
- Your happiest memory. Tell us the story of the happiest memory of your life. What happened? Get it all down, no detail left behind. The clock is ticking — get writing.
- Your worst memory. Record the pain, the anger, the shame, the terror, the hurt. You’ve got ten minutes to relive it. Keep your fingers typing.
- Freestyle memory. Write I remember at the top of your post, hit start on the timer, and write about the first memory that comes to mind. Ten minutes. Don’t stop.
I remember being in a big house that set up on a hill. I was pretty young as I remember my younger brother being almost a baby yet. He could walk, but he was still in diapers. So I must have been around three. I remember seeing my dad only on weekends.
We lived in the country and dad worked in the city.
I remember climbing a flight of stairs to go to bed. My brother and I shared a pallet on the floor. My older sister and brother had rooms down the hall I believe. I don’t really remember that part.
I used to overhear words like, “poor”, “can’t afford it”, and “no money” a lot. I didn’t know back then that it meant my family was poor. Little kids don’t know between ‘poor’ and ‘rich’, we just enjoy our games and fight with our siblings. Our worlds are fairly small.
I remember one winter when two things happened that rocked my little world. Little did I know back then it would be the end of a childhood that could have been wonderful.
First, I remember we had a big orange tabby cat. I found that cat outside on the porch on some crates. I was supposed to get something off the porch for mom. The cat looked like it was sleeping so I went to pet it. It didn’t move, it was frozen. I cried to my mom that something was wrong with the kitty. That was my first brush with death. I remember crying over that cat for days. Even then I was an animal lover.
The second thing was an accident involving us kids. We were sledding down the hill that our house stood on. Me and my brother were in the middle, my older brother on the back and my older sister was in the front. Now we were all pretty young. My older brother must have only been about seven, my sister five years old.
We went flying down that hill! It was so exciting! Then I remember abruptly stopping and some screams. There were lots of bright red blood on white pristine snow.
We had hit a barbed wire fence that had been slightly buried in the snow. My sister was hurt the worst as she was in front. My mom and dad ran down the hill after us kids. We were herded back to the house so my mom could see how badly my sister was hurt.
The barbed wire had cut her face and hands pretty bad. Good thing she had a big woolen scarf wrapped around her neck, I heard someone say. She never would leave her mittens on. My mom cleaned her up and put lots of iodine and bandages on her.
We didn’t go to doctors back then. We couldn’t afford it. My sister made it ok, she just wouldn’t slide down hills anymore.
The next memory I have is moving to the city. My dad had found a home for us to live in. It was also the time my childhood stopped. It was the time that my abuse started. Yeah, at 3 or 4 years old. So I won’t go down that road of memories. Some other time, maybe.