When we made the decision to move from Edmonton to Vancouver last month, I carefully drew up a list of people in Edmonton who I needed to tell. I wrote myself a little plan for communications because I was fearful that someone would find out about our rather sudden cross-province move through someone else, and not directly from me.
I quickly learned that it was difficult to spring this unexpected news on people in person. I told our son’s best friend’s family, and his Educational Assistant at teary-eyed in-person sessions. I called our most important people (like the young ladies who care for Aaron, and our active Bird Associates with our company), promptly emailed other friends, and then finally put up a Facebook post to catch everybody else. I wrote a formal letter to clients, assuring them that Bird Edmonton continues, and announcing that we are now expanding into Bird BC.
Those who know us well knew that we had been dreaming to move to BC for a long time. My brother and his family are in East Vancouver, and my sister-in-law is in Port Moody. My parents live on Vancouver Island. The pull of British Columbia has been very strong. With our recent emptying nest, there is just the three of us: me, my husband and our youngest son. My husband is fortunate to be on a contract where he can work remotely.
I have been truly blessed on the job front. In early January, I was offered a fantastic position at a children’s hospital in Vancouver, in the area closest to my heart: patient and family centred care. It is a new position, a fresh opportunity to build a community somewhere new. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for being that person who actually gets paid to do what I am most passionate about. Lucky lucky me.
The rest of February will be the realization of a succession of losses. Suddenly I am swamped with social invites with people wanting to see me before I go. My special Stollery friends are throwing me a party. Some neighbour-friends treated us to a lovely generous dinner. I went for Thai food with the moms from our original Down syndrome moms group from almost 12 years ago. I feel very loved, and a bit like Sally Fields (You like me! You really like me!).
My own lesson from leaving is to never take dear friends or family for granted. Life brings people opportunities, and with that comes changes. As we found out last month, people (and dogs) we love don’t live forever. Children leave home. People move far away. And nothing lasts forever.