So Much Alike MAG

January 9, 2012
By Danielle Bourassa BRONZE, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Danielle Bourassa BRONZE, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“C’est qui lui? Et puis elle c’est qui?” My mother asked about my teachers as we walked by their classrooms.

“Mon professeur d’algebre de l’année passé, et elle, elle était mon prof de biologie,” I answered. Some friends came up to say hello and my mother quickly switched to English, though with a thick accent. I watched her closely. Her blond and gray hair was messily pulled into a bun, but so was mine. Her eyes smiled, lighting up her face and accenting the familiar wrinkles that pleated as she laughed. We moved on to the next room of the open house, to hear the next update from teachers who were so routine to me, but novel to her.

I looked at her as Mr. Frank talked. We sat the same, legs crossed right over left, shoulders slouched and head cocked to the right. I see myself in her, as she must see herself in me.

I closed my eyes and dreamed of reaching up into the sky to pull down heaven just for her. She deserves every piece of it. When she had precancerous cells, I was too young to understand. Only now do I feel the impact of what could have happened. When she was sick, I never felt more hopeless. I wanted to heal her, to help her sleep, to take the pain on myself. And when she cracked her pelvic bone, from which she has yet to heal, I wanted to give her my youth and my strength. But I can only give her my love.

I used to hate to ski. I was too weak, too little, too young. But my mother was determined to share with me her passion for the slopes. Through broken equipment, chilling winds and cold after cold, I grew to understand her zest for the sport. Skiing is no longer a chore as it was when I was younger. I’ve learned to cherish the times that bring us together.

I carry within me her moods and the temper triggered by fatigue. She’s often told me exactly what I don’t want to hear, not as a mother, but with a stubborn righteous claim. But I do the same.

“You’re only depressing yourself with work!” I say, frustrated because we suffer for it. But I often do the same. We fight like sisters, but live for work and play together.

She reaches out to hold my hand as we walk down the hallway. I squeeze it extra hard, a silent “thank you for coming.” As we head home, I think about how I truly had fun that night at school.

“Danielle!” she calls hours later with beautiful French pronunciation. “Get off the phone, and finish your studying.” Her tone rises at the end, as if asking a question, but I hardly notice her accent anymore. She doesn’t know that I’m in bed and already off the phone; she’s tired. I don’t bother to argue. Someday I will move out and eventually she will move on to a greater life. My biggest wish is that she may influence my children as she did me. I could never thank her enough.

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