Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Some days are like this...

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Some days are like this...
Please don't get me wrong. I love life. I love living in Canada. When we sleep with open windows at night and get that whiff of salty sea-air, I'm thankful that we live in a safe neighbourhood.
When I watch bald eagles soar above our home, I have a lump in my throat.
When some ring-necked turtle doves coo their woeful songs in our backyard, my heart cries with them. Their songs unlock wonderful childhood memories of growing up in Natal...
It's not easy living in a foreign country as an immigrant. Regardless of your status, whether you are a permanent resident or citizen, inside of you, the real core of who you are - it stays the same.
I am still Ingrid, born in Pietermaritzburg, raised in a German community. I am still the wild-child-Ingrid who ran free on the South Coast of Natal; swimming, biking, climbing trees, eating pineapples by cutting off the tops and scooping out the flesh with a spoon; having many a close encounter with mambas, puff adders and other creepy-crawleys. I am still the same Ingrid who studied at Tukkies, worked at UNISA, met my Englishman, married, moved to Botswana.
And yet, everything has changed.
I now belong in a different country, and there are times I still feel I don't belong.
There are days when I am oversensitive and somehow people's comments hurt more than other days. There are days when I feel as if I have lost my balance and perspective because life just seems to pinch in so many ways.
There are good days too. Absolutely glorious days! Many of them. Days when we visit with friends - Canadian, South African, whatever - and we laugh until our stomachs hurt. Or we become quiet when we remember something of significance. Nostalgia that sets in so easily. The nostalgia that gets to one at times and leaves you sad, grateful, lonely, remembered, seeking, found, lost, at home...all at the same time.
Besides South Africa, I have lived in Botswana, Australia, America. Had long, extended visits in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Israel. Travelled Europe and other countries.
I love other cultures so I am always learning, experiencing, wanting to explore. I don't think that will ever change for me. I can do a road trip or any other type of travel experience at the drop of a hat. It's what adds colour and spice to life! Meeting people who are all so different and beautiful and sad and complex and amazing...I love it!
But why does one have these days that are like this?
That is a question I have asked myself many times.
Perhaps it is my generation? I look at my sons and they are planted. Rooted. At home.
Both of them have gorgeous Canadian girlfriends. This is where they are settled and feel at peace. Their memories of South Africa are fading a bit. Understandably so. They never lived there as long as we as parents did.
It's not that I want to move back to South Africa. Not at all.
I am quite content to live in British Columbia. It is a stunningly beautiful province. We're in a good place. Fact.
And yet...
Maybe it is a mom-thing.
Moms agonize about anything and everything it seems. We lie awake at night, crying softly into pillows. We cry because we miss something...someone...of days gone past. I think sometimes we are sad and we don't even know why.
We cry because of what we had and lost and for what our kids will never have. Like my Dad. He passed away in 1989 so our youngest never even met him. But that's life right? It doesn't really have anything to do with immigration, but as moms we are saddened by the fact that children grow up without their grandparents. My husband's elderly parents are both still alive, living in SA. My mom lives in Arizona. The scatterlings-syndrome. We have been diagnosed as immigrants!
Somehow living in another country makes life feel more "dangerous" at times. Perhaps it is because of not having the same extended family support-system we used to have, so when someone has a car accident or has to go to hospital, it feels more overwhelming that what it would have felt "back home."
I have always chosen to help others. That's my way of coping with hardships or lonely times. I look for people in need and do what I can to extend a hand of support.
It has been a carry-through for me many times. Perhaps that's why I am even writing this today: to let others know that when they feel wobbly, unbalanced, alone, crazy, downcast, frustrated, lonely and bewildered at times...they are not alone.
Fortunately these days become less as the years go by. We learn new coping mechanisms, make new friends, take up challenging jobs, learn new skills or hobbies...and we adjust.
We plant gem squashes because it gives a sense of home. We learn to love hockey, so that we can understand and be part of the culture. We make our own biltong and we chew on a bit of what we once had.
It feels good when we can be like this. Our feet are firmly in Canada, our hearts are here, but we allow ourselves a little bit of what we still are inside.
Africans by birth. Immigrants by choice.
A privilege not all have.
And therein lies some guilt.
A few people here have commented on whether they still read SA news...
I did. For a long time. There was this dreadful sense of obligation and responsibility riding me. I just had to know what was going on in South Africa!
Why, I am not sure. There is seriously nothing one can do about it, other than pray, keep in touch with loved ones. This terrible storm has subsided within me. I am learning to relax and be at peace that where we live, is safer than most S.Africans have it. We only have power failures when there has been a storm or when a silly raven flies into power lines, causing a transformer to blow. I can take the dog for a walk at 11pm at night, by myself, and I have absolutely no fear of being attacked.
We have it good. I count my blessings and my heart is filled with gratitude. And I am learning to let go of that false guilt that we can be here...while others are being attacked, murdered, robbed and raped in SA.
It is not easy to come to this place, but it is possible.
I have wanted to write this piece for a long time now. I have wanted to share with newcomers that life is good here, yes. Very good, in fact. But certainly not always very easy.
One thing that helps you survive, is to have a heart of gratitude. Tough I know, but it is harder if you don't cultivate it.
So easy for people to gripe when culture shock hits them, or the white stuff stays on the ground too long, or your spouse is unexpectedly laid off.
We went through twenty months of unemployment for my husband when he was laid off when the economy slid downwards a few years ago. Those are days I do not wish on anyone. We were shaken to our core and our ordeal became a natural sieve to determine who were truly friends. Not many people stay around when you're in a crisis like that. Everyone loves a winner right? However, when circumstances beyond your control leave you in a vulnerable place like that, there is nothing one can do but buckle down and take one day at a time. We were stretched beyond anything we'd ever experienced. But, in the end, we came through it stronger; not just as survivors, but as overcomers.
I don't know how others have experienced going through a crisis in a foreign country. Did you also experience deeper vulnerability than when you were in SA where close friends and family were more readily available to lend support and help? It is something I have become increasingly aware of over the years as I have watched others go through tragedy or personal crisis situations. We need a support system - even a cyber network like SACanada gives one a much-needed and appreciated place where you can vent, ask questions, share sorrows and joys, feel accepted.
Personally, what carries me through days or seasons such as this, is my relationship with the Lord. The Psalms are full of passages that talk of the Lord being there in the day of trouble, loneliness, when all have turned their backs on you, when destitute...I know He hears me, even if there have been times when I have hardly had breath to talk to Him. He reads my heart and He knows all that is happening to me/us. God is good!
I guess this piece of writing is probably mostly me processing the decades we have lived outside of SA, the people we have seen come and go, the good and the hard times. These things all happen yes, but we have so much to work with and for here, in Canada. I love being a part of SACanada where the "old timers" can share from own experiences, hopefully sometimes even advising some newbies to avoid pitfalls and potential obstacles. That sure makes the transition easier. We have only recently assisted a young S.African girl with easing into life in Canada. I was surprised to see how different her adjustment was to ours. Her culture shock revolves around small issues such as the fact that people here buy from thrift stores, that you lose your SA driver's license when you get a BC license, how to (properly) pack a dishwasher/use a garburator and the challenges of bussing all over the district. For me as a mom it was more about schools and education, what kind of friends our youngest would have at school, best place to shop for necessities and so on. So we each have different challenges in adjusting and making this country "Home."
If you have had "some days like this," rest assured. It's normal. Most, if not all immigrants, new or veteran, have them. It can be triggered by something as small as a smell that reminds you of home, to receiving news of the death of a loved one in SA. Emotions, memories, thought-patterns and behaviour can be put on a roller coaster, leaving you exhausted, depressed, sleepless and mopey. But as always, life runs in seasons and cycles and the sad or tough times always eventually change into deeper times of refreshing, fulfilment, contentment and making peace of who you are, where you are and why you are where you are! Life is good in the immigrants' lane!
Blessings to you!
Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell, Vancouver, BC. September 2013.
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shawman

Oh wow, this piece really resonated with me. I actually felt the knots that have been tied in my tummy for the last few days slip a little. I am going to print this out so that I can read it over when I feel "this is just a bit too much". Thank you so much for taking the time to share this.

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Sparky2

This was inspiring and very helpful to read, thank you for sharing this Ingrid.

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Guest Petros

Nice one and for me at the right time, my parents came over for a visit and we saw them off back to SA today. its been a sad day. Take care Ingrid.

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lgonsalves

Wow Ingrid! Thank you for sharing, gives us newbies courage and determination to push on.....

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Laurenwallace

You make me want to cry, and I'm not even in Canada yet! Beautiful piece of writing, and such a touching glimpse into your heartfelt feelings. Thank you for sharing, and for reminding me of what I am working towards, and to remind me of what I am leaving behind.

*Hugs*

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Sideline

You make me want to cry, and I'm not even in Canada yet! Beautiful piece of writing, and such a touching glimpse into your heartfelt feelings. Thank you for sharing, and for reminding me of what I am working towards, and to remind me of what I am leaving behind.

*Hugs*

Forget wanting to make me cry, I bawled my eyes out for 30 min trying to read this :cry:

But I got to the end and my dreams, hopes and wishes were even more firmly embedded to just succeed.

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Linda

Beautifully written, well-articulated, thanks for sharing, this sharing to me, is where the value in this Forum really lies, knowing you are one of many who have these ups and downs, that with your head in the right place you can overcome anything, all of life's challenges. Lovely "pick-me-up"!

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02JoJo

I wish I could express myself like you do Ingrid! Absolutely beautiful heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing this. It gives me hope that things will settle down here for us, this journey has been an emotional roller coaster ride.

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Stefan

Thank you, Ingrid, dit was darem mooi geskryf. You have expressed stuff that doubtless lots of us have felt, including me.

Stefan

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PinkPanther

I am so glad you wrote this, Ingrid. Like Sideline, I also had to grab for some tissues!

Maybe this will help me explain to my Canadian husband why I just feel lonely occasionally when I miss family, even when I have him and his family here. Or why I am sometimes miserable after 8 months of winter with no good reason (I’m warm and toasty inside after all), or why Christmas makes me incredibly sad and I just want to skip it if I can (they are not with MY family), etcetera. It makes me feel so selfish and ungrateful! But obviously there must be others with bouts of nostalgia-attacks or sadness, even though it may manifest itself a bit differently for everyone.

Our roots will always be South Africa, and that will always go hand in hand with the occasional sadness. And you are right, we need a support structure, and what better one is there than other South Africans who know first hand what you are talking about? SACanada and similar forums: :ilikeit:

This also helps preparing others who are on their way :)

Thanks Ingrid.

Edited by PinkPanther
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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Some Days Are Like This....Telling It Like It Is...
Thank you for the replies. I am very thankful that you are finding it helpful. Sometimes just expressing one's feelings and knowing someone else has felt or is feeling the same, helps immensely.
So here's what I'd like to add or reply to your comments:
The Tensions
Shawman: " Oh wow, this piece really resonated with me. I actually felt the knots that have been tied in my tummy for the last few days slip a little. I am going to print this out so that I can read it over when I feel "this is just a bit too much". Thank you so much for taking the time to share this."
There is nothing so draining and debilitating as carrying those heavy knots of tension inside of you. I so identify with you. I have had many a day when a sense of dread would overwhelm me. Initially, when we received the news in America that our approved Green Cards had been terminated in error and that USCIS wanted us to reapply, I had the knotted-stomach-tension for months. I look at photos taken of us in that time, and all I can see is incredible strain and tension lined on our faces. I tackled the paperwork for applying to Canada, hardly slept for weeks, just kept slogging on. Our oldest son was aging out by American terms and we had to move fast. At the same time, the town we where we lived in Oregon, organized petitions, a US senator jumped in to help, the media did "our story."
We were going back and forth between hope that things would turn and reality, realizing that we needed to find a way into Canada.
When Canada opened its doors, we packed our u-haul and drove up I-5, north to British Columbia. I remember leaving late night and as we drove past the fire station where our oldest cut his teeth at age 17, I wept.
As we drove past a church, I wept. The weekly verse on their signboard was: "I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are good, to give you a future." (Jer.29)
At that stage we were so tied up with knots and emotional pain that those words seemed surreal to me.
Later that same night, we pulled over at a diner for our New Year's eve dinner and when my husband said grace, he started crying.
Only people who have felt this battered and alone, will understand how dark and cold it can feel when you are in such a place.
I think if we had made Canada our first choice, life would have been easier. We waited five years for the Green Cards to be processed after the initial approval.
Did everything by the book. Worked with a lawyer, through the USCIS centre in Texas. And then in one second on a grey February day, the carpet was pulled out from under our feet when we received a letter to say that the application had been terminated.
Their error, yes, but what government will rectify an admin error such as this? It took time to get on our feet again and slowly, but surely walk out the experience as we settled more and more in Canada.
These external factors can certainly tie us up inside. It's hard to maintain a sense of peace and hope in the midst of it all. Once you are in "quieter waters," there are habits and thought-patterns that need changing, like debris left-over after a storm.
For a very long time we all had very deep feelings of rejection. Our youngest was born in the USA and strangely enough, he carried a weight of guilt, that "his country/government," could do this to his family.
One tries to rationalize away the pain of whatever you are experiencing and quite often I think, we try and make sense of something too much.
Some things will just never ever make sense. And so one has to learn to let go, again and again, until all those knots are gone.
Shawman, I don't know your story, but believe me, I understand how you feel. I can also tell you, encourage you, to never give up. Seriously. The tides turn and seasons change, for all of us.
Fill in the blanks
Marc V: " This was inspiring and very helpful to read, thank you for sharing this Ingrid."
Whenever I read someone else's story, I always feel like I am filling in the blanks. Reading my own story. It is the same for most of us. We have all done that, been there, worn the proverbial t-shirts to tatters. We may be at different places on this road, this terrible-beautiful-adventurous-agonizing-life-changing journey, but we can all be encouraged and inspired by what others have experienced. I am glad you found the bit I shared, helpful.

The agony of separation

Petros: " Nice one and for me at the right time, my parents came over for a visit and we saw them off back to SA today. its been a sad day. Take care Ingrid. "

Reading your comment was bitter-sweet for me, Petros. The last time I saw my Dad was in June 1988 at the airport in Johannesburg. They came to say good-bye as we left for America. By March 1989 he had passed away.

When we visited some of my German family in Europe recently, they gave me copies of letters he wrote them to them during the months prior to his death.

So much of what he wrote was about us being so far away in America. He missed his grandson terribly. Reading his words after the fact broke my heart. I am thankful I have the letters. Such a treasure!

At the time his funeral took place in Howick, KZN; it was 3am Hawaiian-time. I sat under a frangipani tree overlooking the bay of Kailua-Kona and had my own "funeral."

I cried, tied yellow ribbons around the tree, thanked God for the wonderful Dad I had. Another terribly-alone moment which is the price we pay as ex-pats when we cannot get home in time for a loved one's death or funeral.

I can understand your sadness. We never know when we are saying good-bye to someone and I think as immigrants who seldom see our loved ones, we learn to make the most of it.

When we visited my husband's parents in April this year, we filled the hours by just being with them, doing things they enjoy, listening, talking, taking umpteen photos, making memories.

Petros, I pray the time you had with your parents will layer your hearts and souls with the richness of a parent's love, their unconditional acceptance and support, even their quirkiness, the differences you may have, everything familiar about them.

Times together should be remembered for everything you talked and squabbled about, the times you laughed, the joys of just being there, together.

Funny, I carried this over onto my sons. Never a day passes that we don't tell each other, " I love you."

At least once a day, over the phone, via text, face to face.

So easy to say: " I love you."

We are going back to SA on an extended visit, DV next year. The four of us, plus the girl friends. My in-laws want to have time with us.

We are going over to give them more of our hearts, our love, our appreciation. I am so grateful for parents and grandparents.

So thankful I can also be a parent that can love my sons (and their future families), now, here...in The Living Years. Oh boy, I have to share that song here now:

Never give up!

Igonsalves: " Wow Ingrid! Thank you for sharing, gives us newbies courage and determination to push on....."

Thank you for saying that. I came to a place recently where I decided it is time to share more deeply, intensely. Even if a lot of this is very emotional, it is how we go through life as humans.

So when I write, "Never ever give up...the road may seem very long and hard, but it always has a beginning and an end!" I can write it because I have actually walked that road and I know it does take you somewhere.

We need courage, we need determination to hold on, keep going.

Everyone needs hope. The hope that brings amazing peace because you know some day, this too will end.

Whatever anyone here is experiencing right now, you will get through it. You will make it. Yes, push on with hope and a tenacity that just won't let go.

Bottles of tears!

lauren.wallace: " You make me want to cry, and I'm not even in Canada yet! Beautiful piece of writing, and such a touching glimpse into your heartfelt feelings. Thank you for sharing, and for reminding me of what I am working towards, and to remind me of what I am leaving behind."

Sideline: " Forget wanting to make me cry, I bawled my eyes out for 30 min trying to read this :cry:But I got to the end and my dreams, hopes and wishes were even more firmly embedded to just succeed."

I hope you don't mind me sharing a Psalm here, Lauren/Sideline: Ps.56:8 " You number my wanderings; put my tears into a bottle; are they not in Your book."

Oh boy...don't we all have bottles of tears! Yes, men as well. Hugs to you guys!
One of the poems I wrote in Maplantas, (Afrikaans poetry on ex-pat experiences), is about our dog, Tundra.
She moved to Canada with us from Oregon. Free sidewalk special, a mixed breed of Rhodesian Ridgeback, chow and something-else.
A dog that we only had for eight years before she developed cancer and after three surgeries to try and remove the tumour, we had to put her down.
When my hubby reads the poem, without fail; he cries.
Tundra went through immigration with us. She saw the tears, felt the tensions, loved, loved, loved! us.
Dogs have amazing abilities to pick up heartache or stress from a mere sigh, a slight change of tone of voice, even a change in facial expression.
She would not give up on us. When she saw us packing up in Oregon, she became very quiet and tense, perhaps fearing she'd be left behind.
Until the moment she saw her big ole dog sleeping mattress go into the minivan...then she knew. She was coming to Canada with us.
Her loss hit us really hard. Even now as I type, the tears are rolling.
We all give up so much - families, farms, homes, businesses, pets - and yes, it does come with tears. Nothing of value comes without sacrifice or pain or tears.
I do believe tears bring healing though. It washes our souls clean from heartaches, guilt, regrets. It is a way our souls are unburdened.
I love this particular Psalm because truly, the Lord has seen all our wanderings as immigrants!
As you allow yourself to cry, healing comes from the grief you carry...grief because of the loss we all have experienced.
Grief because of loved ones left behind, grief because of our very beautiful country of birth, grief because at first, living in a new country makes you feel like an odd duck and oh dear, that can make you feel like you are having an identity crisis!
Just who am I? Just what I am doing here? What was I thinking?! All normal responses, all questions we are bound to ask ourselves at some stage.
Now if I don't stop for now, my hubs will come home and ask just what did I do all day?! More later, I hope.
Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell, 11 September 2013
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shawman

Hi Ingrid

Thanks so much, I think the reason I connected so strongly with this is you put into words all I have been feeling. Once you have immigrated you expect so much and when you finally find your little space in this vast country it sort of hits home that this is it. There is no going back! What you helped me to realize is that being a little sad, nervous, lonely and lost does not make me ungrateful of the opportunities we have been given, but normal and yes it is okay to feel all these things without the guilt. Yes I will be happy here and yes it is okay to not like everything here. There is so much that is different (and not always better) but that is okay. I've had a good cry, unknotted some of those tummy knots and now I am off for a walk on the beach. I am sure I would have reached this conclusion on my own but boy was it good to have someone put it infront of me. Made me feel that I may be lonely but am not alone, so thank you so very much. Regards, Samantha

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lgonsalves

..... I think you've missed your calling ;).

But you are an amazing person and put in this forum(or even in this world) to help people with your words and experiences. Thank you for always being there with a kind word, virtual hug or shoulder to lean on.

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Sideline

Thank you Ingrid.

In life, all good things happen precisely when they are intended to happen. They never happen when you need them to, they never happen because you want them to, the good things happen because they just happen on time and in time. No earlier and no later! It's the joyful misery of waiting that takes up our time and we obsess over that which we have no control over. Patience, kindness to oneself and gratitude for the little things will get you there...

Edited by Sideline
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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

10 October 2013

I had every intention to write more, earlier. Thank you for the lovely responses. I am thrilled it has encouraged some of you.

In short, I realized today that one's life as an immigrant can easily be divided into three categories: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

The Good!

Our oldest son recently became engaged to a lovely Canadian girl. This has thrilled us beyond words.

Emigration hit him the hardest I think, especially when we had to leave the USA and re-emigrate (is there such a word?!) and move to Canada.

He was in process at that time to join the US Marines. His life was on track as a firefighter, he had tons of friends.

Then the shock-move.

It is the first time as a mom that my heart is at rest about him - in a different way. He is still a firefighter and runs a very successful business, knows hordes of people as a result of all his activities.

But now he belongs.

I cannot find enough words to express how awesome it is to see how things have come full circle for him.

Besides, we don't have daughters...and our family is about to have a wonderful woman join our clan when they get married next year.

I think parents agonize in their hearts about their kids, wherever they are. Their happiness is so important and when things fall into place for them, life becomes even more beautiful.

On another topic, but also under this category...

What has been good for me is my writing, photography and horses.

Writing allows me to express what I feel, what I sense others feel and what I know others are struggling with. Good catharsis and very therapeutic!

Photography allows me to look for and find anything and everything that is breathtakingly beautiful around us.

Quite often, it is the seemingly insignificant and mundane that becomes beautiful. It helps me journal my life as well.

Horses? Well, they are some of the best (free) therapists in the world! Nothing that gets to your soul as fast as a loving horse!

This is what I'm talking about! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151871497616648&set=pb.318696121647.-2207520000.1379969086.&type=3&theater

By sharing this, I want to encourage newbies to find something they enjoy doing. Hobbies, arts and crafts, volunteer work...anything that fulfills you and makes you feel good to be alive.

The Bad!

Well, the bad will be with us regardless of where we live.

Right now, "the bad" in my life is the phone call I received from my sister down in Arizona this morning.

Our 90-year-old mother was taken to emergency and we are waiting for test results.

The bad stuff happens. We all know the expression that when life hands you a lemon, you can choose to become bitter or better....go sour or make lemonade.

A personal lesson we all learn in our own ways. Coping skills here are essential. Do you have someone to talk to when things are tough or do you go it alone?

So much easier if you have a support-system in place...

The Ugly!

I guess the definition of "ugly" will differ from person to person.

Maybe it could be a job that is challenging because of conflict. Or marital stress. Or someone that betrayed you.

Regardless, ugly seasons, people and circumstances are temporary. They tend to come and go.

Sometimes the ugly can even become meaningful and beautiful. People work through conflict, they can change, life gets better.

So much of it - the way it goes - depends on us.

Our inner thoughts, attitudes, actions, choices, decisions...all impact our daily lives, the people we interact with, the kind of lifestyle we are building here in Canada!

Have a pleasant evening dear SACanada friends!

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

..... I think you've missed your calling ;).

But you are an amazing person and put in this forum(or even in this world) to help people with your words and experiences. Thank you for always being there with a kind word, virtual hug or shoulder to lean on.

Your words meant a lot to me, thank you so much.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Hi Ingrid

Thanks so much, I think the reason I connected so strongly with this is you put into words all I have been feeling. Once you have immigrated you expect so much and when you finally find your little space in this vast country it sort of hits home that this is it. There is no going back! What you helped me to realize is that being a little sad, nervous, lonely and lost does not make me ungrateful of the opportunities we have been given, but normal and yes it is okay to feel all these things without the guilt. Yes I will be happy here and yes it is okay to not like everything here. There is so much that is different (and not always better) but that is okay. I've had a good cry, unknotted some of those tummy knots and now I am off for a walk on the beach. I am sure I would have reached this conclusion on my own but boy was it good to have someone put it infront of me. Made me feel that I may be lonely but am not alone, so thank you so very much. Regards, Samantha

Tonight, your post means the world to me. I so understand those walks on the beach...Thanks for sharing your heart a bit, Samantha.

Those yo-yo feelings between "loving all," and feeling strangely out-of-place here in Canada...yes, I (still) have those from time to time.

Treasure those tears and walks alone...they are forming something beautiful and solid within you.

We have to be human and allow ourselves to grieve our losses, to treasure memories, to have those nostalgic moments... It is all part of who we are today: looking at and remembering the yesterdays; then making sense of what we are becoming, looking at the future we are building.

You are going to be fine, Samantha. One day at a time, taking the proverbial baby steps.

Personally, I am seeing so many GOOD things happening in our two sons' lives that it makes all the tears and hardships and self-doubt of the past worth it!

I would do it all again, given the choice. My husband feels the same.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Thank you Ingrid.

In life, all good things happen precisely when they are intended to happen. They never happen when you need them to, they never happen because you want them to, the good things happen because they just happen on time and in time. No earlier and no later! It's the joyful misery of waiting that takes up our time and we obsess over that which we have no control over. Patience, kindness to oneself and gratitude for the little things will get you there...

Sideline, I don't always understand life and the way things develop or don't. But what I do know is that we all have the resilience needed to be overcomers.

Life can be tough, I agree. I watched a documentary the other night on Filipinos who leave their families to (initially) move to the Yukon to work there in entry-level positions: wait staff, janitors, store/grocery clerks...and they save up and slowly but surely they bring their spouses and children over to join them. We never had hardships like those. We have always done things together as a family of four. I cannot imagine the loneliness and pain those folks go through in getting permanent residence for their families in Canada.

Needless to say I could not help but cry, hearing their stories of loss, sacrifice, loneliness, the terrible years of waiting, waiting, waiting...and then finally, being reunited with their loved ones.

Hubby and I both realized we have had it soooo good in comparison and we have much to be thankful for!

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rockwooder

Wow, Ingrid only saw this today. Amazing ... wonderful ...betekenisvol. I'm so glad to have you as a friend and as I've said before you are blessed with a wonderful talent in writing as well as photography. Thank you for making this world a better place.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

The Bad!

Well, the bad will be with us regardless of where we live.

Right now, "the bad" in my life is the phone call I received from my sister down in Arizona this morning.

Our 90-year-old mother was taken to emergency and we are waiting for test results.

Test results came in this morning. Confirmed she had a stroke, so I will be flying down to Arizona a.s.a.p. :huh:

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Wow, Ingrid only saw this today. Amazing ... wonderful ...betekenisvol. I'm so glad to have you as a friend and as I've said before you are blessed with a wonderful talent in writing as well as photography. Thank you for making this world a better place.

Thank you Erika. You are a huge blessing in my life as well.

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Sideline

Test results came in this morning. Confirmed she had a stroke, so I will be flying down to Arizona a.s.a.p. :huh:

Wishing you all the best. Travel safe and our prayers are with you in this time. You have the inner strength to get you through it, so share that with your family when you get there.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Thank you Sideline.

I am very thankful she lives in America and that I don't have to fly all the way to SA at this stage, as so many others here have had to do when visiting elderly parents.

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L&R

Thank you for the beautiful read and insight! Good luck with your mom. Will be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

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