Jun 29, 2010 Farah Jadran Pike Uncategorized
Feels like it was yesterday…
“What was I wearing? What type of backpack did I have?”
Elise Tartaglia, 18, a 2010 Liverpool High School graduate, asked her parents Tom and Mary Jo these same questions as they looked at a 13-year-old edition of the Liverpool Review.
The newspaper clipping contains a photograph of Tom giving his then 5-year-old daughter Elise a hug just seconds before she would enter her kindergarten classroom inside Liverpool Elementary in September of 1997.
“Was it that jumpsuit thing?” Elise asked.
“No, I think it was that little jacket you liked so much,” Mary Jo told her daughter.
The memorable photo ran again in an end-of-the-year edition Dec. 31, 1997, with the the following cutline, “The class of 2010 took their seats for the first day of school.”
“That must have sounded weird back then,” Elisa said. “The class of 2010.”
“It seems like it was a long time away,” Tom said.
“I never wanted to rush to have you grow up. It felt like a lifetime ago,” Mary Jo said.
Seeing the story and pictures from 13 years ago reminds Tom how fast time goes by and that time with his children should be enjoyed and cherished every day.
“I remember the day like it was yesterday,” Tom said. “She has become everything I could of hoped for.”
Like father like daughter, like mother like
Both Tom and Mary Jo talked about the moments Elise’s older sister Nicole, 22, graduated from LHS in 2005 and how she has finished college at SUNY Oswego.
However, they agreed that seeing Elise finish high school and begin college has not become any easier even though they have experienced this before.
“I think it’s harder because it’s the last one,” Tom said. “The last one to go through elementary school, the last one to go through middle school, the last one to go through high school.”
Elise will be following her sister’s footsteps and attend SUNY Oswego to major in accounting, something that means a lot to Tom, who has been a CPA for more than 20 years with Dermody, Burke & Brown CPAs.
Mary Jo, who is a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital, has Nicole following her path. Nicole will begin her nursing degree at St. Joseph’s this fall.
While Elise has enjoyed playing lacrosse in the Liverpool schools since she was in sixth grade, she said she is looking forward to playing her favorite sport at Oswego.
She competed on the Warriors’ varsity lacrosse team during her junior and senior year.
Recently, she was awarded the Lori Sullivan Scholarship from the Liverpool Girls Lacrosse Booster Club. Sullivan was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle several years ago.
This award, in its eighth year, had a significant meaning to Elise because Sullivan was a well-known neighbor who lived only two doors down.
“I’m really excited to take the next step,” Elise said. “I’m ready for it.”
The Tartaglia’s hosted friends and family members for a graduation party June 25, the night before Elise walked across the stage at the War Memorial in downtown Syracuse.
Going through the scrapbook of Elise’s memorable moments thus far, took Mary Jo back to events such as Liverpool Elementary’s Halloween Parade and Gator Games.
Tom said he remembers how Elise became a neighborhood babysitter when she was 9 years old and how she became responsible at a young age.
“Seeing her become a beautiful grown individual brings tears of joy to my eyes,” Tom said. “Seems like it was only yesterday that I had to get onto my knees to hug her and now I have to get on my toes when she hugs me!”
The couple said they look forward to attending Elise’s lacrosse games in Oswego.
Tom grabbed a box of Kleenex for his wife when she started to talk about how she will feel when Elise leaves for college in a few months.
“My hopes are that she loves whatever she does and lives a good and happy life,” Mary Jo said. “It’s as simple as that.”
LOOKING BACK: Liverpool residents Tom Tartaglia, left, Elise Tartaglia, 18, and Mary Jo Tartaglia, far right, look at a September 1997 clipping of the Liverpool Review. Tom was hugging Elise before her first day of kindergarten in the newspaper photo. Attached photo by Farah Jadran Pike.