“Choose a specific object that you’ve encountered throughout your life,” I read aloud from the paper that holds my assignment. “Write a brief series of descriptions of moments in which the object has played a role.” My mind begins to race. What is something that is important to me? I do a quick scan of the room, when suddenly, it hits me. My eyes begin to focus as I hone in on the object that has been with me since I was only ten years old: my stuffed bear. Once upon a time, this bear had been all white, fresh and new. However, now he’s beginning to grey with age. He’s wearing a purple draw-string hoodie with the words “LOVE U” right in the center in all caps. The strings that hang from his hoodie are beginning to fray, and his once fluffy fur is now matted and dirty from long nights and playful afternoons spent outside in the dirt. To others, this bear may seem like just another ratty old children’s toy, but to me, he is so much more.
As I slowly and carefully pick up my bear, memories of moments both happy and sad fill my mind. His familiar fur greets my fingers and sends my mind on a memory-filled rollercoaster. His dark round eyes stare back at me, and his face holds a comforting expression of understanding. How many nights have I hugged this bear, tearfully believing that he was the only one who truly understood me? How many times have I carried him along with me on long family vacations and reluctantly left him behind to wait in the hotel room as we went out to dinner? What is it about this bear, this stuffed animal that has brought me so much happiness? As I hold him in my arms as I have done so many times before, my mind begins to replay the day in which I first laid eyes on him.