At this exact moment in time I am living in a small city called Medicine Hat, Alberta (a province in Canada).
Information on Medicine Hat.
A town in the prairies. No mountains, flat, few trees, big huge sky, hotter then Hell summers (which I LOVE) and colder then the Grinch's heart winters (which I do NOT love).
I was born and spent my childhood years in a small country.
Bermuda. A small island in the Caribbean (north of the Caribbean, to be exact).
Yup, I grew up surrounded by a turquoise blue ocean, pink sandy beaches and beautiful tropical foliage. Of course, being a kid and having been in that environment since birth I really did not fully appreciate the beauty that surrounded me everyday.
|This type of beauty was literally minutes from my doorstep growing up!|
Right after I graduated from high school (a week later), my parents and I moved to another country, and another island. A bigger island with a totally different climate. An island with dark blue (sometimes green looking) ocean. Very cold Pacific Ocean. An island full of lush green foliage, delightfully smelling flowers and breathtaking views.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Canada).
Population (of entire Island ): 747,281
Population of the Capital Region of Vancouver Island (372,339).
|Another beautiful place to have lived! Look at those mountains! Breathtaking!|
My family and I moved to Victoria which just happens to be the capital of British Columbia (a province within Canada). Wow talk about culture shock!!! I had moved from this tiny little island where all it took was about 30 minutes to drive from one side of the island to the other, where everyone knew everyone, where there was pretty much a singular culture to this HUGE island with enormous (to me) highways, shopping malls, tons of people, tons traffic and full of diversity and different cultures!
|Such a culture shock from Bermuda, but so beautiful!|
I learnt to drive, I had my own car, I started to make friends and before I knew it I was LOVING my new life. The years went by, I went to college, I moved out, I partied, I dated. Then I met Mickey (my fantabulous hubby). We dated for three years, then got hitched. We bought a house, started a family and really made a wonderful life for ourselves. Everything was perfect.....
But life is ever changing and ever moving and never stays the same. Of course I already knew this, but I really never considered another huge move to be a part of my life's journey.
I was wrong....
July 2009, Mickey gets offered part ownership of a car dealership....in Medicine Hat, Alberta. This was a HUGE deal for him. Most dealerships are passed down to family members, very rarely do owners of dealerships OFFER any type of ownership to those not within their family (at least in Victoria). So yeah, this was huge!
When Mickey called me to tell me this news my heart sank, I felt light headed and I lost my breath. "Medicine Hat???? Where the fuck is that? I am NOT moving to Butt Fuck Alberta!!" I'm pretty sure I said something along those lines.
I was taken off guard!
This was NOT what I had envisioned my future to be!
My life was PERFECT and I did NOT want to change anything!
I had already moved once and it was hard and it sucked and I did NOT want to do it again!
I had friends! Really good friends who loved me and my kids. I had my parents and sister and baby niece! If we moved to Medicine Hat we would have NOBODY!
I'd have to make new friends AGAIN! And making friends is hard work and takes time and I did NOT want to have to go through all that shit again!
We met with the owners of the dealership and were flown to Medicine Hat. Mickey and I were fully prepared to say "no". We were expecting to see some nasty, shitty little decrepit, old prairie town in the middle of nowhere.
We were wrong.
There were trees (sparse, flat, but still some trees), green grass, lovely warm weather and everything was new, and "with" the times.
Shit. This is what I was thinking because I knew deep down that we would be moving.
We fought, I dragged my parents and sister into it when I really shouldn't have. It was just a mess. A hot mess.
In the end I knew this opportunity was something that we couldn't pass up. If we did there would always be the "what if" for me and definitely for Mickey.
I didn't want to leave my family. My parents, my sister, my niece! It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
But here we are 3 years later still living in Butt Fu... I mean Medicine Hat and life is good.
I have made a few close friends and am slowly making more.
Mickey loves his job and is kicking ass and taking names.
We had another baby! Stella is our one and only "prairie baby".
I have been able to stay home with my girls. Had we still been living in Victoria, financially we would not have been able to afford it I don't think.
In 2010 Mickey's parents and a few of his siblings moved here!
Them moving here was huge for us! It was so nice to have family near for our girls to have grandparents and aunts and uncles to hang with and get to know. It is bittersweet for me. I love having family close by to hang out with and to get help from when we need it, but it makes me miss my mom and dad. It makes me sad that they don't get to see our girls as often anymore.
Another "con" to living here is the lack of resources locally for parents of children with Down Syndrome. There are very few children/babies here locally who have DS and therefore there is no local support centre for me to go and meet other parents like me. The closest city is almost two hours away and with three young children, going there is just not something I can do very often, if at all. This is what I find hardest about living here. I am the type of person that loves/needs to feel connected, to feel like I am not alone. If I still lived in Victoria, I would have had more of an opportunity to meet other families on the same journey as ours.
However, saying "if only" changes nothing. So I have chosen to allow myself to feel sad about the "lack" of resources locally and then to move forward from those feelings. Now I am just on the "look-out" for people who just love and accept me and my girls for who we are. Those willing to get to know us and see past whatever "preconceived" notions they may have. I am looking for those who want and encourage their children to get to know all of my children and look past any differences.
I really want Stella, as she grows, to have friends with 46 AND 47 chromosomes!
Sounds so funny doesn't it? But as Stella gets older I would like her to meet other kids like her so that she doesn't feel alone. As all our McG girls grow and get bigger, it will get easier for us to travel to Calgary and Lethbridge and participate in events geared towards families who have a loved one with DS.
Life is a journey with many twist and turns. I am glad that I am on this crazy ride with a supportive loving husband and three awesome little girls.
However, hubby, if you are reading this post....I am really quite done with moving...provinces. Houses, sure, but no more provinces ok?