Canadian Heroes

Mother fights illness and inspires her daughter

By Émilie Marcotte

A heroine has many definitions. Someone could be your heroine simply because she loves you and never gave up on you even when you yourself had. A heroine is someone you look up to and wished you were more like. A heroine is someone who strives for justice and equality. A heroine is proud but not to the point of being conceited. She is brave and courageous. It is someone who goes for what she wants and believes in without stopping at criticism just to please society.

A heroine is consistent and kind. A heroine is not discouraged after her first try. She perseveres even if she's not sure she'll achieve her goal in this lifetime. She is admired for achievements and qualities. Yet, she doesn't have to save the world or be perfect. She doesn't even have to be known. But, whoever she is, whatever she does, it is someone you admire and respect. It is someone who has love, trust and hope even at the most difficult moment.

I'm almost at the point where I'd say she's a goddess; but she's not. You see, after all this, the thing that makes her a heroine is when you realize that she’s only human. Yes, she does have her faults and bad moments. But, most importantly, what sets a heroine apart is that through it all, she lived.

My Canadian heroine is my mom. To understand why she's my heroine, it must first be understood that she is very sick. Her sickness is called environmental illness. Not many have heard of it and so they do not believe it. They think she has mere allergies. But it is more than that. It it a handicap in a way that she cannot go where she wants. My mom can't go shopping, she can't go see movies, there are only a few houses which she can enter, and she can't even have a job at the moment. All that because our world has perfumes, pesticides and dangerous chemicals wherever we turn.

She can't stand these things and gets so sick when she's around them that she can hardly breathe. She has lost friends who couldn't accept this but made some new ones who could. The school where she worked, that has caused all this, does not want to admit to it nor pay the medical treatments she needs. Even though she was at first faced with rejection, she tried again. After three years, she is still fighting for what she believes in, for her rights. Though she still can't work, she is hoping that some day she will be able to. True, she sometimes becomes discouraged but at least she isn't pitying herself, for this would only bring anger and she would be mad at the world, always whining about unfairness. But she isn't. Most of all, with all her problems, she still has time to be my mom. She still found time to care for me and love me. To have done all this, she deserves to at least be a heroine.