“I’m so sorry!” Derrick cries out as we pull away from my mom’s home in Norwood Ontario. Tears finally start coming down my face. This is it. Our home in Toronto- a memory. My job at UofT- history. We are headed for the Canada-USA Border with no idea of when we will be turning back. Derrick and I look at each other, smile, then sob. Derrick carries some guilt, but this was a decision we both agreed to. Our cat Peeta meows briefly. We drive.
About 8 months earlier, Derrick had received a job offer in New Jersey that was a super opportunity for him, and would put us in a temporary position where I wouldn’t need to work. I looked at this as a temporary retirement. Exciting– yet terrifying. Who am I without a career? What will I do in a city and country that I don’t know? All of these feelings were starting to burst out right now. But there is no turning back.
Nearing the border, we stop at Tim Horton’s, the famous Canadian chain of uniform donuts, for a sentimental send off snack. We never stop here, but thought this would be a perfect so long to Canada. As we approach the Canada-US border, I lick the last of my maple glazed donut off my fingers, and take a deep breath. Canada is now behind us.
Within a few hours, we decide it’s time for a break. Somewhere in Random New York, we pull off and come across Tim Horton’s! I’ve never been so happy to see a real life Tim Horton’s! We’re home! Relief passes through us as we rush inside to grab another standard sentimental donut, a smile and a hug, a friendly Canadian “eh!” to the cashier (who didn’t look up), and a bathroom break before we continue on.
This brief stop gives us a moment of reflection and realization. Tim Horton’s is just as mediocre over here as it is back in Canada. Today these donuts meant home, and were exactly what we needed for us to realize that home can be here too, if we let it.
At approximately 8pm we pull up front of our new home in Philadelphia. It’s a dark yet welcoming evening. We drop the boxes inside the house, and step over them before finding a small space to cuddle up in prior to bed. Tomorrow we wake up Americans- well, technically the official term is Legal Resident Alien. Mike, Derrick, and Peeta- we have landed.
Song of the Day: Neverland (from Finding Neverland)- Zendaya
We can sail away tonight
On a sea of pure moonlight
We can navigate the stars
Bring us back home
In a place so far away
We’ll be young that’s how we’ll stay
Every wish is a command
When we find ourselves in Never Neverland