The End of an Era

Wow. It has been an unbelievably fast four years watching my sister grow up from being a high school student to a holder of a Bachelor’s in MCB, and from being a nominal Christian to one with a deepened understanding of and commitment in the faith.

From the time I helped her move in on her first day of college to carrying off the last of her belongings, I’ve always felt at ease knowing she was only a 45-minute drive away, that should she need anything, I could be there for her. Despite our busy schedules, I manage to make periodic visits across the bay, and of course, we often see each other at KCPC, which she has been going to since I convinced her to join before freshman year even began.

Watching her graduation ceremony was surreal, as the contexts for our interactions have mostly been either church or chilling. It’s hard to imagine the academic and personal difficulties she experienced these four years, but by God’s grace, she survived through barrages of midterms, near all-nighters, responsibilities in various organizations, challenges in the social sphere, and moments of dejection and despair.

Her graduation marks the end of a chapter in her life. Yet, in many ways it is an end of an era for me as well. Today is probably the last time I have any reason to drive 45 minutes across the bay. It marks the end of asking for $5 in cash for the bridge toll because I forgot to bring money, of sharing cheap Chinese food (mmm… 鱼香茄子) on the north side, of grabbing cheap Mexican food on Durant, of buying cheap pearl milk tea at the “Asian Ghetto” because I needed caffeine before my late-night return to Stanford, of escaping the stress of school over Avatar or a movie or several episodes of 대장금, of surprising the ’rents by calling from the same location, of savoring a home-cooked meal that invariably included garlic bread and dessert, of saying hi to her roommate(s) and friends who have become familiar voices and faces and personalities, of driving through rush hour traffic to make FiCB Welcome Night, of hanging out after being invited to their large group, of making the trip up north before traversing the 580 and looping back down every time we drove home for break.

Berkeley, which has been so familiar, will undoubtedly feel like a foreign land to me. As she leaves her second home for Pharm school, I feel that I will miss her dearly. I suppose that at no matter what age, she’ll always be my baby sister.

Blessings for the road ahead, my dear 兰.