by michelle w. on July 15, 2013
Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us DISTANCE.
When I moved to Edmonton I was terrified. I felt “comfortable” in my small town. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t scared. The thought of raising my children in a big city that I didn’t know scared me more then you can ever imagine. I am stubborn though! When people told me that I would hate it and I would be back in six months, the real stubborn me came out. Who in their right mind would sell their house and move their children across Canada without putting everything they had into making it work? Not me, that is for sure.
I was an Eastern snob, I never even had a desire to visit West let alone live here. I am one of those bitches that thought nothing existed past Ontario (I am not kidding) Mountains Smoutains, who really cared?? Nova Scotia had the Ocean. In my defiance to prove everyone wrong I became excited. I rented a house site unseen in an old neighborhood in North Edmonton and the only thing I really knew is that it was close to the Elementary school and an Old friendly guy lived across the road. They also would take our Dog and that was crucial.
Kirk had been away for six months….six months straight when he flew home to move us.His job in the Oil Sands kept him extremely busy and the best choice for us as a family was to relocate. I sold the house (privately on my own), Packed up eight years of memories, made all the arrangements and when Kirk landed to help pack the U haul he just wanted to go to the beach. It was midsummer, why not? A couple hours at the beach would do us all good. The girls and I spent a lot of time at the beach and we all loved it. We lost track of time playing in the sand and surf and when we went to check on Kirk he was lying in the fetal position on a blanket with a strip burnt into the side facing the sun. OUCH!
We spent that last night at our house packing up last minute items and hanging out with friends. To say the least it was unusual, I hadn’t seen my husband for six months and there was a time when I wasn’t even sure that we would make it and here we were our fist time together in six months surrounded by boxes in a house we had bought together when I was pregnant with Morgan. We had brought both our girls home from the hospital to that house. They had learned to drive their bikes in that driveway, they had childhood dreams in those bedrooms, first birthday parties, first steps, first words. The next day our best friends came to help pack our life into a Uhaul. It was surprisingly quick! Morgan was a mess. She was eight at the time and certain that we were ruining her life. Her Aunt Anna swooped in to the rescue and took her home. The moving festivities were too much for her.
Our friends were having us a going away party. Everyone was expecting to see us soon; I don’t think anyone imagined that we would actually start a whole new life in Edmonton. When the U haul was packed and Haley was settled at my Moms I went back to the house to clean up and pick up the cat. With the house empty it was just that. It was a house…not a home. I had stressed for months about how I was going to ever say goodbye to the place that we raised our children. Oh boy if those walls could talk. We had loved in that house more then anyone in the world has ever loved. We had been husband and wife, best friends, lovers, parents and every imaginable thing in between. When you take the people out of the home it remains just a house. You get to take the memories with you. Some of them I wanted to leave behind…
I stood there in that empty house and I didn’t feel any sadness or heartache. I felt excited for what was to come.
Logistically I have been further away from home then Edmonton but on the 6 hour flight to Edmonton I felt like I was travelling a lifetime away from home and my family and friends. I felt choked but I couldn’t allow my kids to think that I was anything but excited for this new adventure. My Mom gave me a delicate silver necklace with hearts woven together. It is an unbroken circle symbolizing that our hearts would be connected no matter where we were. I have been in Edmonton now for five years and the most valuable lesson that my mother taught me was that the quickest way to travel is “heart to heart”
HEART TO HEART
You never feel so far away
I keep you in my heart
Your laugh, your smile, your silly ways
We are never far apart
Often a song, a movie, a quote
Or something crazy we laughed about
Makes me smile or shed a tear
But never a useless pout
For miles are not the distance
We measure how far apart
We are never more then a beat away
When we travel from heart to heart.