Read the following passage, which contains some underlined or numbered words or phrases. Each of the answer choices contains alternatives for the underlines; choose the one that fits best grammatically or stylistically. If you think the original is the best answer, choose Choice ‘A’, or NO CHANGE.
Questions about specific parts of the passage or about the passage as a whole are identified by numbers only, not underlines. These will be associated with specific questions.
My grandmother has Alzheimer’s. She’s losing her memory at an alarming rate and soon my mom says she won’t
remember us at all. While this is kind of depressing, the process of moving her to a care facility, and with packing up
all the family heirlooms, and getting her house ready to sell have given me the opportunity to reflect on the
meaning of “stuff.”
We all have lots of stuff. I have clothes, music, posters, mementos, photographs, knick-knacks, and furniture in my
bedroom that I consider mine. Likewise, my grandmother had a houseful of stuff. But a much more expansive
variety of stuff. In addition, she had crystal and silver from her marriage, old books, collections of spoons and
Hummel figurines, and lots and lots of furniture – some that has been passed down for generations. All these items
has held great meaning for her and she can tell stories about who these belonged to, where and when she got them,
and why they are valuable to her, but most mean very little to my mom and I.
Thinking about her stuff, and how it’s been passed down from person to person for years has caused me to realize
that I don’t really own anything at all. It’s only on loan. My grandma got to borrow all those things for a time,
cherished them for awhile, but now she has to let them go. Her stuff will be passed on to all the members of our
family, but only for their brief lives. Someday, we’ll have to pass along all our “stuff” for them to cherish and
enjoy after we are gone.
All this might seem kind of depressing, but I find it oddly comforting. Even my body is not my own; my genes and
chromosomes (12) being given to me by my parents, and will be passed along when I have kids. We all come into this
world with nothing, and we leave the same way. That all of our “stuff” is merely on loan to us is kind of a relief.
Ownership of things is kind of a burden. I’m more aware that the things that matter to me will pass along to others,
I feel like I don’t need to spend a lot of money on trivial and useless “stuff” that will end up in a landfill someday.
Created for Albert.io. September 2014
Even my body is not my own; my genes and chromosomes (12) being given to me by my parents, and will be passed along when I have kids.