Slowly saying goodbye

Ah the pain! I just wrote a page long posting in Word, only to absent-mindedly close the entire program (not saved) and lose my work. Blarg! Who says “blarg” anyhow? I think it’s a female. Maybe Felicia Day from the Guild? I don’t know.

Anyhow, this post was all about writing letters. Basically moving home (moving countries) means a lot of ties must be severed. In the past two weeks I’ve written some very final notices. Work involved a gushing letter – professional yet personal – of resignation that took a few drafts to achieve. Ever since a bad experience leaving a big employer (“pass me your vest and get out”), where I gave a thank you card and felt like an ass for the effort – I have hesitated in expressing too much gratitude.

But then, when people provide incredible support shouldn’t gratitude be shown? Yes, it should.

Therefore I started off my resignation letter like this:

“Many thanks for the opportunity. Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards, Catherine Brunelle”

And finished it like this

“You’re all so awesome, this place is awesome, our job is awesome. Everything’s awesome! And I’m going to miss every last bit of it. Hugs, Catherine”

Well, that may be an exaggeration – but you get the gist.

And then yesterday I wrote a letter to our landlady [if you want a good example of how to be a landlord, she’s it. Responsive yet distant. A very good combination in the world of accommodation.] and let her know we’re moving. Final month in Southampton: May. Beautiful sunny May when the roses bloom and smell like perfume. May, the month I felt my bump. May, the month my life changed. It’ll be post-cancer one year when we finally leave the UK.

. . . maybe we’ll come back, because apparently anything can happen . . . but for now, Canada and Hungary are waiting with open arms (of our parents).

So that’s the start of the letters. Next will come the papers for shipping, the agreements for money transfers, the ending of contracts and all thae inevitable red tape of life. Over the past four years we’ve settled in. Now it’s time to squirm out.

There you go – post about moving, take two. The ball is rolling and it’s only a matter of time.

Immigration to Canada: Step one

Ok! Moving away from breast cancer topics onto more interesting things. That is, moving away from England.

The UK has been incredible, and I wouldn’t say that we’ll never return. It’s a definite possibility. Look at the pros: England’s primary language is, duh, English. It’s a ‘bridge’ between Europe and North America. The people here are awesome. Planes, trains and automobiles make this place easily connected to anywhere. And we’ve built a home here once, we could do it again.

Cons: My apartment is driving  me crazy with allergies – not in itself a reason to leave the entire country, but I’m an aggravated women. Also, it’s not Canada and it’s not Hungary. Neither side of the family has plans to immigrate to this giant Island (I miss having tea with my mom, meeting with friends, listening to Dad’s fishing stories) and during the next three years, as a minimum, being situated close to family is a priority.

The plan is to officially move later this summer. We’ll be doing some travelling beforehand, but our deadline for a Canadian touchdown is September 15th, when Zsolt’s ‘welcome to Canada’ window expires.

Here is the checklist as it develops:

First – get permanent residence.

Second – investigate moving companies.

Third . . . not sure, will update later.

We’re on steps First and Second. This week Zsolt received an email stating that his application has been approved (WOHO!) and we need to submit a bit more paperwork, plus passports. So, I can’t check off this step until the permit has been collected, but we’re getting there. The entire application process took about five months total – however, that doesn’t include all the time compiling the application, medical checks, background checks etc. Man, that was a long process, and mixed with chemotherapy too. But we managed. On average they say the application takes around six to nine months. I’d like to think Zsolt’s application was so well organized that it zoomed through the system. However, that’s only speculation because the inner workings of consulates are a mystery.

Sometimes I wonder whether it was crazy to uproot and go back to Canada. . . but going home for Christmas was incredible, and Dr Canada was quite impressive too. Plus, maybe a little North American flavour would be good to chew on, at least for now. Assuming Zsolt can land a job and I can pick up more writing, things could look good. Besides, there is that canoe and the lake and the image of paddling in the water on a gorgeous fall day. What’s more wonderfully Canadian than the great outdoors?

Looking ahead helps me focus on the present. First step, finish the permit process. Last step, go for a swim in the lake.

Side tip for visa applications: Collect evidence. From the moment you form a serious long-distance relationship you should start collecting proof – some examples: plane tickets, email exchanges, receipts with both names, joint bank account statements. The more official the better. Many places won’t accept a relationship is genuine unless you’ve lived together for two years, and can prove it through paperwork. *

*I’m no expert or professional regarding immigration. These tips are based on personal experience and several visa applications gone well. That’s all. If you need actual help, seek a professional.