Prompt and requirements and example attached down below
The Morning I Lost Her
It has been said time and time again that one must live their life to the fullest because you never know which day will be your last. It was the morning of September 6, 2014 that this became clear. The number sequence “09/06/14” will forever be embedded in my head to remind me of how fast things can change.
As my eyes flicker open to the warm, bright sun, I stretch my arms and legs as I reach to hit my 9am alarm. After turning off the radio station, I reach to grab my phone when I realize it is missing off my nightstand. I thought for a second and tried to remember if I even plugged it in. Angered, I stormed over to my brother’s room to ask him for it back. As I turn left out my door, I see him walking towards me as he asks me, “Hey did you take my phone?” Confused, we both decided to go ask my dad if he took them. It was at this moment we both had a horrible gut feeling, almost as if someone just dropped a bowling ball right onto our stomachs. The feeling of my stomach twist and turn as my heart raced is a feeling I will never forget.
Looking back four years prior, I could not take my mind off how my Mom had been in and out of the hospital. It was in 2010 when the doctors had diagnosed my mother with a disease called hemochromatosis. This particular disease leaves the body with an inability to break down any iron causing buildups in both joints and the liver. This disease can be particularly dangerous to certain people and cause extreme pain at all times of the day. For four years I watched my mom fight this disease, constantly being admitted into the hospital for tests and blood work. Nobody deserves to suffer this much and all I ever wanted to do was take the pain off her shoulders for just a moment. Her body entered a downhill tumble, slowly getting worse and worse over time, until she was admitted into the hospital one last time as she slipped into a coma. She was near her end.
As I walk down the stairs, I cannot take my mind off her and if she is ok. I had a feeling that something from my life was missing. As I take a right to go down the stairs, I can’t hear anyone, making me question if someone is even home. As I turn the corner and look down the stairs, I see my dad standing at the bottom. I focus in on my father’s face to notice a look of complete despair. The look on his face was so empty and lost, yet, appeared he was holding everything back with all his will. As me and my brother get to the bottom of the stairs everything became clear, from the missing phones to the look on my dad’s face, we both knew exactly what happened. My dad let out a subtle “I’m sorry boys,” and grabbed the both of us as tightly as he could.
It was at this point in my life that everything was altered, however, it was not for the worst. Instead of letting this eat me up and spiraling into a dark path, I used it as an excuse to excel and become stronger. I went back to school a day after and worked harder than I was before in order to be the person she would’ve wanted me to be. She didn’t want me to mourn, but rather, use it as motivation to become a better person. This is where the saying, “Live everyday like it’s your last,” became so evident. From this I learned to grasp every moment and appreciate as much as I could. Life is too short to dwell on the past, so instead, I learned to brush off the little things and take in all the positives. Life can be stripped out of your hands in a matter of seconds, so why would I waste my time stressing about drama with friends or holding grudges. Settle what needs to be settled and move on. Do not look at the past as if it is the present. What happened has already happened, so, right your wrongs and get moving onto working towards your end goal: Living the life you want to live.
CLRC Writing Center Structure of a Personal Narrative Essay
“Narrative” is a term more commonly known as “story.” Narratives written for college or personal narratives, tell a story, usually to some point, to illustrate some truth or insight. Following are some
tools to help you structure your personal narrative, breaking it down into parts.
The “Hook” Start your paper with a statement about your story that catches the reader’s attention, for example: a relevant quotation, question, fact, or definition. Set the Scene Provide the information the reader will need to understand the story: Who are the major characters? When and where is it taking place? Is it a story about something that happened to you, the writer, or is it fiction? Thesis Statement The thesis of a narrative essay plays a slightly different role than that of an argument or expository essay. A narrative thesis can begin the events of the story: “It was sunny and warm out when I started down the path”; offer a moral or lesson learned: “I’ll never hike alone again”; or identify a theme that connects the story to a universal experience: “Journeys bring both joy and hardship.”
“Show, Don’t Tell” Good story telling includes details and descriptions that help the reader understand what the writer experienced. Think about using all five senses—not just the sense of sight—to add details about what you heard, saw, and felt during the event. For example, “My heart jumped as the dark shape of the brown grizzly lurched toward me out of the woods” provides more information about what the writer saw and felt than, “I saw a bear when I was hiking”. Supporting Evidence In a personal narrative, your experience acts as the evidence that proves your thesis. The events of the story should demonstrate the lesson learned, or the significance of the event to you. Passage of Time Writing about the events of your experience using time chronologically, from beginning to end, is the most common and clear way to tell a story. Whether you choose to write chronologically or not, use transition words to clearly indicate to the reader what happened first, next, and last. Some time transition words are next, finally, during, after, when, and later. Transitions In a narrative essay, a new paragraph marks a change in the action of a story, or a move from action to reflection. Paragraphs should connect to one another. For example, the end of one paragraph might be: “I turned and ran, hoping the bear hadn’t noticed me”, and the start of the next might be: “There are many strategies for surviving an encounter with a bear; ‘turn and run’ is not one of them.” The repetition of words connects the paragraphs. (What does the change in verb tense indicate?)*
The Moral of the Story The conclusion of a narrative include the closing action of the event, but also should include some reflection or analysis of the significance of the event to the writer. What lesson did you learn? How has what happened to you affected your life now?
Outlining Your Narrative
Try applying this structure to your own writing: write sentences for the corresponding elements of your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion in the space provided below.
Introduction: Begin your paper with a “hook” that catches the reader’s attention and set the scene. Where is the event set? What time of year? How old were you when this happened?
State your thesis: what you learned, or how the event is significant to you.
Body paragraphs: write three significant moments from the beginning, middle, and end of the event. Para. 1: Beginning Action
Topic sentence: Detail 1.
Detail 2. Detail 3.
Para. 2: Middle Action
Topic sentence: Detail 1.
Detail 2. Detail 3.
Para 3: End Action
Topic sentence: Detail 1.
Detail 2. Detail 3.
Note: Don’t forget to “Show, Don’t Tell”: List sounds, smells, sights, tastes, and textures that you remember. Your experience is your “evidence”. Use transition words to mark the passage of time.
Conclusion: Analyze and reflect on the action of the story, including how the events are significant to you.
Writing Strategies to Consider First Person vs. Third Person Narratives are a mode of writing in which writers often use first person perspective (“I saw”, “I did”). Check with your instructor to determine whether you can use “I” when telling your story.
*Verb Tense: Reporting vs. Reflecting The events of most narratives are told in past tense: “As I hiked, I felt the warm sun on my back.” Use present tense when reflecting on the events: “Now I know how unprepared I was”. Notice the change in tense in this sentence as the writer reflects on the past event, from the present.
In the following assignment, you will be asked to think about your own lived experiences and find a story to tell that exemplifies your strengths and/or your values.
For this essay you will write a personal narrative that describes the moment (or moments) when you realized what drives you personally, professionally, or academically. You might describe a time when you recognized a passion you have that exceeds everyday interest. You might recall a time when you came to an understanding or truth about life that now defines your personality. Or, you might recount when you realized you have a skill or mastery of something that others don’t posses. Show, don’t tell, your audience, and use the techniques we discussed in class to relay your story to your audience.
Please follow the or “freytag’s pyramid” template which consists of: exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution.
Use 1st person narrative