Brace yourself

Audrey Dempewolf, Feature Editor

One, two, three. These are the three words spoken to me prior to the most painful moments in my life. Words that are meant to reduce impact; they warn me to brace myself, but the most significant times in our lives are the ones we are not prepared for. One, two, three is spoken to me while the ice cold alcohol wipe is being rubbed in circles on my right arm, as I squeeze my mom’s hand until I feel as though it may just collapse under the weight of my paralyzing fear of the poke that lies just seconds ahead. Before I press the submit button that so casually and effortlessly carries my future through the air and into the inbox of the Admissions Board at my college of choice, and just before having to say goodbye to some of the most unforgettable years of my life with the people I love the most.

To my parents, although I have tested your will, I have not been able to break you. You have bore my weight, and yours, for the last 18 years and I will spend the rest of my life merely attempting to make you feel just as loved, supported and accepted as you have made me. I am painfully aware I will no longer be able to yell for you from just a floor away when I am in need of someone to wipe my tears or scratch my back. You have made me incredibly proud to be your daughter, and although I have been trying to get you to breakdown as graduation approaches, I will be the one with tears streaming down my face. As I walk away from the most extraordinary people I know, I will remember those who have gifted me with some of the best years of my life.

To my brothers, I am not sure if I should cry or celebrate as I make my sweet escape from the endless harassment and embarrassing nicknames I have been forced to accept during our time together. Spencer, I know fulfilling the tedious role of an older brother isn’t easy, but I am forever grateful for the patience and kindness you have shown me, especially as I begin the next chapter of my life so close to you. Evan, I never knew it was possible to have a best friend and a sibling all in one until you were born. You have taught me how to laugh while I’m crying and how to find joy in seemingly insignificant moments. Although I hate to admit it, you two have played a large role in shaping me into the person I am today, whether it be good or bad, we may never know. I can only hope the years to come are just as indelible and momentous as the ones I am leaving behind. So here’s to us, class of 2019– One, two, three…