I’ve been putting off writing this post since my eldest daughter left on 10 Dec, because it’s so bloody hard to articulate the range of emotions when your child leaves her home country. Last Thursday made it a whole lot easier, I’m glad she’s gone. I’m glad to know that she’s got a future worth looking forward to. Being held up at gun point for my cell phone cemented the belief that she and her husband made the right decision. I’m angry that my country is not safe for me or my children. I’m angry that we always say “It could have been worse” and that it’s true. In my adult life I’ve had 2 cars stolen, I’ve been mugged at knife point, I’ve been victim of a smash and grab, we’ve had one house robbery and one attempted break in, I’ve had my purse stolen and no doubt other forgotten “minor” incidents, but I’m sooo lucky because I’ve escaped with my life.
When Domi and Duncan have children they won’t have to worry about school classes of over 40 kids, or the fact that the education system is a train wreck. A recent study showed that 78% of grade 4 learners cannot read with comprehension. Well that suits the ANC just fine the last thing they want is “clever” people.
I have lost a big part of my life, not permanently or completely but emigration is a tectonic shift. Thank heavens living in the days of What’s App, video calls and all things technological, the only thing hindering our communication is a 7 hour time difference.
This parting is a sweet sorrow. I already appreciate my relationship with Domi more than when it was easy to take time together for granted. My mantra through this process has been “This is not an ending, it’s a beginning.” Watching documentaries about Canada with D & D I felt such excitement for their future. It looks like a beautiful country. So much space, so clean, so efficient. Snow, Northern lights, lakes and forests, all to discover and explore. What an amazing adventure.
The night before they left we walked to a night market close to home, only feeling safety in numbers, a year ago a jogger was raped in the area where we walked that night. In Canada they won’t have to think twice before going for a night stroll. They won’t have to live the imprisoned high security lives which are the norm here. They won’t have the irritating of signing into gated communities.
Life in Canada may feel a little dull after the roller coaster ride of hope and despair in SA politics but they are in a space where they can build on a solid foundation.
I’m deeply grateful to my uncle Ant, his wife Marg and their family for welcoming Domi so warmly and doing so much to help the transition. They have been absolutely amazing. Being with them for Christmas meant that Domi was with family.
As a mother my first wish must be what is best for my children and I firmly believe that living in Canada is what’s best for my daughter. It is not goodbye, we chat every day. She will visit SA and I will visit Canada, this will work. It’s not easy but it’s OK, the narrow gates are the ones on the road to better things.