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Commentary: Time flies: The struggle of leaving loved ones

Photo credit: Alexandra DeFurio
My little hand grasps my mother’s, depicting the connection between my mom and I. As I get closer and closer to graduating high school, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my mom and how wonderful she made my childhood.

Over the last 16 years that I have spent on this planet, nothing has stayed more consistent than my mother’s love. I am fortunate enough to have grown up with the best gift of all: an incredibly strong, supportive, kind-hearted mom who would do anything for me.

I grew up as an only child, and because of this, my mom is not only my mom but also my best friend. I feel like we grew up together. While that might sound crazy, considering my mom had me at the age of 40, something about living alone together made it feel like it was just her and me facing the rest of the world.

All my life, my mom and I have lived in our little condo. While its exterior stands small, its door opens to a world of memory that sparks familiar scent, taste, touch, sound and scenery that have stayed with my mom and me for as long as I can remember.

Growing up, autumn with her was comforting. I can almost taste the irresistible, salty puffs of mashed potato we would taste test every five seconds. The aromatic scents of herb and garlic cling to our pots and pans over the warm oven where our turkey cooks patiently. When the food was done, we’d write about what we were thankful for and dig into the mélange of food that overwhelmed our dining room table.

In winter, I remember baking cookies with her in our matching cherry aprons, hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree in late November and reminiscing about the memories they each bring to life. I remember our skates clicking against the thick, chilled crust of the ice rink and coming back home to watch our favorite classic Christmas movie: “Elf.

Then, spring would come, and so would Easter egg hunts throughout our little condo. I’d lay in bed anxiously waiting for my mom to find her camcorder so she could film my face lit with joy after finding each egg carefully hidden around our home.

Summer brought the vivid evocation of hunger as my mom and I would browse tables of produce, cheeses, jams and breads together at our local farmers market. Blue skies hung above us at the beach where we watched the waves breathe in and out as we collected sea shells along the shore.

Once again, the autumn winds usher beautiful leaves, warm scents of cardamom and a reminder of a new chapter soon to come. A chapter in a new place, at a new home: college. My roommate and I and our little dorm. The thought of it almost scares me. It’s unreal.

Of course, I am only a junior, and it’s not like I am leaving for college this year, but I know that the time flies. I know that soon enough, I’ll be a senior packing my bags to head off to college, saying my goodbyes, and this will all feel like yesterday and a distant memory at the same time.

So what happens when I leave our little condo? A thought that had never crossed my mind growing up, it now feels more prevalent than ever with senior year around the corner and a realization that home will not be home forever. Sure, I’ll end up buying my own apartment one day, or maybe even a house, but no house will be the same as the home I grew up in. Home to me means more than just four walls and a roof. Home is with my loved ones, especially my mom.

As we grow up, not only do we have to face the realization that childhood and adolescence won’t last forever, but that the people we have spent the majority of our lives with will soon be the ones we miss most. These kinds of conscious understandings are often what make us scared of letting go. What we don’t always understand is that when we leave a loved one, we never fully let go.

The fact that my time living in our little condo is almost up has made me realize how precious the time I have left living with my favorite person really is. She is my rock, my guide and the reason I thrive and will continue to after I graduate and leave our home behind. What I won’t leave behind are our memories. They are what shaped me into the person I am today. To lose those memories would be to lose myself.

On our journey towards life after high school, we can only bring so much in a suitcase, but the memories we possess with the people we love and the lessons we learn from them remain a part of us. As I continue to face life’s trials and tribulations and the reality that high school will soon be over, one thing is for certain: I will always have my mom.

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About the Contributor
Tavi Memoli, Senior Reporter
Tavi Memoli joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and is now returning as a senior reporter in 2023. She plays indoor and beach volleyball and is currently in her third year on the varsity team. She loves baking, surfing, and listening to music in her free time.

Comments (3)

As part of Archer’s active and engaged community, the Editorial Board welcomes reader comments and debate and encourages community members to take ownership of their opinions by using their names when commenting. However, in order to ensure a diverse range of opinions, the editorial board does allow anonymous comments on articles as long as the perspective cannot be obtained elsewhere, and they are respectful and relevant. We do require a valid, verified email address, which will not be displayed, but will be used to confirm your comments. Because we are a 6-12 school, the Editorial Board reserves the right to omit profanity and content that we deem inappropriate for our audience. We do not publish comments that serve primarily as an advertisement or to promote a specific product. Comments are moderated and may be edited in accordance with the Oracle’s profanity policy, but the Editorial Board will not change the intent or message of comments. They will appear once approved.
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  • N

    NicoleJan 31, 2024 at 8:30 pm

    Such a tender tribute to you and your mom. So well done!
    N. Ryan

  • A

    Anaiya AsomughaJan 29, 2024 at 5:13 pm

    AWWW TAVIIII🥹🥹🥹 I love this

  • A

    Amy ClaytonJan 29, 2024 at 10:18 am

    Such a beautiful, heartfelt piece! Thank you for sharing.