Mom and I stand in line waiting for our coffee as we make small chat and try to make the most of these few moments that we have left. We finally sit at a table and eat In silence. I see her eyes scan my face up and down Like this Is the last time she’s ever going to see me. It’s time to leave. Mom takes me In a bone-crushing hug; we are both a mess of tears as I’m minutes away from leaving. She reminds me again of the never ending list of Dos and Don’t and I listen attentively and hug her again, trying o remember what it feels like to be in her arms because I wont be able to do that for months.

She makes me promise her for the millionth time that I will call her as soon as we land and I oblige. I take one last glance at her and then follow the group as tears run down my face. Dad and I laugh at random things as we wait for our food. Once it’s handed to us, we sit at a table and our eyes dart immediately to the soccer game playing on TV. We are engulfed in silence as each one of us focuses intently on the screen. Only a few words are exchanged to comment on players and how good they are doing so far.

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It’s time to leave. My dad Jokes about finally getting rid of me and I laugh along feeling happy, despite the sadness from having to be gone weighing on me. My father engulfs me In a hug and expresses how proud he Is of me; and how certain he Is that I will succeed no matter how hard life gets. I feel my spirits lift as I hug him one last time and thank him for supporting me through everything; and I walk away feeling more than ready to begin a new life.