My Most Prized Possession This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 1, 2012
By , Germantown, TN
To everyone else, my most prized possession is nothing more than a rubber band used to secure a ponytail. My sister has dozens of them in every color imaginable strewn about the house. This small black hair band, however, has not left my wrist for two years. It cost no more than three cents; they are sold in packs of 50 at any dollar store. To everyone else, my most prized possession is just about worthless.

Two summers ago, my youth group took a mission trip to northern Miami. Each night we went to a local park in a poor neighborhood. It was obvious that the area was plagued with poverty, crime, and pain; however, as soon as our group of teenagers got to the park and began to play with the kids, all the trouble surrounding the park began to fade away.

On the second day of our four-day trip, I met an eight-year-old girl named Irma. After our first lesson, she wanted me to carry her to the snack table. From that moment on, I was her “horsey.” I spent the next three visits carrying her on my back, chasing her across the playground, and tossing her into the air.

By the end, I was more than her horse; I was her friend, and she was mine. On the last day, I was trying to fight back tears as I told her I had to go home. When I picked her up for the last time, she noticed a Livestrong bracelet on my wrist. Shyly, she asked if she could have it. I think I bought it at a sports store for $2; I could buy a dozen of them with the cash I had in my wallet, so it meant little to me.
I slid it off and handed it to her. It was huge on her wrist. She had to hold her hand open to keep it on. Then she explained she did not want me to just give it to her, so she unwrapped a black hair band, handed it to me, and said it was a trade.

During these last two years, the only physical impact Irma's hair band has made on my life is a thin tan line around my wrist. It is not a huge fashion statement; to everybody else, it means nothing. But it means the world to me. Every time I look at my wrist I think of Irma.

Irma did not come from the best background; she lacked the opportunities most Americans enjoy, yet every time I saw her she was smiling and playing. She had to take care of her younger brother on a playground full of kids also from difficult backgrounds. She had every reason to be bitter about her life, but I never saw anyone so full of joy and life. The girl who I was supposed to be serving blessed my life more than anything I could have done for her.

My most prized possession means the world to me, not because it makes me look cool or helps me be more popular, but because I cherish the memories and relationships it symbolizes.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

countrygirl28 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm
Wow, this was beautifully written! You are a very talented writer.
billgamesh11 said...
May 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm
Wow. There is nothing wrong with this piece that I can see, at all. You are just a natural writer! Be very proud of your good deed, and I hope that there is more people like you in the world! And don't just think that she was the only one doing the giving (even though she did give a lot! :) ; she probably thinks of YOU too everyday whenever she sees he Livestrong bracelet, smiles and thanks the Lord that he sent you to her. This should be #1 on Personal Experience! I'll help you with that by giv... (more »)
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