I’m struggling a bit to stay on top of my post writing. My flow chart for writing goes a little something like this: Think of an idea, forget to write it down. Spend the next 2 days trying to remember what it was that I wanted to write about. Remember it at 3 AM when I can’t sleep. Plan to write a post the next day, get sidetracked and forget. Repeat.

So when I came across an 8 minute memoir project while reading one of my favorite blogs, I thought, “hey! I can do that!”. Bonus points for not actually having to come up with my own prompts.

I remember when I left for college, which seems like both a lifetime ago and just yesterday.

As the oldest of 4 children, I couldn’t WAIT to leave. I was looking forward to having my first taste of freedom. Being able to come and go as I pleased without having to abide by a curfew or someone else’s need to use the minivan.

No longer would I search through my closet looking for a particular item of clothing only to find out that it was stolen by Holly. No longer would Christa play in my makeup, smashing lipstick and crumbling eyeshadow that my hard-earned minimum wage income had purchased. No longer would I be stuck looking after Ben, who was 13 years younger than me and who often felt like he could be my own child.

The day finally arrived, and the whole family drove to Latrobe to see me off. Mom and Dad lingered for too long, which seemed obnoxious at the time but now the feeling catches in my throat and makes my eyes well up.

I remember saying what felt like 5th goodbye of the day, hoping everyone would just leave already so that I could begin life as a college student.

I remember 4 year old Ben saying “We will miss you Mawybeff” and handing me his most prized possession: Thomas the Tank Engine. It was the child’s equivalent of giving away a vintage Rolex. Where Ben went, Thomas went. Only this time, Ben left and I felt like I had been hit by an actual train.

I remember being absolutely floored by this act of kindness. For most of his 4 short years of life, I had treated him as a burden. Someone who needed to be looked after when I really wanted to be doing something else. He obviously thought the world of me, to so selflessly hand me this small treasure.

I cried myself to sleep that night with a toy train under my pillow.