Change is inevitable. It’s bound to happen at some point. Some people run from change and desperately try to make sure everything remains the same. Others welcome change and wait for the day when things are different, for better or for worse. Regardless, relationships tend to change the most. As we get older, a relationship’s dynamic morphs into a more mature version of what it once was.
I have always been close with my siblings. It had been instilled in my siblings and me at a young age that we should be close with one another because we would always be connected as sisters. While we were young my sisters and I would do almost everything together. During the winter months, we would always be outside in the snow. My older sister Madelyn would pull us around our home on a sled, purple with a yellow frayed rope, while my other sisters and I attempted to catch floating snowflakes on our tongues.
However, eventually, the purple sled needed to be retired once we reached the age where we were too old for sledding. Once we reached this point, Madelyn had started sixth grade, and her spare time she had to play with her younger sisters dwindled. I was in elementary school, so my workload was light and I had plenty of time to spare to spend with Madelyn, but she simply had none to give to me.
And then, after what felt like days, years had gone by, and Madelyn became a senior in high school while I was in middle school. At this point, I was able to spend more time with Madelyn. I had matured and she didn’t view me as her immature kid sister anymore. I was a teenager and was able to relate to her more which made our conversations easier. The summer before Madelyn left for college, most of her time was devoted to her job, making decisions about what to take to college, financial aspects of college and how to deal with those issues or her boyfriend. While Madelyn worked as a lifeguard at a local pool, my other sisters and I went to the pool almost every day to swim and see Madelyn more. The three of us knew what was coming at the end of the summer. Tear filled goodbyes would be exchanged as she climbed into the car that was filled with the things that she would need in her new dorm room amongst other college supplies. I can still remember that day quite clearly.
It began normally. A tranquil sunny morning with nothing to disturb the peace other than my family and I all sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast. My family’s chatter was the only thing that filled the silence. However, after breakfast was when Madelyn and my parents retreated to her room to finish packing her suitcases and boxes. The three of them planned to leave in the afternoon after a quick lunch at home. I was dressed in an orange T-shirt and black spandex for volleyball practice. My black sports bag was looped over my shoulders. Tears filled my eyes and streaked down my cheeks as Madelyn opened her arms to me and I rushed into them and hugged her tightly. Neither of us said anything as we stood there in the sun blanketed kitchen wrapped in each other’s arms. I pulled away first and smiled at her through the tears. Her mascara was smeared slightly underneath her eyes making a thin gray layer beneath her lashes. Madelyn had already said her goodbyes to my other two sisters before me so after her farewell with me had concluded, she walked over to her suitcases. My parents helped her take the rest of her things to the car that would take her away from her home. And then, she followed my parents out the door, off to start her new college journey.
That was last year. Ever since then she’s visited several times. It seems that every time she leaves saying goodbye becomes more and more difficult. Madelyn came back over the summer to work at the pool again and for three months everything was normal. We were back to how we used to be. Seeing each other every day, talking about everything with each other, and just feeling like we were closer. I miss her every day. Social media communication can only go so far when you miss someone. Her lovely presence and contagious laugh no longer fill the house she grew up in. Her room is no longer right next to mine. Her growing up and leaving for college changed everything.
Madelyn leaving for college taught me that you should never take advantage of the time you have with someone. Because in reality, the time you get with certain special people in your life is so limited. People grow up, go to college, move away. Nothing in life is destined to remain the same. Make the most of the time you have with the special people in your life. It could be the last time you see them for a while.