“You’re not my daughter anymore, and I’m not your mother,” Ms. Wu’s mother told her.
Ms. Wu marks this period as the crossroads in her life, the point where she let go of the script that her parents had written for her.
“Life feels very short when that kind of switch happens,” she said.
Thrust into position as the head of the family, Ms. Wu, then 22, dove in. She became a primary parent to her youngest sister, who was 11, eventually filing for legal guardianship. She managed psychiatric treatment for her mother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and opened a small tea shop, thinking her mother might take it over.
Then, frustrated by the bureaucratic obstacles she had encountered, she enrolled at Harvard Law School, bringing her mother and sister back to Boston with her. This time, she intended to stay.
A political baptism
Ms. Warren, who taught contract law, remembers Ms. Wu coming to her office hours in her first semester of law school.
Ms. Wu had come to apologize for some academic shortcoming, though Ms. Warren had not noticed any. “She felt she hadn’t done her best and wanted me to know she had not intended any disrespect,” Ms. Warren recalled.
As they sat together, Ms. Wu told the story about how she had come to care for her mother and sisters. Ms. Warren listened, marveling. “Michelle was doing something in law school that, in 25 years of teaching, I never knew another student to be doing,” she said.
That marked the beginning of a close relationship between Ms. Wu and Ms. Warren, who would become Massachusetts’s progressive standard-bearer. Asked this summer why she endorsed Ms. Wu over other progressives, Ms. Warren responded simply, “Michelle is family.”
Published on: Article source