On the second shelf of the left side of the TV case, towards the bottom stands my eighth grade graduation diploma. Whenever I look at the certificate patched with a leather bound cover, I remember the when I first received it.
I was sitting on the stage with my fellow classmates. It was almost done. Just ten more minutes. She was halfway through calling all the names. Five more to go until my name was called. One down, my hands were sweating madly. Two down, I could feel my heart drumming. Three down, I began to feel dizzy. Four down, oh crap!
“Jasmin Husain,” called Ms. Knight, our school counselor. It was time for me to go and take my diploma from Ms. Sydnor. I slowly walked around the empty and barren stairs in front of me until the top of the glossy wooden stairs of the stage. I went down the stairs one by one carefully, holding on to the cold steel railing. I didn’t want to trip on these ridiculous heels and ruin my dress. After I made it down the stairs, I walked two feet over to Ms. Sydnor. She shook my sweaty hand and said, “Congratulations Jasmin, you’ve come a long way and you have a long way to go.” She handed me the navy blue, leather bound diploma. Carrying the thick diploma, I followed my friend out of the Gymnasium door.
This was one of the most important memories in my life. It was the moment in my life when I made the transition from middle school to high school. I felt accomplished, like I had just achieved a goal that I was waiting to reach my entire life. My diploma was a symbol of me growing up and moving on.
As I look back at the TV case, more artifacts start to bring back memories. On the bottom shelf of the TV case lays an old, dusty, black VCR with two missing buttons. I try to recall how many my family had to replace the VCRs that my little sister and I had broken. As I observe the absent buttons, another memory runs across my mind.
My little sister Tajnia was extremely naughty and
mischievous. She would trash everything that she was able to get her hands on.
This was like the hundredth time that she broke the VCR.
“Aah NO! Not again Tajnia! Did you really just break all of those buttons out of these holes again?” Yelled my dad to baby Tajnia’s slobbering, and glowing face.
believe we have to go out and buy another VCR, this one wasn’t even a year
old!” Dad continued to complain as we all filed in to the car.
This was the fourth time that we were going out to Wal-Mart to buy a TV since we had come to Philadelphia. The first time it was me. I absently stuck sugar daddy candies into the new cassette holder. At the time I was just a baby but currently I was a big girl. I was seven years old and I knew how the world worked. I had matured over the past two years. I knew all the specific things that made dad upset. So, I had, long ago, stopped committing those crimes. Tajnia, on the other hand still hadn’t learned the lesson.
This was another one of my very important memories. This memory this memory represents family. There are many different definitions of “family.” Family, to me, means a group of people who you can look up to. Family members are people who understand you, accept your mistakes, and help you to become the best person that you can be. In this memory Tajnia looked up to me, hoping that she would, one day, learn not to make the mistakes that made dad upset. She hoped that she would also mature and learn from her mistakes like I did when I was her age.
I start to laugh at myself thinking of all these ancient memories. My living room has many if the same layout as any other living room, but it holds memories that are very specific and special to my family and me. Every small detail in the room stands out. From the vase of artificial flowers to the knitted tissue box cover, from the stains on the walls to the spills on the carpet carries something out of the ordinary.