Rainbows of Gratitude
Becoming an American
I sit here, dear Reader, with a myriad thoughts swirling through my mind. This morning, I was up just before dawn and went outside to see which kitty cats were there to greet me. Mamacita and her two adorable kittens, Smudge the Siamese and Calico Katie, were glad to see me. The kittens have been fixed (thank goodness), and have had their shots and are good to go and will hopefully find loving homes. Mama is a different story. Twice I had her in my arms and inside my apartment but could not get her into a carrier. I will try again tonight. She is most probably pregnant again as three of the Tomcats here were attending her constantly.
As I stepped outside my apartment this morning, I looked up at a beautiful cloud formation, and then turned the corner to be greeted by a bright and perfect rainbow. I caught my breath as the colors were vibrant and the rainbow was a complete semicircle. I tried to capture it with my camera and hope that the pictures at least give an indication of the beauty that greeted me. As I took pictures, the rainbow began to fade as the sun showed her glowing face.
I have a great deal to be grateful for and I think it’s important to express my thoughts and feelings. Since the turn of the century, and actually, the turn of the millennium, I spent the first six years in Texas, learning how to be an American and enjoying married life with my husband. His heart attack, just a month before our sixth anniversary, was a bolt from the blue and gave me the biggest shock I have ever experienced. As it turned out, I was sworn in as an American citizen three days before our anniversary. My husband did not make the ceremony and was unable to pin me with the American flag, but he was there in spirit, I could feel him standing behind me. When I think back to the things he had been saying and the way he had been feeling about a month prior to his death, I remember that I could not make sense of it. I never thought I would lose him and was left extremely shocked, vulnerable and alone, wondering what I was going to do with my life.
Six years of happiness - six years of struggle
The next shock came six months later with a diagnosis of uterine cancer. I thought I would be joining my husband in the hereafter and was greatly surprised to regain consciousness after surgery. I began my next six years as an American and a different human being after my reproductive organs were removed and I was thrown into immediate menopause. It was an awful experience and I have had to see myself change radically from the attractive woman I was into an older, wiser and less feminine human being – one of the most devastating changes being the loss of my pretty hair. I was also, a middle-aged student and suffered the indignities of an older person in a largely youthful collection of young students learning a new skill. Don’t get me wrong, I was incredibly grateful to have won my place amongst four other students, but I had a hard time completing the course – which I did with full honors. I went on to earn my credentials and began the search for a job in my chosen profession.
During this last six years, I have also lost both my parents, my brother-in-law and father-in-law. I still visit my mother-in-law who is in a nursing home and has been devastated since the very recent loss of her husband and youngest son. She is sad and lonely and when I visit, I sometimes just sit on her bed and hold her hands and try to make her comfortable. I bring her the occasional things she likes or needs, like socks, or hard candy to suck, or now and then, some ice cream. She deeply appreciates my company and we are very close and understand one another emotionally. I am grateful to have her company and the company of some very precious friends I have made during my time in Texas.
A Rainbow points the way with faith and hope
Canada - Political Map
A fresh start
Looking to Canada
As the last month or so draws closer to my move to Canada, I have been enjoying the summer with its abundant flowers, birds and animals. The sky is filled with flight and with the noises of a variety of creatures and it makes my heart full. As my mind races with all that still needs to be done to enter what I feel is this last chapter of my life, I am grateful for all the blessings that I have had. I was given support when I needed it. Friends afforded me emotional support whilst my family helped me financially. I was given the opportunity to study and earned various scholarships which helped me along the way. Even though I have been alone, I have had company with friends and creatures living around me. Nature has been a great Healer and I thank all the friends I have made, both “in real life” and through the magic of the Internet, which is what brought me to America in the first place.
Facebook has been a wonderful place to connect with like-minded people who have allowed me to blossom in light and love and the positivity that I have worked hard at maintaining has lifted me up and allowed me to walk on, one day at a time. I share beautiful images and thoughts with friends and I know that I, too, am making a difference in the lives of others, as they do for me also. The added sharing of beautiful images on Pinterest highlight what people like and share. In addition, when I was looking for work, I stumbled across Hub Pages and a new world of writers opened to me and gave me the opportunity to express myself and give my thoughts and feelings a platform. This has been wonderful also, as this is a community of people who write as well as read and the feedback has been incredibly uplifting as I feel the compulsion to write. I have made friends here too and I’m grateful to have found a following of 115 people within three months. I consider these people to be friends with whom I have many things in common.
I know that I have made a difference in ways both large and small during my time here. I am filled with mixed emotions and many poignant feelings as I find my way to move from these United States to a new country, a new climate, new friends and a new job. One doesn’t often get the chance to remake oneself or one’s life more than once, and I am extremely grateful that I have the opportunity to move to Canada to experience life in a climate filled with ice and snow and new Nature to appreciate. While I wait for my work permit to reach me, I am guessing what dates to fix and I move forward with faith that everything will work out for the best. I think I am where I am meant to be. The rainbow that greeted me this morning seems to point the way to a rosier future and I am so grateful.