Roots

Today I am reminded of my roots.

My family moved to Canada from Holland many moons ago. Let me get one thing straight though,

I AM CANADIAN. And darn proud of it!

My parents worked WAY too hard to create a life for us that there is no way I would ever think otherwise.

Anyone who has moved to Canada form another country knows the value of the move and how important it is. But they also know that a piece of you remains where you came from. In my case my entire extended family lives overseas. And my best friend.

Today is my best friends birthday. She still lives in Holland, this is why today I am reminded of my roots. When we moved, her and I remained in contact through letters that would be two weeks to a month apart because that is just how long it took for them to arrive. Then in high school it became email, and now we talk whenever we want through Whatsapp. It is the best way to communicate from a distance because it is completely free to use and more efficient than texting.

SO I have to stop here to send a shout out… Thank you Whatsapp! You are the best.

It is something else to move to a new country. We were placed in a school where we were unable to communicate, we did not know one word of English! New people surrounded us, we were living in an unfamiliar home and had a new lifestyle, and all of it happened overnight. I was 7 and I can easily say the move impacted me tremendously! It absolutely shaped me into who I am today.

We sold all our belongings to move to Canada. A small sea-can was loaded with what we could and there was only room for essentials. I remember selling my toys and watching the neighbor girl riding my bicycle I had to sell to her. I also remember telling my best friend about moving. That was hard. You see, her and I had been together since birth. Literally. Her mom babysat me as an infant and my mom babysat her making us inseparable from the beginning. Now we were going to have an ocean between us. Believe it or not, that ocean never came between us. We remained close and still are to this day.

My first time back to Holland was in 1999 after I graduated high school. I spent 6 weeks over there, three of them with her. It was as if no time had passed, we were just a little older. Now every time I visit Holland, I stay with her. That’s just the way it is, and this will never change, and it seems that time never gets in the way.

I consider myself lucky to have a few great friends. But I consider myself extremely lucky to say I have that one true friend that no matter what, when or where, I can count on her even if the distance is great.

So today, when I sent her a Happy Birthday message through Whatsapp, I was taken back through the last 30 years or so. From the beginning to the now. I enjoy getting those flashbacks. It keeps me humble and reminds me of how fortunate my life has been and what a blessing it is to live in this great country of opportunity. I am ever grateful to my parents who made the biggest decision of their lives to leave their family, friends and everything familiar behind to create a life for us.

So yes, I am a proud Canadian and will always be remember my roots.

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