Clara, A Mentor, Teacher and Sister

My sister was five when I was born, and from the beginning, little by little, I started to become a clone of her. On the other hand, my brother was eight, which meant he cared about me for approximately five years before he went into the scary and intensive stage called puberty.

Ever since I can remember my sister and I would always be by my father’s side going on adventures together, meanwhile my brother always stayed behind to read one book after another with my mother. 

One hot summer day, I was 3 at the time, my sister and I were at my grandparent’s house. I had been playing in their yard which offered a pool, countless beautiful flowers, and a pond surrounded by bamboo. The pond was my favorite thing about the yard due to the amount of animals swimming in it. I would sit there for hours watching them, trying to catch one or the other. When my sister found me sitting by the pond, she said: “Come on, I am going to teach you something”. 

I remember my grandparent’s house having two stories, with the first floor being the barn and the second floor being their actual living space, therefore Clara and I were walking up the outside staircase which brought us directly into the living room. My sister took me into the kitchen where my grandmother was cooking lunch. The kitchen was not big, so the only furniture in there was a small table with a white table dress and two chairs. It was my grandparents breakfast table where they would enjoy their coffee and read their newspaper in the mornings. 

“Clara wäsch da Emi d’Händ, dreckig kummt se ma ned in d’Küche”, said my grandmother to my sister. That basically means that if my sister does not clean me up, I am not allowed in the kitchen. Now clean, Clara, or “Clawy” how I would call her, sat me into one of the chairs by the breakfast table, pulled the other chair beside me, and took a seat. She grabbed a white pen and a block of post-its, “You have to learn how to write your name, before you start kindergarten in fall.” My little green eyes starred at her and I was thinking “Write? What do you mean write?”. Before I could say anything, she took the pen and started forming three letters, “E M I”. “See, Emi, that is how you do it, now try it!”, said Clara with her, also, green, eyes filled with excitement. I started trying to copy letter by letter and faster than you know, there it was, my name on paper, written by me. Soon after that day, I started giving it my own touch, so every time I would write my name I would draw as many horizontal lines on my E as the vertical line had space. 

My favorite family member is definitely my sister, not because of this story but because we have thousands of stories like this one. Clara will forever be my mentor, teacher and sister. Without her I would not be who I am. 

Published by emiliazohmann

18 / NC / Foreign

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1 Comment

  1. Emi, “Clara, a Mentor, Sister, and Friend” offers a thoughtful and engaging look at the vital role that Clara has played and continues to play in your life. Developing the reflection in your conclusion and editing to correct errors of punctuation and style would make this strong essay even stronger. I hope that you will consider submitting a revised version to Sanctuary, CVCC’s literary magazine, and I hope that you’ll share a copy with Clara.


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