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Paper Topic:

The Personal Narrative Epiphany

I remember vividly the moment that my chaperone relayed the message to me that my mother had called and I needed to pack my bags quickly in to catch the first bus home . The moment was surreal , and made even more so by the fact that I had been running on adrenaline since landing in Washington , D .C . earlier the previous day . The trip had been a whirlwind of activities , impressions , and ideas , leaving me feeling somewhat disconnected from the world at home , the world that had included my family standing at the

bus station waving goodbye to me as the Greyhound pulled away . For a thirteen-year-old , this was the trip of a lifetime , a chance to explore not only new places but also to explore a new sense of who I was and was becoming as I stood , somewhat precariously at times , on the cusp of adulthood . Little did I know as that bus pulled away that morning that this would become a trip that I would never be able to forget for reasons much deeper and much more profound than the Lincoln Memorial or White House . This was a trip that would be remembered , ultimately , for a phone call

Climbing aboard the late bus that night , still sleepy-eyed and disheveled after being woken and rushed out the door by my chaperone , I knew deep in my heart that something had suddenly and tragically changed in my world that night . I didn 't know at that moment that my 21-year-old sister had died that night , but I did know that my world had changed somehow , that I had entered adulthood with one phone call and could never return to being the innocent child that I had been when I climbed aboard another bus only a day earlier . In that moment , sitting in a strange city , surrounded by the few strangers who were riding the bus to other places and for other reasons , I realized that my world had changed forever , and that , until I arrived home , I still did not know the reason why

Although my sister 's death was a tragedy that I have yet to fully understand , it was this sudden realization that a life can change so quickly and without warning that has stuck with me . Like lightning life strikes randomly and often without the rumble of thunder or the darkening of clouds . A world can change forever with a phone call late at night summoning you home , or with a wrong turn or silly decision this is what I realized , as I settled back for the long , sleepless ride to my future


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