Flash Blub memory is the ability to see in vivid detail an event that one experienced. An example of a flash bulb memory that I have is the day my grandfather died. I was fourteen years old and the oldest of his grandchildren. He died after my first day of high school.
In my family’s culture, when a child reaches the age of fifteen, they go through this ceremony, which is considered they’re coming of age party, is known as a Quinceñera (or Quinceñero for boy). Since I was the eldest, it was expected of me to hold this event first out of all the other grandchildren. It was being planned for months and so many things were being prepared from the table decorations to the colors and music style.
On August 15, 2006, I woke up feeling anxious and scared. It was my first day in high school, and I didn’t know if I was going to see all of my friends. With my mom’s permission, I called over my best friend Person F to pick me up so we could go in together. After a quick stop at the nearest gas station for some breakfast tacos and cokes, we were dropped off by her mother in front of the school. Feeling my heart race, we stood near the outside of the gym and kept a look out for those we knew. After picking up our schedules, I was feeling let down to see that I only had three friends in lunch while everyone else was on a different class period.
When everyone was together, we entered the building and searched for everyone’s first class room. To my dismay I was the first dropped off. My classroom was Photo Journalism, and on the board it welcomed both the Journalism and Yearbook students. I started joking with my friends, as we usually do that if they aren’t being nice I was going to keep them out of the yearbook. Then after a remark, I changed my mind and said I was going to put them all over the yearbook.
The class went by well and I met some older friends within it. In my next class I walked by myself to the building next door. After feeling lost, I found it and entered the room, immediately brightening up as I see some other class friends. Before the teacher entered, several older classmen entered looking for another teacher and writing graffiti on the board. It was made clear that my teacher was very strict about her work. After class, I asked if she had any extra credit work, since I knew science wasn’t my best subject and I passed last year because I was able to solve the chemistry equations. Of course she thought it was too soon for me to be asking that, “Besides, I don’t assign extra credit work.”
I can’t remember how the first day went in my AVID, French, and World Geography classes went, but I remember during lunch, it was very crowded. I was with my friends Person B, Person E and Person G, but we were having a hard time finding a table to eat at. Since my friend Person B was extremely timid, I put on a strong front for her and stood up to a lot of upper classmen that day. In my English class I was once again by myself. I knew only a few students in that class, but the teacher was very inviting. She became my favorite teacher that year. In my last class I had Person G again and several others. I was late for that class since it was on the opposite end of the main hallway. I rushed into the room and bowed as I apologized to the teacher, earning a few stunned looks and giggles from some classmates. It was very awkward for the remainder of the class, but I was glad I was able to make a good impression on my teacher and make him laugh. “You’re a big dork.” Person G had said as we walked to the bus area.
I had ridden this bus plenty of times before, so I wasn’t as nerves as I was in the beginning of that day. On the bus, I sat near the front by myself. I’m very quiet and shy when my friends aren’t around normally, so I was used to it. I had noticed that the boy across from me had a drawing on his binder that I liked. I wanted to talk to him, but was very nerves.
When I arrived home, I set to work on organizing the few notes I had on school supplies and the documents that needed to be signed for the teachers. After an hour or so of talking to my friend, Person F, my dad came home early from work. He was quiet and sat down next to me on my bed. I knew something wrong had happened so I hung up the phone and looked at him cautiously. It was then that he explained to me that my grandfather had passed away. He had been in and out of the hospital for months since his first heart attack, so I wasn’t sure if dad was saying the truth or if he was saying another joke. In the days of his funeral I missed the remainder of the week from school and spent that time in the funeral home. Everyone was hysterical except for the children, my mom and I. We knew that he wouldn’t want everyone to be upset at his funeral and would prefer laughter.
In the end the plans for my Quinceñera were scrapped and I had a smaller birthday party with my friends and some family members. Mom said that it was too soon for everyone, but it was still a huge disappointment considering Grandpa was looking forward to it.
A flashbulb memory is very useful to me to be able to remember the memories I have of my grandfather and of how peaceful he looked in his wake. This memory is very vivid to me and as accurate as I can make it.