Dear Canada, Letter #4 (Leaving)
I left you eight years ago with the greatest of ease. When I boarded the plane in Montreal and headed towards North Carolina I didn't even look back.
My entire focus was on finally getting to be with my wife and starting our new life together in her country. The previous year waiting for my permanent resident VISA to arrive was filled with anxious anticipation, I felt stuck in a country I was born and raised in while i waited to begin a new adventure in the USA.
I was so eager to leave I didn't take the time to properly say goodbye to you. I spent most of my time following American news and trying to learn the political system I was so much looking forward to being part of. President Barack Obama was in the White House and I was so full of hope for the changes I could already see the United States needed. I wasn't worried because I felt like he would take care of things and make it right.
I should have paid more attention to you during those final months. I wish I had taken more pictures, I wish I had visited more of my favorite places and I wish I had let you know just how important you were to me. It's just...at the time I was looking forward instead of looking back.
I'm really sorry for that.
You know what else was really strange about leaving you? I tried to change the feelings I had towards my allegiances, especially with my sports teams. I unsuccessfully tried following the Carolina Hurricanes after growing up with the Vancouver Canucks. I unsuccessfully tried cheering for Team USA during the World Jr. hockey tournament and I unsuccessfully tried watching ESPN instead of TSN.
But it's you I adore. It's always been you.
It's just taken me a long time to realize how much I miss you. Some disturbing things have happened over the past eight years that chipped away at my newfound love here in the States, things that just didn't happen on a regular basis when I lived with you.
Those things have jaded me but they've also inspired me to try and make things better for my kids here in the USA. I'll do whatever it takes for them to grow up happy and safe because this is our home and it will be for a long time.
But I know you'll always be there for me, you're just a plane ride away. Having two young kids has kept us from wanting to get on a plane to visit, but pretty soon they'll get a chance to meet you. I talk about you lots, I want our kids to meet you one day, I want them to be proud to have a friend like you.
I'm sorry for leaving so easily. The cool thing is you're probably not even mad I left because you knew my heart would come back.
Canada, you've always been cool.