Can you BELIEVE that? Five awesome, terrible, heartbreaking, glorious, triumphant years.
Today, this city is home and I am proud and happy to watch my children sprout their wings from here, the place where we are rooted.
In remembrance, I have selected one post from every year - they are the posts which, to my mind, sum up all that was and all that I was, we were, as this place we were simply passing through, came to be ours:
1. A month after we moved here, to a strange city where I knew no one, my brother died. The shock of that - that he was just gone - and the rage and utter angst I felt throughout the rest of that bitter winter will always be tangled up with coming here.
|My baby brother, Andrew.|
Five years later, the rage has passed and while sadness remains, always, I believe that I have come to a place of peace. That Spring, I ventured out to explore my new city and to find some friends. My very first friend, Heather, opened her home and her heart to a sad, lonely stranger - at the end of that long, cold Winter, she was the sunshine I needed and today, she is one of my closest friends.
Matthew started Kindergarten in 2009. It was a bittersweet experience for me, holding out my first-born son to the world and asking for grace. He was blessed with an incredible teacher that year and while this letter was written for her in 2010, as school wrapped up for summer, it's really for all of the Reds' teachers. They have been so lucky, to have compassionate and wise teachers - it has been a true and real joy to watch them thrive and grow and learn.
In fact, the school they attend, their teachers and their friends are some of the biggest reasons we've chosen to remain here. We are settled, they are thriving. Everyone is happy.
|Luke being...well, Luke.|
This is one of my favourite posts about Luke, but it's also one of my favourite posts, period. I think that it's easy to get caught up in all the things our kids do that drive us crazy, instead of focusing on all the stuff they do that's good. Maybe it's just me. In any case, one day, I will frame this and hang it on Luke's wall and he will know how much joy he brings to my life.
Without question, 2012 was a challenging, illuminating year. Everywhere I went, it seemed, I was learning lessons - and not just the ones at Loyalist College, where I studied Developmental Services.
This is my most-shared post ever. At last count, it has been read by 1400 people - clearly, it struck a chord with friends and strangers alike and I am delighted to share it here:
|Photo credit: Jerome Lessard|
I graduated from Loyalist in 2013. It was a transformative two years and walking across the stage to accept my hard-won diploma, with my parents and my sons in the audience, was one of the proudest moments of my life.
From my classmates, my professors and from all of those I was blessed to support, I have learned some of the most important lessons. I have and will carry them, always, in all the years ahead:
And so...five years later, we have known huge love and huge loss. Bought a house, got a dog, lost our minds. We are thriving, we are growing, we belong.
At the end of the day, this last one is that for which I am most grateful. Here, in the city by the Bay, we have found our place, our people, our future.
I am home.