(N.B. Dear Fellow Grammar Nerds: Apologies in advance for the wanton switches in pronoun focus below; I’m a wee bit exhausted.)
Unless otherwise noted, the wonderful photos below of our Big Day were taken by Anne Blayney. She basically rocks, and made a great day even more special with her lovely kind silly support. Also: Butter Tarts!
Our Big, Happy, Life-Changing Day
There are very few days in one’s life when one can actually feel one’s life changing with every breath as the day unfolds. The birth of one’s first child. The birth of each child thereafter. Your wedding day. The day a parent dies. The day you receive the keys to your very first, very own home (and your very first, very own mortgage!) The first day of the dream job you never thought you would get. Each and every time you move through such a day, you are aware that your life will never be the same.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Sept. 19th, was such a day for Melody and I. We drove north to Kitchener, Ontario, as citizens of the United States, and permanent residents of Canada; we drove home several hours later as newly minted Canadian citizens and still loyal, grateful citizens of the United States.
We are now full citizens of two of the most inspiring, beautiful countries in the world, countries who each celebrate freedom and human dignity, who believe in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to liberty for all.
We feel like the luckiest people in the world right now.
It was an AMAZING day; 48 new Canadian citizens walked out of court yesterday at about 3 PM. Judge Wong and his clerk Ryan (apologies to Ryan for forgetting your last name!) clearly love their jobs, and both made us feel that Canada welcomed each and every one of us individually. In addition, both had obviously spent quite a bit of time studying our files and learning how to say our names properly. A lovely touch, and quite a feat considering there were 26 different countries/languages represented!
The judge met briefly with each of us after handing us our certificate (I am bringing it tonight, it is beautiful, plus I am proud as a peacock about the whole thing!), asked a few personal questions (such as what our journey to Canada had been like, what we did for a living) and welcomed us personally.
It was a beautiful, deeply moving ceremony. And, on top of all of that wonderfulness, God graciously granted Melody and I a very special gift. After weeks of searching for a guest who could share this special day with us (after all: it was on a weekday, smack-dab in the middle of the day, in a town about 2 hours away in commuter traffic), literally two hours prior to the ceremony as we were in the car driving to the ceremony, a friend (a knitting friend, of course!) messaged us that her boss had given her the rest of the day off just so she could attend our citizenship ceremony! We were completely overjoyed that Anne kindly gave up her afternoon to be there. (I am also quite sad that we didn’t manage to get a good photo of ourselves with Anne! A passing gentleman held her camera and pointed and clicked, but he must have been from another dimension or something because all the photos he took came out very strangely overexposed.) We’d been a tiny bit depressed that we didn’t have anyone there to celebrate our big day with in person, despite the fact that dozens and dozens of our friends and family posted their congrats on Facebook, email, Twitter, and elsewhere. We knew we were not going to be truly alone during the ceremony; we knew dozens of you people would be there with us in spirit. But…there is just nothing like having someone sitting right there, cheering you on, snapping photos like a crazy person, clapping for you, and offering their love and support right there in real time. To have that sort of support right there in the room was wonderful.
Plus, as part of the celebration, Anne thoughtfully provided us with wonderfully sticky butter tarts to eat after the ceremony. We sat on tiny, rickety, colourful iron chairs outside, in a wee corner park at the end of the block, and laughed and talked and shared our favourite parts of the ceremony, and had a truly wonderful time.
It made all the difference. Thank you so very much, Anne. You’re now part of our family history in a very special and unique way. Couldn’t have asked for better.